I automatically titled this post “What I Should Have Posted”, but I heard my friend’s voice. Acting says: commit. I did.
Proof is here. Every week I make a little postit like this. Previous weeks included small achievable goals, but I hear that without help now.
A month ago I committed to keeping the job fulltime and working 15 or 30 minutes every day on the book. A friend gave me the idea, learned from a professor of hers. Most people fail because their goals are far too grandiose. Make them as small and consistent as possible. You’ll be astonished how much you get done with a habit of fifteen exclusive minutes a day.
Every professional writer she knows is miserable, cramped in front of the computer all day. Do I want to be one of them? I thought I did–certainly in high school. It hasn’t been high school for a long time.
My oldest friend agrees: a musician, he practices 30 to 45 minutes a day, “enough to keep the muscle memory”. The job won’t last forever. You can reassess then.
This is all mid-May–a month ago. On the postits I’ve made since January (which I was throwing away until I thought to keep them at the end of February), I change to this format. I take a break from the book, leaving chapter 2 midway, and take it easy. I blog here more. I make many, many phone calls where I’m told I sound flat, or even, or at least not as desperate.
At the lake the old friend I don’t remember suggests getting back to the book again. That’s where your anxiety is, man. You can sit in the cage taking great practice swings, but you need to get in the game. Just a little. A little’s enough.
That’s the note in the picture. Every day but Tuesday, the least twenty minutes. I started at the beginning of chapter 2 and reworked it: trimming, pruning, getting back into it. Each day I ended by typing: START HERE. IT’S GOOD! And I think it is.
Next week’s note looks the same. Next week is more habit-building, working through whatever today, Sunday, feels like. Sunday won’t last forever. I’m sounding better. It’s always important to see to the needs of your soul.
I didn’t need to should this post. I did it. Much better.