Today, for the first time, this blog post is an obstacle. Although I’ve written before about not always knowing what to write about, or struggling to meet the word count, this is the first time I’ve felt like I could be doing some other writing instead, that I’d prefer to do.
It’s akin to that feeling when one wants to do something they find enjoyable, like reading a book or playing a video game. It often feels like if one does these things without having first done something ‘useful’, like housework, one can’t enjoy the ‘fun’ activities. In this sense, today’s blog feels like housework. I’d like to keep working on my novel, and there is a short story I’d like to complete.
I am well within my rights to do these things – I could write my blog post later. But if I tried to do them without having done today’s blog, I’d feel it looming over me. Instead, I feel that I need to finish this post first, then move on to the other tasks that I actually want to do.
However, I don’t see this situation as a bad thing. I went into this knowing that at some point, I’d begin to find the task taxing. That’s where the real benefit of this blog really comes to fruition. If I am motivated and enjoy writing these posts, it’s always good to get more writing under my belt, but it’s never a challenge. If you’re motivated to write, it’s easy. You can get thousands of words down without breaking a sweat. But if you’re fatigued, and feel that it’s a chore, and write anyway, you build a habit.
Doing the work that feels easy to do doesn’t help one learn anything. Of course, practice improves one’s skills tremendously, however if one is trying to achieve a specific goal (such as writing a novel), habit and discipline is where success originates. When the work becomes difficult, boring, and you’re forcing yourself through every word, you’ll have reached the state of learning. For me, as this blog becomes more difficult to write through lack of material or motivation, it simultaneously becomes more of a triumph each time I post regardless of that.
It’s something which I’ve never been good at – I’ve always been a quitter. When the activity is new and exciting, I’m always motivated to do it, and enjoy it immensely. The buzz of getting familiar with a new skill never gets old. But the moment an activity gets strenuous, or my skill reaches a plateau, or I get stuck on something, I tend to give up altogether. There are likely meny reasons for this, which I don’t feel like getting into now.
It’s something I’ve always disliked about myself; I feel as if it’s held me back somewhat from having a varied set of skills. I’ve finally reached a point where making myself do something doesn’t feel overwhelming. Something clicked in my brain, and now I feel like I gain from persevering when a task becomes difficult.
I don’t have advice. I don’t feel like I can speak from a position of knowledge, as I’m only just getting to grips with self-discipline myself. But I’ve completed my blog now, and I feel good about it. I can move on to the things I want to do now – but I’ll be back for more tomorrow.