Quick. Yes or no? Have you ever had to wait for something exciting–a live concert, a movie, a favorite meal, a new purchase–say, a new piece of technology, or new clothes or a grown-up toy like a new car?
Something that you really, really wanted, that you had to wait for, and while you were waiting, did you keep imagining wearing it or using it or unwrapping it?
Did you get a little thrill every time you thought about that new whatever?
That’s the power of anticipation.
You can use the power of anticipation to help get your stories written, too.
How? Very simple: When you’re building your writing schedule, on the day after you are supposed to finish the story, schedule something you really, really want, that gets your heart beating happily when you think of it.
Then, every time you feel like blowing off your writing, the prospect of losing that special thing that comes after it, or even putting off getting that special thing, will drive you to get your words down.
Yep, this is a version of rewarding yourself, but not with a simple pat on the back or a little snooze.
You have to pick a reward that you really want. Usually it is something that costs money or time or both — never underestimate the power of retail therapy!
For that reason, leveraging the power of anticipation is what I call a Big Bat — a tool you use when you really need help to get the words down. Perhaps you have (like I have recently) been knocked out of your habitual writing routine by life rolls, or Resistance, and now the habit of not writing has set in.
Or you’re feeling overwhelmed and challenged by the book — perhaps it’s in a genre that is new to you, or it’s a radical departure from anything you’ve written before. You might need the push that comes from anticipating a fantastic reward when you’re done.
Tuck this tool away for when you really need it.
Happy writing this weekend!