Blog

Stories from a life in progress.

Losing focus

Yesterday was, properly speaking, day 31 of my 40-day writing game.  I'm two weeks away from finishing, ten days of posting.  Well over half-way there.

Yesterday I didn't write anything.  I did some journal writing in the morning, but I never tried to write a blog post.  I thought of it a couple of times, but never seriously.  I didn't try.

The possibility of missed days is why I set up my challenge as a 40-level game, rather than a 40-day game.  I built in some leeway, to reduce the psychological impact of "missed" days.  I know from experience that "one post, every single day" has a silent clause at the end:  "one post, every single day, OR ELSE FAILURE."  That's a darn effective way to booby-trap myself into giving up before I even properly begin.  So I wrote that clause out, specifically and ahead of time.  Missed days are fine.  As long as I make 40 posts by the end of my time limit, I'm golden.  I still win.

It's different, though, when I hit a day and I don't even try.  I'm wary of this point in the game, the point where I feel really good about my progress and start to get complaisant.  It's so easy to do, and it could still wreck my challenge.  Sure, I could technically write seven posts on the final day and still win, but that's not the idea here.  "One post, every day" is not my rule, but it is certainly the guiding principle of this game.  Writing regularly, writing every day, learning how to sit down and write something whether or not I feel like it, whether or not I'm sure I have anything to say -- that's the point.  To foster a little discipline in this process of writing is the point.  Not trying isn't acceptable.

Okay, so I'm not going to flog myself here -- I missed a day, and it happens and it's fine.  In truth, I had a fine collection of minor ailments yesterday which made it difficult to do anything too thinkety, and instead I made great progress on a lot of non-thinkety tasks.  I don't feel that badly about not writing yesterday.  But I am certainly going to make up the lost post today, because I am still wary of complaisency.  I'm making great progress in my challenge, but I'm not finished yet, and I want to finish well.