Writer’s Notebook 5/31/20 – Project Management

I have been struggling lately. I’m sure there are many good reasons why my motivation and inspiration have been low lately. We’re months into a global pandemic and now violent protests are erupting throughout my country. As a Black mother myself, I find myself feeling a storm of emotions that includes anger, frustration, grief and exhaustion. It’s probably not surprising that I’m finding it harder and harder each week to add words to my manuscript.

These last few weeks have felt like a real slog and I’ve found myself starting to feel incredible doubt. I keep wondering if I’ll ever finish this book or if I even have anything worth publishing. This has been a struggle for me all my life. While it’s actually pretty easy for me to stay focused and productive at work; I have given up on my personal projects many times before. I reach this point where progress feels glacial and it becomes easier to simply give up and start something new. The start of a project is the fun and interesting part for me; when the project gets to be this tough, I find myself wanting to throw in the towel and start something new.

Created in Canva

This time, I want things to be different. Even if the book I’m working on doesn’t really sell, I just want to publish it. In fact, given that I’m writing about the lessons I’ve learned by going through the deaths of my brother and mom, I don’t really even want to make money on this project. I just want it to exist. I want to know that I can do it.

This weekend, I put on my Project Management hat and put together a plan with key milestones and due dates. I realized that I needed the “forcing function” of clear due dates for getting tasks accomplished. It’s the start of a new month, a great time to re-assess and clarify my goals. I set myself clear weekly targets for each week in June to get me to my next major goal by July.

It’s important for me to take the time to review and revisit my vision and to find the small steps I can take that will help me feel like I am making progress. Without clear tasks and due dates, I can fall into feeling lost in the process. It may feel like a lot of work but it’s an effort worth making.

Until next time, I #amwriting!

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