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On Getting Out of a No-Excuse Slump

February 10, 2016

On Getting Out of a No-Excuse Slump


Note: this is a sort of weird, kind-of-self-pitying post. But I’ve been reading a ton lately from people I really enjoy and respect about motivational slumps, and I wanted to chime in with some stuff I’ve been feeling lately. I also want this year to be about posting a bit more regularly, about my nomad life and how we’ve been making everything work for us.


It hit me last night, when I went to bed with an unfinished to-do list and, instead of watching The X-Files new season—episodes I’d been counting the days until—I opted for a significantly more brainless (which says a lot, and I’m actually too embarrassed to name the show*) sitcom. Choosing something incredibly easy over something I wanted to watch was a weird choice, but for some reason, that moment has been in my head all morning.

It was the lazy choice, the one where I didn’t have to actually think about what I was doing.

I haven’t been writing as much for fun lately either—just for work. And while I had one amazing week of training last week, as soon as we traveled again, I felt totally exhausted and stalled.

I have no real reason for this. Sure, I’ve been working a lot. I write a lot of articles, I do a ton of interviews, I travel all over with the Aspire Racing team and balance all of that with training of my own, plus a lot of life stuff that, while amazing, is time-consuming. I’m getting what needs to get done, done. But new book proposals, that novel I’ve been working on, that huge story idea? They’re on my To Do list every day, and every day, I run out of the motivation to do them by the time I’ve done all of the daily action items. Something is due today? On it. (And in fact, I’ve probably written more actual articles over the past year than any other year prior.) Personal project that I theoretically want to get done? Mehh.

The vibrant, do-it-all person that I want to be has been eating a lot of croissants lately.

I can picture the person I want to be—and I’ve been there, where I was getting everything done and kicking productivity ass and feeling on top of the world—but when it comes to choosing the salad over the sandwich or writing a bit longer instead of settling down with a mystery novel, lately, I’ve been all about the instant gratification rather than the long game.

Maybe there is an excuse. Maybe, my jetlagged, over-taxed brain is just tired. But it honestly feels more like I got a little complacent, a little lazy. Like I needed a swift kick in the ass, motivationally speaking. **

Anybody else out there deal with this/if so, how did you get out of it?

One last note: I’ve been re-reading Shonda Rimes’ Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person and it definitely inspired the writing of this post. Seriously excellent book, especially if you dig self-help with a fun, witty voice. Which I certainly do.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to see what the agents are up to. By agents, I mean Mulder and Scully. Obviously.

*Full disclosure: it was The Nanny. Judge away.

**I actually waited a couple weeks to publish this. And it turned out, just getting some of those feelings out—partnered with the season ending and having a loooong flight from Belgium to LA, and a week of just writing work to deal with in LA actually helped a lot. So, sometimes it really does just need to ride out—and keeping it in my own head wasn’t helping.

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