The reasons as to why writing is so difficult are numerous. The only thing greater are the excuses we (and by we I mean I) use to NOT write. I’ve had a pretty good excuse today, you know, burning up with fever and all. But that didn’t stop me last night, so why should it today? Throughout the day I’ve given myself a little time table. I’ve rolled over, looked at the clock and said, “I’ll start something at 3”, or “I’ll start right after this episode of Sleepy Hollow”. I must say, if there were a support group for procrastinators I’d be…well…I wouldn’t go because I’d just keep putting it off.
That’s just how committed to the cause I’ve been.
But sometimes…most times…I get that spark, that mental kick in the pants, that push that says, “Dude, get off your ass and grab a pen and some paper, or sit at the computer and write dammit”. Over that last several weeks, I’ve silenced that voice by turning up the volume on my television, or, by drowning it in Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. I mean, how can I not. That Americone Dream ice cream, with Stephen Colbert on it is absolutely AMAZING!! But today…today I was determined. Even though I kept putting it off, I was determined. Eventually I listened, got my sick butt out of bed, and sat down in front of my keyboard. My nose is running and I have on a fleece pullover and I’m still shaking…but I’m here.
Is it all because of this 31 day challenge? Yesterday it definitely was. I’d have to say today is the same. But every thing has a starting point. So while this challenge may be the primary motivating factor, whose to say it will be primary factor 5, 10, or even 15 days from now. Change is gradual and it often takes one or two things to motivate a person to change. And once you’ve started down that path, you’ve got to keep moving. Keep moving until that change becomes habitual. Keep moving until that change becomes just as much a part of you as breathing, eating, or whatever else you enjoy doing.
I think I’d like to believe that I can do anything I put my mind to. Honestly, I do believe that. But I’ve had a lot of self doubt lately. I’ve lost confidence in myself and many others and it has caused me to shut down in many ways. That’s not a good thing to have happen when you’re looking for change. You get so enveloped in the blanket of doubt and insecurity you forget who you are and what you want in life. Then comes that spark. It comes for me as a writer, as a mental health professional, as a father, a son, a friend, and as a man. And in most cases, especially lately…I have not listened. If I’d used the money I spent on Ben & Jerry’s to buy stock instead of ice cream, I’d be a majority shareholder by now.
This time though, the spark came, and this 31 day challenge became the gasoline motivating me to act. I’m not doing the stop, drop and roll thing today. Instead, I’m actually trying to walk through the flames. And while this entire experience is about making me a more habitual writer, which will in turn make me a better writer, there is no reason that this mentality should not carry over into other aspects of my life. Sometimes the changes we make in one area carry over to others, thus making us better, stronger, happier people. We can build off of a solid foundation of good habits and good decisions and actually achieve our goals.
Sometimes…it just happens that way.