Daily #15: Momentum

This is the absolute truth – I am five days away from reaching my record for most days of consecutive writing. 20 days is my previous record, and I’m determined to beat that by a mile.

I have always had trouble committing to writing; as I’ve previously discussed, I’m a perfectionist and like to make any possible excuses to not write. After watching some ‘harsh truths’ videos and getting into a slump, I resolved to commit to it… about a year ago.

Thus my previous record was born. It was part of another change I introduced into my life – I started practicing yoga for the first time. It was a compromise between doing absolultely nothing all day, and ‘proper’ exercising. The light strenuous activity was not enough to make me despise the day, but it strengthened my muscles and made me more flexible.

In order to assist me in that endeavour, I followed a 30-day Yoga Challenge series by Yoga with Adriene. It was through this choice that I realised that if I did something every single day without fail, it was far easier than doing it every other day, or every few days. It became a habit, and it began to feel ‘wrong’ when I hadn’t completed my yoga course each evening.

So, being the determined person I was at that point, I started writing. Following the advice of many, I went into it with no planning, and committed to 500 words of the same story each day. And I did it! I made sure not to care too much about what I created, and I got to the point where I could reach the 500 word target in around 15 minutes. By the end of the yoga course, I’d hit just over 10,000 words in my story – the most words I’ve ever put into one piece to this day.

Then I reached the end of the yoga course. I completed the final video, and felt this immense sense of accomplishment. It was the first time I’d committed to something purely in my own interest, and I’d reached the end, sticking to the routine like glue. I felt better physically, and it felt great having reached a fairly significant milestone in my writing, too.

But day 31 rolled around, and – you guessed it – I didn’t do any yoga. I’d run out of videos. I’d completed the challenge, so what was the point of continuing? Of course, I wanted to continue my streak. But I missed that day, and then the next day, and the next. Without this part of my routine, my writing slipped too. I lost interest in what I’d made and left it at the 10,000 word mark. As I’d gone into it with so little thought, I wasn’t interested in continuing further.

Since then, I haven’t committed to either again. I’ve tried restarting the 30-day challenge multiple times, only to stop again at around day three. I’ve dabbled in some creative projects, but I’ve not done anything solid. Until 15 days ago.

I don’t know what changed. But I just decided I was going to write a daily blog, getting down at least 500 words a day. And so far, it’s working. It’s part of my routine, and I’m getting used to it.

Another small note I’d like to make is that I have, in fact, begun writing my novel. Only for three days so far, but I’ve written 750+ words a day and I’ve learned a huge amount already. This one is an idea I’ve ben sitting on since 2016, so I’m committed to completing it.

Lots of writing advice follows the lines of – “just write. Don’t plan, just write.” and I understand this completely. However, it’s also important that you are actually invested in your idea, so planning is acceptable at times. Again, this is not an advice blog, but if it was, I would say: It’s okay to wait until you’re ready to begin your writing journey. But once you’ve started, don’t bloody stop for anything.

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