Getting Unstuck

Confession time! I’ve been stuck for the past several months.

I know this confession comes as no surprise to those of you who’ve followed my blog for a while. I haven’t written a new post since November 13, 2012! Yikes!

I can easily look back over the last few months and recognize what happened. In fact, I knew it was happening all along. I knew I was getting stuck and I didn’t do anything about it.

Here’s how it happened.

When I finished the marathon on November 10, 2012 and wrote my last blog post about it, I had planned to take a few weeks off from running and writing. During that time, I set for myself some pretty lofty and aggressive goals. I decided I would completely redesign my website and I would take my Road to Richmond blog posts and compile it into an E-Book.

Have you ever heard the phrase “life happens…”? I thought so. Well, life happened.

November is always a very busy month for my company and there were many pressing projects that just had to get done before Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  Needless to say, those projects took up all of my work and personal time so neither of my personal writing projects got done.  I was still thinking about them and had many great plans on paper and in my head. I just didn’t have the time to take action on them. I told myself I could catch up next week…

November turned into December and the work-load and other demands on my personal time never let up…

By late December I started to feel guilty and embarrassed about not having my website redesigned nor my e-book done, but also about not having written any posts for my blog. I was starting to put huge pressure on myself to write something, anything… but what? And it had to be great!

You see, I never expected my blog or my Road to Richmond marathon posts to be so popular. I was humbled and amazed at how many people were reading and responding to it and telling me how helpful and/or inspirational it was to them. These are words and responses that every writer longs to hear! Thank you!!!

The problem is this: because my posts had been so popular, I felt like I had to put out something great the next time. Success can sometimes be paralyzing! And that’s what was happening to me.

In fact, as more time lapsed, I convinced myself that you, my readers, were noticing how much time was passing and that you were sure I was hard at work on the next great post! Problem is, I wasn’t.

The fear of not meeting my readers’ expectations for another great post was keeping me from writing at all.

There’s a big trap set out there for people who produce anything. The trap is the idea that the next thing we produce must be better than the last thing or there’s no point in producing it at all.

I didn’t just fall into that trap, I willingly dove into it and now I want out!

So today starts my climb out of trap I set for myself; the beginning of getting unstuck. I still have some big goals and some awesome topics I want to write about, but it’s back to basics, back to baby-steps again.

My hope in writing about how I got stuck is twofold. First, I’m really hoping the process will springboard me into action that will keep me from falling back into that patterns that got me stuck to begin with. Second, I’m hoping that some of you will recognize some of these mistakes in your own lives and will use my words as encouragement to help you get yourself unstuck too!

If you think you’re stuck and not sure how to get unstuck, here is a link to some resources you might find helpful on Amazon.com: Getting Unstuck Resources @ Amazon.com

18 Responses to Getting Unstuck

  1. Jesus Alberto February 15, 2013 at 11:44 PM #

    Thank you for the courage it takes to share this words, and yes reading them will help me get unstuck in my process. Thanks to the Holly Spirit to lead this process for both of us… My Twitter´s are @JesusALC63 & @AprenderT

  2. Kerry Kerr McAvoy March 3, 2013 at 11:07 PM #

    Thanks for the encouragement. Easy trap to fall into.

    I just set the same writing goals for myself :). I appreciate the warning.

    I will be praying that God inspires you! Nothing feels as wonderful as writing when inspired.

  3. Kerry Armour March 13, 2013 at 3:19 PM #

    Oh, been here, done this and also wrote a blog post about it! You are definitely not alone!

  4. Edward @ German Chocolate Cake March 17, 2013 at 1:29 PM #

    Bruce, thanks for this post. I can totally relate and appreciate your honesty. I’ve been trying to make improvements to my website for several weeks, but seem to always get distracted and then don’t get around to it. I think your post has helped to encourage me. Thank you!

  5. Anonymous March 19, 2013 at 1:06 PM #

    Faith is the opposite of fear. Sometimes faith is jumping in with both feet and not looking back even though your knees are knocking and your palms are sweating. That’s me every morning when I turn on my computer and do the next thing to make my online business go forward. I’m terrified, naive and nothing special, a small speck squeaking in the unfathomably huge digital pond. I am so keenly aware of the power of the word and feel so responsible for the sentences I craft. Instead of drowning in fear, I faithfully go where I’m led each day, doing better than my best, counting my blessings, and leave the results to HIM. Cat McMahon http://www.catsstories.com

  6. WizardofAds April 24, 2013 at 5:40 PM #

    Great summation of the feelings that nearly every blogger has faced at some time or another.

