Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November: Plateaus

You're chugging along, working hard toward an accomplishment, but then for some reason, your progress halts. You're still putting in the time, but where are the results?

Does this happen to you? I know it applies to many areas of my life: exercising, improving my writing skills, maintaining a clean home, staying on top of my kids' chores, reaching out to my loved ones, and so forth.

The problem with plateaus is that they often progress into downhill slopes. If we aren't careful, all the hard work we put in to reach that point will disappear.

This month we're exploring methods, tricks, and bribes to keep climbing instead of standing still.
All of you who are participating in 2010's NaNoWriMo, best wishes to you! I hope you all meet your goal!

Do you ever find yourself stuck on a plateau? Is this time of year ripe for halting your progress?
Join me on Friday when we'll discuss ways to overcome plateaus in your writing.


  1. I call that my winter season of writing, and it always frustrates me.

    I don't participate in NaNo, but from what I read from others, I know that it seems a great way to jump start a project. You can't participate in NaNo and hit a plateau at the same time.

  2. My historical is sitting on a plateau, but I'll know soon enough whether it'll fall or climb more. :)

    And Jill!!!!! I totally missed that you signed with Books'nSuch! That's an awesome agency. Congrats!!!!!

  3. Maybe we just try to juggle too much. In that case, something has to give.

  4. Autumn is energizing to me, following a warm, lazy summer. I find this time of year to be productive, with different projects taking shape and me working to beat the clock of the holidays!

  5. You know what's really hitting home with me? Once you reach one height, you find yourself always looking up to another one. I'm trying to learn to be content at the place on the mountain I am.

    Rest at times. Hike it at others.

    ~ Wendy

  6. I've hit plateaus before, and you're so right, they are often the precursor to tumbling back down the way you've just climbed up.

    I look forward to the discussion on how to avoid and/or overcome plateaus.

    And congratulations again on signing with an agent. Squee!

  7. I would love a plateau, It's all uphill for me. So far 6,000 for NaNoWriMo.

  8. Heather: I remember your "seasons" series. They were fantastic! And NaNo is a great way to jump start a project!

    Jessica: *smiling* Yes, I have a book I refuse to revise--it's just that bad! As far as I'm concerned, it can fall off the cliff! (And thanks!)

    CJ: Guilty! I re-evaluate my commitments on a quarterly basis. Sometimes something DOES have to give.

    Joanne: Me too! I love autumn. I'm so glad you're speeding along!

    Wendy: Wise words. It is important to enjoy where we are at, even when it doesn't feel comfortable.

    Erica: I'm like a pre-school teacher with myself. "You have to sit and write for fifteen minutes before snacktime..." I use ridiculous tactics to move forward! But hey, they work. We'll be talking all month long on the subject!

    Em: 6K already?? You are rockin'!! Way to go!!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  9. So much wisdom in Wendy's comment! There for sure is ALWAYS something to look up at.

    Great post today Jill!

  10. I'm often on a plateau and many times, I begin to slip down the mountain. I hate that. Somehow, I always start again, but losing ground is not so funny.

  11. I'm on a plateau with my weight loss. I was doing great for awhile, and then I had the surgery to remove my ovary. In the months following that, I've put on more weight and had hormone problems. So, so frustrating.

    Which is why I've started to retret to my writing world a lot more...

  12. Katie: She's a wise woman, isn't she? :)

    Nancy: I get so frustrated when I backslide. It's hard to get momentum going in the right direction!

    Melissa: Well, I'm glad your surgery was a success, but I'm sorry it's produced changes in your hormones and maybe even metabolism? Don't worry, you'll get back to where you want to be. Just be patient with yourself. You've been through a lot.

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  13. Jill:
    My whole life seems to be on a plateau. I can't get anything started that resembles writing. I can't get anything done around the house. I spent most of three hours trying to deal with downloading something from the Internet only to give up and try get this one project down the road.

  14. This time of year is tough, but sometimes I feel like my life is like this all the time. But I'm not ready to give up the battle:)

  15. Quiet Spirit: You've had a very rough year, and I admire how you put your goals on hold to help your husband during a difficult time. Maybe you need a little time to decompress. Then things won't seem as bad. Thinking of you.

    Kara: Yes, my life is go, go, go. I understand!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  16. Hi Jill -

    Plateaus are insidious because they're comfortable, no straining for the next level or stretching the creative muscles. It's too easy to rest there or even give up.

    A brief rest is good, but the journey isn't over.

    Susan :)

  17. Susan JR: I never thought of it that way, but you're right. We're in a comfort zone. No wonder we aren't making progress!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!


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