Is happiness a good enough excuse for not writing as much as you thought you should or could? I was kind of depressed a couple of weeks ago, and then really happy last week. The end result is still the same – falling behind the plan. The bad news is that my tracking spreadsheet looks like this:
The good news? After two weeks of editing and cutting frustration, procrastination, relaxation, and a whole bunch of other flatlining activities, I finally wrote 3,000 words today. I feel both exhausted and hopeful because something occurred to me.
I’m just unfit.
Not physically, although that one also needs work – I’m out of writing shape. After finally lifting 3,000 words off the ground, I know that I can do it again. I have the vision of what it might feel like to be “writing fit” – to have the discipline and confidence of sitting down and writing a few thousand words without feeling out of breath or close to a stroke. It’s just like exercise – you have to start somewhere, and then do a little more every day, until it comes naturally.
I know I can do it because I had a similar epiphany with physical fitness. I used to be all soft and pudgy when I moved to Australia from the US almost eight years ago, your typical office worker. I frequented all you can eat buffets and worked out by reading while pedalling on the stationary bike. It was not until I started lifting weights that things began to change. I remember the first time I noticed muscle definition in my arm one morning while brushing my teeth. The first time I ran after a tram and caught it, and the first time I felt the “corset” of the core muscles working even as I walked. Then there was a huge mental leap, too – to accept that I was not genetically fated to be pudgy, that the body I had was the result of my choices, and that I could be an “antelope” as I liked to think of myself.
A lot of people don’t know what it feels like to be fit, and I now accept that I simply don’t know what it feels like to be able to write two or three thousand words every day without fail. All I can say is that I had one hell of a writing workout today.
Hope to see some definition in my writing arm tomorrow!