I’ve been having trouble getting into these writing challenges for the past few days. There are a variety of potential reasons.
The first is that after a week I’m getting a little bored of the whole exercise. My brain is telling me that I should (and certainly could) drop the whole thing and get on with writing or doing something else more important.
I’m familiar with this feeling. I get it all the time in a variety of ways. Keeping my bum in the chair and writing my novel every day is really difficult. So is getting to the gym. I seem to be able to do it for a couple of weeks and then I find other things to do and things taper off. Every couple of years or so when I was working fulltime I would get itchy feet.
The second potential reason is that the challenge topics for the last few days haven’t been instantly accessible to me. I can write a lot about social media, or myself. But ageism? Somewhere I’d like to live? Not so much. I just don’t think about these things. Today I was supposed to write about a fruit that I don’t like.
Obviously I’ve taken a different tack on the subject. I have no fruit related prejudices or interesting anecdotes to share.
Regardless, I don’t intend to give up. This challenge is a relatively simple task. Really I only need to spend 45 minutes a day on it. Yes, it’s largely arbitrary and isn’t really ‘contributing’ to something concrete.
What it is doing for me is two things. First, it’s exercising my brain and writing muscles in a useful manner. I’d started slipping behind on my novel-writing goals due to work and confidence issues, so this exercise is helping me build writing into my day.
Also, the discipline of the matter is no small thing. I’m lucky to be naturally talented at a number of things, and a particular fast learner, so I can generally get to near-enough or passable very quickly. This has left me without needing to apply a whole lot of discipline to many of my pursuits. I’m not incapable of it, I’m just not good at it.
The crowning achievement of disciple in my life was quitting smoking at the beginning of my 30s. After over a decade smoking around a pack a day I went cold turkey. It was hard but I did it, and I felt great afterwards.
This challenge is similar in a microcosm. There’s a flurry of enthusiasm at the beginning, then as the reality sets in the resolve starts to fade and the tangential thought bubbles threaten to pop the whole process.
Writing like this for every day for 30 days can’t be harder than giving up smoking. So on we go!