To give you a brief overview of #Write90 week 1: As of Aug. 9 I have written eight of nine days (so close, I know). I have worked on four different projects. I have used up the ink out of one pen (an awesome Christmas gift that has replaceable ink cartridges and that I intend to replace after extracting the information out of my soon-to-be brother in law). I, unfortunately, don’t know how many physical minutes I spent writing, because that would have taken some preparation, which leads me to my first step of how NOT to achieve one’s goals.
1. Leave preparations for the very last minute.
It was about 10 p.m. on Aug. 1 when I was putting the finishing touches on my first, launching post of “By My Pen.” It wasn’t exactly the beginning I saw when I pitched this amazing idea to Tiffany, which was more than a week before we set #Write90 to begin. I did no more prep at the end of July other than to check to see if I had a WordPress account already. I didn’t look at layouts; I didn’t consider what projects I’d want to pick up and run with. I didn’t map out any story ideas. I just, started.
2. Go about your schedule as though you aren’t attempting to achieve a goal.
I juggle quite a few things throughout my week — work, a side hustle, philanthropy, exercise, to name a few. And I did no advanced planning to fit #Write90 into my schedule. I didn’t set my alarm earlier and plan to get out of bed (like that ever happens for me). It was after day 1 that I realized coming home to write creatively after a brain draining day of work and evening plans, was not quite the way to put my best foot forward.
3. Treat it as a chore.
I placed it on my to do lists for each day. I begrudgingly carved some time out of my day to write. I wrestled with whether the time I spent actually qualified as accomplishing the task — the chore, really.
But, here’s the thing: My writing should never be a chore.
I decided I wanted to do this challenge. I came up with the idea, found ways in which to hold myself accountable and dreamed of the new possibilities that could arise from a consistent writing practice. No one is holding a gun to my head; no one’s life would be altered if I gave it up or missed a day (which I did, on Saturday). This was a goal I set for myself — for my soul — and I would be letting myself down if I let it fall by the wayside.
As you can probably tell, a major attitude adjustment was in order. This week, I’m taking a beat from my yoga instructors, and thanking myself for every time I make the decision to put pen to paper (or fingers to keys). This is time I’m taking for myself and my growth and it is a beautiful (though trying) endeavor.
Any one of these things, separately, let alone taken together, could have been a reason to give up. (Heaven knows my perfectionist ways wanted to!) They could have been excuses not to continue, to start or try again some other time. But start I did! Because there is no time other than the present. It is my gift, and this is the way I choose to use it.
Here’s to a better #Write90 week 2!