Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Progress as Motivation

One thing I've learned about myself over the years is that once I get going on something, it tends to snowball. My biggest challenge is always just getting started, but once I do, I don't have much trouble keeping at it. One could almost I have obsessive tendencies.

*gasp* ME? No...

I've been struggling with an extra ten pounds for the past few months, so two weeks ago I decided I'd had enough and challenged myself to do Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred. Every day. It's only 20 minutes but it's hard (and this is coming from an exercise enthusiast) but I didn't let that stop me and I stuck through the first level. The second level is even more difficult, and I'm slightly terrified to see what she has in store for the third.

But... after just two weeks, I'm seeing progress. My hips and belly are slimming, and yesterday I managed to comfortably wear a pair of shorts that have been banished to the closet for too long. Then last night my jeans just slid right on (how's THAT for a birthday present?). This makes me even more determined to keep at it. If I can see a change in two weeks, imagine the difference in two more!

It's the same with writing. I finished my third draft in the middle of January, then received comments from three betas shortly after. I allowed myself some time to digest the suggestions (some of which I'm still not too sure about) and tried to start writing the fourth draft.

But it wouldn't come. (I believe I whined about this at the time.)

I finally decided to not worry about the rewrites and just focus on the new-writes, and it's been going much better since then. While I haven't written every day, I've added almost 3000 words to my MS and the progress is intoxicating.* I'm excited to break the 70K mark, and even more to reach 80K. Better yet, I'm anxious to get cracking on those rewrites.

Snowball.

It doesn't hurt that my writing friends (you know who you are) have been competing with each other for daily word counts. THAT does more for me than they'll ever know.

How about you? Do you find it's easier once you get started, or do you have another way to motivate yourself?

I'm off to bond with Ms. Michaels again...



*I apologize for the Twilight-y word. I'm almost done with Midnight Sun and will try to get it out of my system after that. Mmm-hmmm.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good for you Melanie! I wish I had your commitment! I have been struggling to get back into an exercise routine since we were in Zihua but to no avail. It is the first time in quite a few years that I have been off my workouts and it is driving me crazy. Also congrats on your writing!

Keep up the good work and say "Hi" to Jillian for me!

Mary Hart

Pink Ink said...

Way to go on your writing!!

One thing you have going for your diet living in Mexico is having all the fresh fruit you can eat instead of meat and potatoes kind of stuff, right?

Janna Qualman said...

Go you! And it definitely helps to see others, especially buddies, making progress. Such encouragement!

Ugh. I've slacked on my pilates, since first, a migraine, and the the flu. Gotta get back to it!

Melanie Avila said...

Mary, it's been tough but I really don't want to buy new clothes and I'm really sick of the three outfits I've been stuck with.

I smacked Jillian for you. :)

Melanie Avila said...

Pink, that is definitely true. We eat mostly fruit in the morning, and I eat either leftovers or more healthy stuff for lunch. I know I'll miss that - Mexico has turned me into a produce snob.

Melanie Avila said...

Janna, you are one of those motivators. :)

Have you tried pilates while you have a migraine? Even very low-key? Stretching often helps me, but I know everyone is different.

Lauren said...

I am going to have to check out the 30-Day Shred. Congrats on your progress with it!

I find it much easier to write once I have some momentum. If I stop for a few days it is sooo tough to get back on the bandwagon again.

spyscribbler said...

I AM DONE WITH TAXES!!!!!!!!!!!!

I still have to fix my system for next year, but we're getting there. My laptop is going off to HP tomorrow, my ancient laptop went kaput, so I'm stuck at home writing on a desktop.

But I have time to write today, thank God. And I'm so anxious to get out of the house that I think I'm going to go workout. I looked at that 30-Day Shred. Zoe's doing it, too, and talks highly of it, too. Good luck!

My ankle can't do jumping and stuff. Would it be hard on a bum ankle?

Turkey Lurkey said...

Yay for skinny jeans! I can't wait to see how Jillian works for you. I might give her program a try.

What writer competition? Where?

Robin said...

Yay for progress! I'm in an apathetic, not making much progress, sort of place right now, but I'm expecting it to go away eventually. I'm going to visit my parents and brother in two weeks, and I think that will rejuvenate me.

Melanie Avila said...

Lauren, I'm trying to stay focused so I can keep it up. Unfortunately I haven't written in two days, but I'm hopeful for tomorrow.

Melanie Avila said...

Spy, that's so great! Congratulations! But boo about all the computer problems.

I think you'd have a hard time with the video with your bad ankle. There's a LOT of jumping - so much that it hurts my bad knees. I don't know...

Melanie Avila said...

Turkey, I never said they were skinny jeans, lol. They're my normally kinda loose jeans, but hey, I'll take it. :)

Keep up the challenges - I'll need it tomorrow!

Melanie Avila said...

Robin, visits to the family are always nice. I certainly felt rejuvenated after all my visits. :)

Nadine said...

Okay, you've convinced me. I ordered the 30-day shred today and it should be here by Saturday. I have a pair of jeans in my closet that I haven't worn in a while, yet they are calling my name...

As for writing motivation, once I get going, I am good. It's just hard to get that initial start going.

Erica Orloff said...

Hey . . . happy BELATED BIRTHDAY!!

xoxoxo

E

Melanie Avila said...

Nadine! Yay! I can't wait to hear what you think. The first couple days will be AWFUL, but don't give up. :)

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Erica. :)