Ditching the Dread...of Success

Ditching the Dread...of Success

Ditching the Dread...of Success

Trying to move forward on a big project while coping with ADHD, a writer realizes she can accomplish more by setting reasonable expectations.

Starting a new project in an area where you have excelled but almost killed yourself in the process is terrifying …

  • What if you can’t produce the same level of results?
  • What if you lose yourself and quality relationships in the process?
  • What if you end up feeling terrible the entire time you’re doing the work?

These are all valid feelings when your past experience tells you that the only way to get big projects done is to work at a frenzied pace.

Fortunately, there’s a better way.

Last winter, I worked with a successful, well-published writer who also taught in a university graduate school Masters of Fine Arts program. She was stuck.

“I am scattered and making erratic progress with this or that. I want to make solid steps forward. I want to reclaim my life and place in the literary firmament, get healthy and in shape, and have fun!”

She also had just been diagnosed with ADHD and was wondering how much of an impact ADHD had on her life-long frustrations with writing and other areas of her life. One of her most important goals was to move forward on her next big creative project–a collection of linked short stories. It had been a long time since her first book had been published, and she needed to regain professional momentum…

“My friends are mostly writers and successful. I have lots of ink in the New York Times that I have written and that has been written about me. So I have talent. I also need to know what I need to do, like a solid schedule? work impulsively? Okay I know the answer to that.”

She did know the answer but needed to turn the answer into practical action … We came up with an initial plan of how she could get in a good, solid, writing time in the morning. Then each week, we worked on assessing the results and evaluating how to move forward based on what happened.

This included testing different morning writing routines. The first involved: drinking coffee, eating breakfast, taking the dog out, meditating, getting dressed, and then starting to write. The second involved just getting coffee and starting to write. The end result was a fusion of the two with pouring a cup of coffee, meditating a bit, taking out the dog and then writing.

The end goal wasn’t to have this creative writer crammed into a rigid schedule but to have something that turned writing (her top professional priority) from a dreaded activity to a peaceful part of her daily schedule.

Over the course of our work together, she found that if she followed her morning routine and put herself in her writing space for two hours (with a timer set), the inspiration came and the writing moved forward.

  • Writing didn’t need to be something that she dreaded.
  • Writing didn’t need to be something that took over her life.
  • Writing could be something she choose to move forward on each day.

At last! Freedom to do quality work without losing herself, her relationships or her sanity was possible!

“I’ve found that the actual schedule that I longed for would absolutely drive me around the bend so I have a flexitarian schedule and am getting things done.”

“Having and sticking with a schedule is the single most important thing I can do for myself as an artist, as a woman living a rather complex and exciting life, and as someone newly aware that many of my problems stem from having ADHD. Nothing, nothing, nothing will move me forward like following my schedule will. Period.”

The same could be true for you.

You can take away the fear surrounding moving forward on a big project by developing, practicing and adjusting your custom routines.

To your brilliance!


About Real Life E®

Elizabeth Grace Saunders is the founder and CEO of Real Life E®, which provides life coaching for individuals who struggle with time management.

Real Life E® empowers individuals who feel guilty, overwhelmed and frustrated to feel peaceful, confident and accomplished through an exclusive Schedule MakeoverTM process. Real Life E® also increases employee productivity, satisfaction and work/life balance through custom training programs.

Elizabeth has appeared in Inc magazine, The Chicago Tribune, and on NBC. She was selected as one of the Top 25 Amazing Women of 2010 by Stiletto Woman and as a member of the Young Entrepreneurs Council featured in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Mashable, and many other media outlets.

Elizabeth’s time coaching clients have the opportunity to go through her exclusive Schedule MakeoverTM life transformation process through phone coaching and custom action guides or in-person training.


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