The Challenge: From Accepted to Acceptance

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.


3 thoughts on “The Challenge: From Accepted to Acceptance

  1. CONGRATULATIONS on the very real progress! And, maybe more importantly, on the lessons learned and the new positive attitude. Maybe this is “the zen of writing.” 🙂

    • Thanks, Carol! You know I think you may be right about the “zen of writing” – it’s been a process of setting my intentions and self-acceptance for what I bring to my writing.

  2. Pingback: In Search of the Elusive: Creativity & Time « Erin Graves

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s