My two weeks are up.
It started with such potential. Write three hours a day: morning/lunch/night. It seemed doable. Being the type-A Virgo, I even created a table where I could faithfully check off the day and hour that I devoted to my writing challenge. Yes, I’m that nerdy.
Week One? I missed three sessions. Not bad considering life didn’t stop: the full-time job, yoga classes, dinners and happy hours with friends and hosting a party for Marc’s mom’s birthday/parents 43rd anniversary. It felt awesome, I felt productive. I was on creative fire. I felt like…a writer.
Enter Week Two.
What started with a bang, ended with a whimper. Writing took a backseat to daily life. And the handy chart? Sadly, there were more unchecked boxes than checked.
As I sit here trying to decipher what I learned, I’m struck by my initial, knee-jerk reaction: I failed. I couldn’t even get 100% on a 14-day writing challenge. Welcome to the old me. The me that looks at goals and views them in all or nothing terms. Not only counter-productive, but damaging to the psyche as well.
The new me? It took the knee-jerk reaction in stride and sat with the final tally a little longer. I thought about how the last two weeks made me feel beyond the number. What did I think about what I had achieved? Sure I didn’t get 100% percent, but I had accomplished more than I had in a long while: I have nearly finished a story I hadn’t touched in months (my biggest achievement), I came up with a couple of new story ideas and most important: I discovered a better way to structure my writing time in terms of working on specific techniques — description, dialogue, story arc — instead of staring at a blank Word document and mumbling “what to write, what to write.” So here’s the count, in all its glory.
Writing Challenge By the Numbers:
- Total days completed: 10 (these include those days when I got at least one or two sessions in)
- Total days missed: 5 (ZERO writing took place on these days)
- Completed stories: 1
- Completed blog posts: 3
- New pitch ideas: 2
While I may be tempted to regard these stats as piddling little numbers, when I compare them to two weeks BC (before challenge) those stats would all read ZERO. And that dear readers is what I call progress.