Write an intention, a new way to look at the wall that’s keeping you from writing, or a plan to ignore it and move on. Could wall also be giving you privacy and protection? Maybe you need to blast a hole in it or dynamite it to smithereens. Write for five minutes, about anything.
I’m not sure if I’m scared, or just so pressed to do everything–anything–else. Again, like exercise, if I don’t do it first thing in the morning, it most likely won’t happen. Not that I don’t want to do it, but trying to fit in those things around everything else really isn’t realistic. I remember the story–one I’ve both read online and heard at church–about putting the rocks, the most important things in your life first, then filling in the space with the next important things, the pebbles, then filling in with sand, there’s always room for sand among the rocks and pebbles and then adding in the less important stuff, the water. But if you were to start with the water, there’s no room for anything else.
I’ve always known this and have worked to keep this a reality, and have been relatively successful. I schedule in church on Sunday, activities for my daughter, but what about me and my goals? In the last couple of years, I’ve made exercise and healthy habits a priority–working out every weekend at 5 a.m. and preparing food from scratch. sometimes spending hours in the kitchen–but what about my goal to write a novel? I get so excited for it, and even managed to get 17,000 words into before I stopped and realized it was all crap. Yeah, it was all crap. But at least I got into and saw how much I can write if I set my mind to it. Problem is, once I realized it was crap, I had difficulty starting again. It’s there, the desire, and I have plenty of ideas. My flaw, I’ve come to realized, is that I don’t spend enough time planning the novel; I’ve always thought it’d just “come” to me. That it would flow out of me and that I didn’t need to plot or do an outline.
Well, that’s all bullocks. I need to write an outline–which scares me right there, I hate writing outlines and have always avoided them as much as possible. But I need to write an outline. I need to plot and develop my characters, BEFORE I start writing the novel. As much as I’m excited to discover my problem, I’m a little disappointed that it’s not the romanticized vision of sitting down and a book flowing from inside of me through my fingers, like magic, and just being the most incredible thing ever.
Like anything romanticized, it’s not realistic. Just another fantasy to add to my list of fantasies, so I guess I should write romantic fantasies, huh?
I’m breaking through this wall by practicing daily. Just like my daily exercise, I show up every day–every weekday, though since I don’t work out on the weekend, I want to replace that workout with a writing workout since I can do that early in the morning without even leaving the house–since the first step is showing up. I go to the gym every morning at 5, even when I have a whole list of reasons why I should just stay in bed. I go, glasses on–one of the only times I wear my glasses instead of contact–hair pulled back, the sleep still in my eyes. I sometimes even close my eyes to pretend I’m still in my warm, cozy bed as I’m doing crunches or bicycles–or “sicles” as my 5-year-old says. With my eyes closes, laying on the ground, it’s the same really, at least that’s what I tell myself.
When I entered the gym yesterday morning, Ted at the front desk gave me the task of coming up with the inspiration quote of the day. At 5:14 a.m., my brain was still asleep, so I told him I needed my workout to think of it. While lifting 50 pounds–25 in each hand–overhead, it came to me: “Take a tiny step every day, it will add up to a lot in a year.” That can be applied to anything. Anything at all. I’m applying it to my writing. I have to show up every day and do something. Take one tiny step.
(I wrote for 17 minutes today.)