Stats

year graph
Half way through March, and I thought I would share my progress.

Now that I am tracking my daily word count I am having a lot fewer days with zero word count. I have had a few days, this month, of less than 200 words, but a lot more of them have been over 500, and I see it growing.

Last night I sat down to write and kept checking my word count after ten minutes or so watching the numbers go up hundreds, not just tens and twenties. I was thrilled! The words are tripping off my fingers with ease now. It isn’t a struggle to sit down and write. It’s more of a demand.

I bought a new game. Tropico 4. Instead of playing it I dangled it as a reward to get myself to write. Now that I’m in the habit of this it is completely natural for me to deny myself something until I write.

I do not yet have a set word count that I need to reach each day, or else. That is my next goal. At the moment I have a monthly goal of 9000 words for March. That’s about 300 words a day. I am just about half way there, so I think I need to increase my expectations.

What I’m learning is that just putting that expectation that I will write, no matter what, each day has been the most effective way of getting the words down on paper. And the more I exerciser the muscle that is my brain, my fingers on the keyboard, my imagination, and my story telling skills… the easier it all comes.

I’d been fretting and lamenting my writers block for all these years. And I am going to give myself a small… I guess it’s an excuse, but I really did have a reason to fall into the trap of writers block. I did not, however, have a reason to STAY in that trap, especially for as long as I did.

I think I’m going to talk about the trap of writers block, and the exercising of the brain like a muscle next blog post. It’s been on my mind a lot lately.

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Excuses, Excuses

You walk through the door after a hard day at work, plunk down on the couch and turn on the TV.

You deserve a break. It was a long day, your boss was an ass, and the talk at the water cooler was draining. Plus your customer got in your face over some little thing that you had no control over.

You’re home… it’s time to relax!
Right?

Over in the corner of your living room sits that thing (piano, guitar, novel, painting, etc) that you keep meaning to get to. There just aren’t enough hours in the day.
Right?

I mean, it was a HARD day. You just need a break. Anyone can understand that!

Listen, we’ve all been there. We all tell ourselves these little excuses, or give them to someone else.

I’ll get to it tomorrow. But tomorrow never comes.
I deserve some relax time. But you need it every day.
I don’t know how to do it. But you never do the research to find out how.
I’m not in the mood. But the mood never really comes.
IT’S HARD!

It’s the last one that really gets us. It isn’t even always that it is hard. Sitting down at a keyboard and plunking in a few words or sentences isn’t difficult. Children write stories all the time. They come in with excitement holding up pictures, or plucking out keys on their little piano saying “Look mommy! See what I did?”

Then something happens. We start caring what others have to say about us, or our work. We start worrying, and fretting, and labeling ourselves according to how others see us.

So we build up walls of excuses holding that thing we WISH we could do at bay, but we never really get to it.

Those who do it… those who write novels, learn to play piano, paint landscapes or sew dresses… those who indulge in their creative ideas… somewhere along the line they said “This is important to me! I am going to do this!”

My boyfriends father took up the piano later in life. Every morning or evening when he is home he goes down to the music room and practices the piano. No one tells him to. He doesn’t often play for people…. but it became important to him.

Now, this is a busy man with a lot of things going on. Meetings, work, business lunches, a wife, and kids… but he makes time for the piano because it’s important.

If it’s important, you’ll make time. Or you’ll never learn.

I’m still learning this myself. But in the end, it’s worth every moment.