I’d be lost without micro steps. If I have too large a writing goal looming, I quickly despair and frantically search for ways to procrastinate. The task at hand seems too large. This is when I wish for superhero powers to bolt through the pages with eloquent words, memorable humor, and meaningful message flowing beautifully between the pages. One can wish and daydream.
Writing teaches me, or rather forces me, to embrace micro steps. I’ve learned that any type of writing takes immense patience, self-discipline, and constant surrendering of perfection. When I begin reading a new book and start spacing out I feel a tinge of guilt as though I’ve betrayed the author’s trust.
I’ve always had fears about writing, but it rose to a new level in graduate school complete with heart palpitations, panic attacks, and dizzy spells. So I combated those writing fears and insecurity with my procrastination motions: cleaning frantically, snacking voraciously, seeking distractions, starting a new project, surfing the web incessantly, or deciding that tomorrow is a better day to start. On one of these procrastinating moments, I lazily walked to the school bookstore and found a writing book by Anne Lamott: the highlighted excerpt on the back cover encouraged me to the core.
I could relate. My writing was not about birds, but her story still applied: sentence by sentence; paragraph by paragraph; page by page. One step taken is closer to the finish line than lingering at the start. It may not seem like much progress in the micro steps, but those little parts contribute to the whole.