I’ve written every day since 2/2 this year. My per day average was just a smidge over 1500 words. All of this was thanks to the little rule I implemented.
Then yesterday happened.
I wrote 0. Nothing. Nada. Part of me wants so badly to piss on myself about it, to tell me that I suck because I didn’t write yesterday.
Here’s the thing though, I didn’t sit down in front of a computer at all. I had no reason to. I have to be OK with that. I followed my rule. Part of this deal that I made with myself with regards to this little rule was that I had to have two conditions be a part of it:
- I did not hold myself to a total daily word count goal.
- If I did not sit in front of a computer at all, it meant that I did not write.
There’s a struggle though in that like many writers, I want to stick myself with a “must write every day” or a “need to write at least x number of words” each day I write. Problem is, I’ve been down those paths before. They lead to the inevitable mental anguish of not meeting with goals. Or I become overwhelmed, exhausted by trying to keep up. The first day I don’t write because like yesterday, my day was filled with family fun, and I get down on myself. Then that trickles into the next day. Then is spirals.
We need to accept that we falter, either by our own fault or from the fact that life must be lived. Other responsibilities, including having genuine fun with friends and family (aka having experiences) will get in the way. We have to be OK with that. We cannot blame ourselves.
That is why this rule was such a breakthrough with me. It allowed me to write, but it also excused me if I didn’t. Only got in front of the computer once? Then 100 words is all I wrote. Didn’t get in front of the machine at all? Nothing then. 100 words is not so challenging that it cannot be done. There were a number of times it took me a fair few minutes to get there. Often I found though that I wanted to keep going, because that 100 words loosened the detritus that was clouding my creativity.
Point is that when we are seeking to make ourselves better, we inevitably will hit roadblocks. Those roadblocks will often throw us off our track. How we react to these roadblocks will tell of how serious we are. Hacks and tricks will only work in those cases where not only are we serious about our goals, but also those tricks bypass, or even utilize a bad habit to feed their success (like my 100 words hack seems to have done for me). And by all means, have the rules in place that allow for stumbling, or continuing old, bad habits without poopooing yourself about them. You’ll get there.