I have been at this for nearly five months now. Yet I’m still finding it hard to make it stick!
Yes, I’m talking about my writing.
You see, recently I told my wife that I’ve been finding it really easy to finish my daily task of typing out 750 words in one uninterrupted sitting. Quality notwithstanding of course.
It used to take me at least an hour. Now I can mostly do it in half that time.
She responded that that was good, but it’s also not surprising since I’d been at it nearly daily, for more than four months. Doing something that often ought to make it easier. Conventional wisdom would likely agree. In fact, that’s probably true with most things in life. Discipline and consistency are the building blocks towards mastery in just about everything you can think of in this world.
But to some extent, I felt that I hadn’t been totally truthful to her, and to me.
The truth is that right now, I can just as easily stop writing.
Which was exactly what happened recently.
It was about three weeks ago. I found that for some reason I had overlooked writing on Day 5 in my five-days-a-week writing plan. Maybe it had been a long and tiring day. Maybe I was distracted and simply forgot.
And so, before I realized it, I had awoken into Day 6, without a single word typed out for over 24 hours!
You could say that maybe I’m being too hard on myself. After all, I had been faithfully keeping to this schedule for over four and a half months, without missing a beat. So what if it happened this one time? I can cut myself some slack no? And as compensation, I did turn that fateful week’s Day 6 into my Day 5, thereby ensuring that I kept to the plan to still knock out five days of writing that week.
But it also ended up becoming my new five-day-a-week-writing plan.
Now, instead of writing from Monday to Friday every week, I write from Monday to Saturday instead. With Friday being my day of rest. And I’m painfully conscious of the fact that there’s still every chance my new Day 5 could morph into Day 7!
Oh, what’s that you ask? How many days are there in a week?
This just tells me that I’m still a long way off from making this whole writing thing an integral part of my life. All my readings of accomplished (read best-selling) writers, from Anne Lamott to Jeff Goins, tells me that to make writing as natural as breathing, I must keep on writing.
Every day, according to plan.
Without writer’s block.
Then and only then will (fingers crossed) my writing come more naturally, and (hopefully in my case) much better than it is now.
So here I go.
I will write.