December 2: Writing.
What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
(Author: Leo Babauta)
I’m just going to go ahead and admit this now: I am a master procrastinator. Seriously, I am my own worst enemy when it comes to my writing. Always have been, but hopefully won’t always be.
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I know that somewhere in a box in my bedroom back home, there is a worn-out diary with a family of teddy bears on the front covered in stickers. In that diary, is a small amount of haphazard thoughts written by my 8-year-old self. I went through several more diaries and notebooks throughout the years, almost in a reckless manner. And it would be all or nothing–I would either pour my heart out onto a page (or three) or not bother writing at all. Several times, I convinced myself that I needed to start anew, a process that required me to rip out pages of the diary I was using or abandon it all together. Then, when I would find said diary later, I found myself wishing I could see read the torn pages, as a way to remember and learn from them.
But it was like I wouldn’t allow myself. I insisted on trying to forget what I had written even when I knew I would eventually want to remember, see the words for myself. I mostly blame this on my pre-teen and teenage fickleness.
I entered the realm of blogs when I was in high school, consistently writing online throughout college. Then, as college was about to end, I found myself losing interest in chronicling my thoughts again; the mere thought of the transition I was about to experience was the excuse I used against myself to write less, then stop writing altogether.
So for years, all I’ve done is make excuses. I say that I’m too tired, I can’t form coherent thoughts, I have nothing to say… Then before I know it, a week is gone by and anything I would have wanted to write about seems to be long gone.
This can be easily eliminated, if I make a serious effort. Every time I feel the need to write, I’ll force myself to do so. Be it on this blog or a scrap of paper in my purse, I will take the words out of my head and write them out. It’s great practice for what I do professionally and since I was 8, it’s been the most theraputic way of clearing my head.
This challenge is my first stepping stone in the right direction. After this, no more excuses.