It’s been a number of days now since I’ve written anything. Having completed the 30 for 30 Challenge, I’ve taken a physical (but hardly mental) break from writing to clear my head and see where I want to take things next.
In the meantime, I have been reading and listening a lot to Jeff Goins. Jeff is an entrepreneur and writer who is passionate about helping other people find their writing voice, and teaching what it takes to build a platform and audience. I discovered Jeff’s work in the midst of my writing challenge, and probably would have approached things differently had I encountered his advice first.
Somehow, I’ve managed to make a post everyday now for the last twenty days. Now, with ten posts remaining (including this one), I’m beginning to wonder how I’ll make it. Doubt is creeping in once again.
The act of writing is a decisively deliberate one – an activity that is all to easy to let pass us up in this mostly mindless daily toil we call “making a living”. This accepted necessity of human existence, at least for most of us, is a bulwark we must daily hurdle ourselves over (at some point or another) if ever we hope to achieve and/or maintain a creative balance in our lives. It’s a daily cycle, and the struggle is real. Continue reading “Day 21 – Pressing on – (the home stretch)”
In this my fifteenth post in the 30 for 30 challenge, I am officially halfway through, and I have to say, it has not been easy. If I was thinking more clearly when I set myself up for this, I probably wouldn’t have committed myself to writing 30 full-on blog posts in 30 days. I think 2 or 3 posts a week would have been a modest, but noble challenge.
Anyhow, here were are… fifteen days in, and fifteen days to go.
As a small ego/inspiration boost to all of us struggling writers, I wanted to share a few quotes from the great John Steinbeck on the subject of “sticking with it” – quoted from the daily journal he kept while writing The Grapes of Wrath. The now publicized journal is called Working Days.
In it, he shows how he was constantly plagued by doubt concerning his ability to write, and he kept a daily journal during the process of writing the book in order to remind himself why he simply must carry on, and press forward. He also saw the journal as a form of accountability for himself:
In writing, habit seems to be a much stronger force than either willpower or inspiration. Consequently there must be some little quality of fierceness until the habit pattern of a certain number of words is established. There is no possibility, in me at least, of saying, “I’ll do it if I feel like it.” One never feels like awaking day after day. In fact, given the smallest excuse, one will not work at all. The rest is nonsense. Perhaps there are people who can work that way, but I cannot. I must get my words down every day whether they are any good or not.
Part of my inspiration for this 30-day writing challenge, apart from a good friend who spurred me on, was a blog I’ve been reading recently by a man named Mark Manson. He writes about my things, all of them dealing with the subjects of Culture, Dating and Relationships, Life Choices, and Psychology. I’ve been reading a lot of his stuff lately, but the one post in particular that sparked me to start this challenge was called The Do Something Principal.
The idea goes something like this:
Motivation typically comes from being Emotionally Inspired to do something (i.e., Motivated). The Action then results in more inspiration, and thus more motivation, the cycle continues. However, with situations that are difficult to tackle (i.e., weight loss, writing a novel, fixing a bad relationship), people can never usually get past the first step of being inspired, because the negative connotation of the situation, and or the self-doubt involved, prohibits any action, and people remain stagnant and end up not doing anything about it. Continue reading “Day 2 – Do Something”