I am disappointed in myself for not having completed the 30-day challenge faithfully. I did write something every day, but it wasn’t always in the morning and it wasn’t always for 15 minutes. I didn’t keep very good records. All I did was note down whether I wrote or not, and that shows me I did for 29/30 days. That looks good on the surface, but I know I didn’t do it as I’d wanted to on all of those days, so it’s not an accurate record.
I made choices on some days. I had an opportunity to spend that time with my son instead of getting up in the cold and forcing myself to write. I know that the opportunities to have time like this with him are few even now, and they will decrease and eventually stop as he grows more independent. I choose to take those opportunities as I get them, and that means that other things I value take second place.
What I do at any time is up to me, and I make the choice about what I do. No one forces me. I could have got up on those days where I didn’t. But the time with my son is precious, so I chose to place a higher value on that than on writing in that moment.
And I’m ok with that. I have to be. I chose it. Yes I don’t have a perfect row of check boxes for 30 days of morning writing completed, but let’s acknowledge what I did do. I have 24 entries tagged “morning words” so, assuming that I didn’t cheat and incorrectly tag a day that I didn’t do the writing in the morning, that means I completed 24 of the 30 days of the challenge. That’s 80 per cent, if my maths is correct. I think that’s perfectly acceptable. We aren’t talking brain surgery, where 100 per cent precision is vital, we’re talking about building a new habit.
Obviously it would be better to not have broken the chain – I always think of the Jerry Seinfeld story, which I think I first read on James Clear’s site about habit formation, where he tells an aspiring comedy writer to write every day and to cross off each day he writes with a big X, which serves as inspiration to not break the chain. Perhaps this is worth a try – and to put the calendar somewhere where I can see it – not tucked away in a notebook that I occasionally remember to update.
But anyway that’s for the future – take my learnings from the past 30 days and use this to move forwards. I think I’ll abandon the steam of consciousness writing for now. I know the morning pages is supposed to be a critical step in getting yourself unstuck, but I want to write something that makes sense! I haven’t written fiction for a long time. Definitely not regularly since I was in primary school. I don’t recall having done it for fun in high school, and maybe only once or twice as an adult in a workshop or something like that.
This might be fun, or it might be agonising. It will be interesting to see which it turns out to be. And, therefore, a new category will be born on the blog and I will start a new 30 day challenge: 30 days of fiction.