  7. Anonymous May 26, 2013 at 5:31 AM #

    As someone who enjoys reading about musicians over the years, its very plain to see how many of them got stuck trying to emulate, or live up to past successes! And usually its those that refuse to do something different that fade away into insignificance. But it’s never the end in my opinion. Just look at U2 – after The Joshua Tree they released a rather underwhelming album in Rattle And Hum (I still liked it though). Perhaps both the fame and negative opinion got to them, but couple years later they followed up with a landmark album about as big as The Joshua Tree in Achtung Baby. They were able to sound completely different while remaining the same and that never ceases to amaze me. Their story never ceases to inspire me. If you want to make something of yourself you can’t waste time and energy worrying about the past and the future. Live in the right now and move forward from here.

  8. Jennifer May 26, 2013 at 7:23 AM #

    This is so very true. I always just “shake it off” and keep trekking ahead. Great post and thank you for sharing!

  9. Crispin Oduobuk June 9, 2013 at 7:43 AM #

    I have failed so often in meeting personal writing goals that sometimes I wonder if I shouldn’t just delete ‘Writer’ from my bio. Thank you for helping me believe there’s a point in beginning again.

  10. Ruth Olurounbi June 22, 2013 at 9:07 AM #

    Inspiring post. Thank you.

  11. Linda June 23, 2013 at 4:30 AM #

    I totally agree with you, the most we strive for perfection, the less likely we are to even start. It happened to me so many times, and I know it will happen to me again. All I have is a will to try curing myself and people like you showing me that I’m not alone.

    Thank you for the awesome post !

  12. JB Glossinger June 25, 2013 at 9:44 PM #

    Bruce – great blog – love to see you putting wisdom out there!!!!

    Keep putting the positive energy out there 🙂

  13. Anonymous July 15, 2013 at 5:13 PM #

    Bruce, I get a lot of Twitter requests- I chose to acknowledge yours because you were willing to put “Christian” on your lead line, a rather unpopular thing to do in this day and age. Anyway, as I read ‘unstuck’ I felt compelled to share a vision I had in 2001, when I was stuck- which has encouraged me EVERY time I get stuck, EVER since!
    I was surrounded by a hurricane. As I looked around, people were swirling around me, outstretched hands trying to grab me, shrieks and screams were deafening and I was getting sucked in.
    I suddenly heard a loud, deep voice say, “Look Up.”
    When I looked up, there was crystal blue sky, calm, peaceful, like a perfect sunny day. I heard the voice again.
    “As long as you’re looking around at the chaos, you’ll be swept in. Look up. I never change. I have a plan and a purpose for you. I AM your Peace.”
    Since that time- EVERY time I’ve begun to feel overwhelmed, I HEAR His same, deep, calm voice saying, “Look Up.”
    I pray this blesses you as it has me. We have an AWESOME Father who loves us more than we can ever imagine.
    Michelle Winder @michellewinder2

  14. Carol Preibis August 26, 2013 at 5:38 PM #

    Hello Bruce, I just discovered your blog today, and I enjoyed reading this post. I too am a blogger, and I share many of the same thought patterns that you have described. Thanks for the good advice. I love your photo! My blog is Ahh The Simple Life http://www.ahhthesimplelife.com in case you’d like to visit.

  15. marc j September 15, 2013 at 6:22 PM #

    Life is not about getting better; it is about getting it right each time. 🙂

  16. Melvin Marubu October 20, 2013 at 5:14 AM #

    Hello Bruce,

    It takes great strength to admit to oneself of failure. And even potential to take that and turn it to help us all reflect on. Success can be propel one to failure.

    Like a dog chasing a truck, what we chase after can sometimes cause us great harm if we were to actually catch it.

    Thank you.

  17. Peter Coletti February 19, 2014 at 8:46 AM #

    Marc J makes a good point about getting it right. I compose landscapes – better is good, getting it right is good and I would add, creating is good.

  18. Nathan Schaad January 26, 2015 at 8:14 AM #

    Very true. We seem to expect a smooth upward slope when we envision our progress in the field. If only it were that easy. It looks more like a mountain pass: Craggy, rocky, and possibly unsafe, with lots of ups and downs.

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