Back in February I had surgery. The plan was to take the required week off to recover, but I didn’t schedule any additional client work for the remainder of the month out of concern that there would be complications (you never know with exploratory surgery), and I didn’t want to push subpar work if I was still on pain medicine.
I ended up needing to take two weeks off of the day job, though I did take on some new copywriting business while in my second week of recovery, and once I started back to work, my copywriting and editing loads were minimal. I spent a lot of time resting because, in theory, my doctor wanted me to take 4-6 weeks off. Unfortunately, the cabin fever set in after two weeks and I needed to do something productive.
Once I returned to some semblance of normalcy in one facet of life, it became more daunting to pick up all the other chainsaws I juggle. For the first time in months, I was making REAL progress on my fiction. It is difficult to convince myself I needed to begin actively seeking out new clients and starting new projects when I still had a novel to finish. (After all, that’s essential work, too!)
I began working with clients again. I ran a giveaway for International Women’s Day and wrote the content for those prizes. it was fun, and because of the limited number of projects, it felt more like stepping into the wading pool than jumping off the diving board. It was great.
Now I’m three months out from my surgery and am not back to writing and editing full time, yet. Part of that has been life-related – I’ve moved six and a half hours from home to another state. I took on a promotion and the day job and whenever I moved I began job hunting. Those are things which take time and the internet (the last thing is especially significant because I didn’t even have data service on my cell phone at my old place.) and when you’re short on both, something is bound to fall by the wayside.
Here are five things I’m going to do to get back on track, and I hope you can follow these steps after your own misfortunes. (Though I would wish that you experience very few of them.)
1. Remember Why You Started, and That What’s Done is Done
When you experience a setback it can be challenging to remember why it’s worth it to keep fighting. Depending on the size of the setback, it may be difficult to want to try again. You may find yourself feeling defeated (check), unproductive (check), or flat out incapable (check). It’s in those moments that doubts like to creep in. They make me wonder if, had I been better or more prepared, the setback could have been avoided.
While it is good to see how bad things that happen could have been avoided so they do not happen again, dwelling on events which have already passed doesn’t help anyone.
By refocusing on what fueled your initial interest, and remembering that the setback has already come to pass, and that will make it easier to overcome the doubts.
2. Do the Work
Getting started is challenging. Getting re-started is even more difficult. Aside from finding motivation to return to work, actually doing the work – that is to say performing the actual day to day tasks which make it possible, is the most difficult part of the process. Whether the setback is in your health and wellness, your career, or something else – getting into the habits of success is essential.
That’s it. Essentially it’s a two step process. Remember why you started and not dwell on the past, and putting in the time, energy, and attention to make it happen – that’s it. I posted a quote on Instagram which sums up what I’m trying to maintain:
So here’s to hoping all goes well. I’ll keep you posted.
…Hopefully for real, this time.