I suppose I should have made this post earlier in the month, but I generally forget that people might be interested in anything I’m doing/have to say because #internalizedselfdeprication (but I’ve been working on that!). But a funny thing happens when you start giving yourself permission to speak from the heart regardless of who might/not hear you: people…actually…care…sometimes?
Shocking, I know.
Anyway, here’s the scoop: AS YOU KNOW I’ve been taking some time off from fiction writing since I graduated, for lots of reasons. Now that it’s October, and I have solemnly sworn to finish a rough draft of my novel by the end of the year, I realized that I have got to get to work no matter the constant stream of toxic bullshit trying to distract me and convince me there’s no point in being creative when our country is a cesspool of toxic masculinity and internalized misogyny.
Now, I know me: as much as I like the idea of spontaneity and being a free spirit and all that, I thrive with routine. Maybe it’s because I’m a Taurus–we’re slow and steady and once we get on a path we’re hard to budge off of it, which also means it’s very hard for us to change our current routines. For me, this means I have to get myself to do things every day–or at least Monday through Friday. In August, I took up daily meditation using the Headspace App, and after years and years of attempts at getting into the habit of meditation I FINALLY have it down. I started with 5 minutes a day, worked up to 10, and nowadays I do 15 minutes of meditation every morning before I leave for work or start my day on the weekends.
So by the end of September, after STRUGGLING to get back into a daily writing routing and failing hard, I figured: why not do the same thing with writing?
I set an easy goal: 5 minutes of writing, every day of October. No reading or editing (because I was drafting, after all), just pure writing. No internet breaks, no distractions. 5 minutes. Writing. Easy.
Five minutes doesn’t seem like it’s even worth bothering with, but 5 minutes of writing is 5 minutes more writing than 0 minutes. And, look: if I sit down to write after dinner for 5 minutes, chances are I’ll write for a bit longer than that. A lot of times the hardest part of writing is just getting yourself to sit down and write.
Since I’d recently been commiserating with my friends on Facebook about how difficult it has been to write lately (SURPRISE! Everyone is struggling, not just me!), I decided to share my goal with everyone there and invite them to join me in the challenge.
So now we have this:
If you’re just seeing this now and want to try it but the 31 days thing feels weird now that it’s October 4th, hop on board anyway! Screw calendars.
Get your creativity on despite the toxic bullshit trying to keep us down!
I’ve written for three days in a row and I’ve gotta say, it feels mighty fine. Plus, as predicted, I surpassed my 5 minutes every time (yesterday I wrote for 20).
Now, serious moment: this is your life. Your one precious life. It’s complicated, and busy, and you have a lot of hats to wear and a lot of plates to keep spinning and a lot of metaphors to mix. Do yourself a favor and make sure you’re doing ONE THING EVERY DAY that satisfies your soul. Even if you only get to do it for five minutes.
This is YOUR LIFE. Make sure you’re living it for YOU.