The 30 Day Challenge
In an effort to curb procrastination and all that stuff that stops me from writing, I’m taking on a thirty day challenge. Yes Michael, we know you like to take on new ways of living for short bursts of time and then fall back to your old, lazy ways — and I’m not promising this time will be any different. But this resignation needs to stop and the best way of habit forming is to do it every day.
So the challenge starts today. I’m giving myself this post as the first, and don’t you go and say that’s cheating ‘cos frankly I need every free pass I can get.
To make it even easier I’m leaving the style and subject matter open, but it’s all going to be published right here on this blog. That’s the best accountability measure I can take. Things I post could include short stories, poems, life musings, or even something interesting I found on the Internet. As long as there’s words that are written.
Feel free to join in with me if you like; make up your own rules, do it your way. Just make sure it’s something you want to do, and then do it! Don’t let your boring day job drain all your energy and creativity.
I’ve Been Absent From Writing…
So that’s the introduction over with, but I still have words left in me. It’s high time I discuss why I’ve taken a hit on the writing front. Firstly, it’s not to do with meeting my special someone, although a lot of my time has been focused there (love you babe!). It’s not the blank page dilemma as I have plenty of ideas stewing. And even my day job isn’t the culprit as much as I like to point the figure.
The culprit is me. It always has been. My thoughts, my insecurities, my rationalisations. Oh, I’ll write when I find the time (that time will never come). I’ll write when I feel like it (again, these moments are far and few between). In February I started a new novel and then I let life get to me (again job related), so I stopped writing. On hindsight I should never have let it get to me, and I might have had another novel under my belt. Novels don’t grow on trees (insert hilarious paper reference here), they require commitment and an effort to push through even if it becomes a slog.
My aim for the challenge is to pick up (again) the daily writing habit in the most pain free method possible. Once I’ve done that I will continue on writing and refocus my efforts on long-form works.
Getting Out There
Make no mistake my loyal blog readers, I love each of you to bits and I appreciate that you come to read what I have to say. But within every writer is the deep-seated desire to be noticed. My objective for this year is to publish something. I’ve had game reviews published in magazines, but this is something a whole lot more personal, and a whole lot more scary. It’s a risk to put yourself out there, and to open yourself up to verbal attacks about why your work is a piece of shit and why you should never write again. I’ve never had it that bad, but just thinking about it makes me nauseous. So whether that’s a short story in a magazine, or a self-published Kindle title, I do have things to publish — turds that need a lot more polishing, but still they exist. Some are near complete documents sitting on my hard drive. Others are half baked ideas floating around my brain bits. I just need the courage to see it through.
Daily writing needn’t take up all my free time. Just an hour or two a day and around 750 words, depending on how I feel, and what I’m writing. It shouldn’t become a chore either, but something I end up looking forward to. I’ve yet to decide my ideal writing time, whether that’s at the end of the work day or early the next morning. As much as I would like to give up my day job and write full-time, I have to do what I can with what I have now. No use waiting for that perfect opportunity. It may never come. And if it does, without the daily practice I will squander the free time I’ve been given and end up re-watching Battlestar Galactica in my jim jams. I could end here on another life affirming motivational quote, but after a second of warm fuzzies the feelings quickly dissipate.
My advice; get writing (or whatever your vocation),
even if you feel like shit.