Writing has always been something I’ve loved doing. But it’s also something that is oftentimes tough to make myself start. My writing approach has tended to be very draining mentally. As I’ve grown as a writer, I’ve learned to craft stories with the help of planning and proper organization to make it less draining, but it’s always a balance.
I’ve recently started running a couple of days a week. I hated running when I was younger. I played basketball and tennis and would love running in game, but could never sustain runs of a long distance. Then this year I started. The first time I managed a little over a mile. The second time, a little more. The third time I kept going until about two miles and the fourth I passed three miles. I played sports that required short bursts of speed, so I had done plenty of wind sprints when I was younger, but never any long distance. I had never actually run more than one mile at once and didn’t think I could, especially since I’m so out of shape now.
The thing is, I’m seeing the positive effects of being consistent with the runs. In whirlwind days, where I spend all day working for a paycheck, squeezing in social media and staying on top of the latest news in web series and film where I can, and then going home and writing, editing, and producing, it’s nice to have some time completely unplugged from the world. I don’t think I had the discipline to stay disconnected and be alone with my thoughts when I was younger, which is why I hated running so much. Now I’ve come to embrace it.
So too with writing. Rather than wait for the perfect creative moment to write, sitting down and doing it regularly can become rewarding. When I get home and really don’t want to run, but do it anyway, I feel great. When I really feel like I don’t have an ounce of creative energy left but stick to my scheduled writing time, the word count for that day feels like a bonus. If I didn’t push myself to keep running consistently, and find ways to enjoy it and track progress, I’d probably develop the same hatred I used to have for it. If I kept thinking I needed to get emotionally worked up or wait for the perfect inspirational moment, writing would continue to be painful too. Trudging out every day regardless of mood is a great way to grow.
I tend to be all or nothing in
everything most things (side note: I wrote “everything” without even realizing the irony and had to keep it there to make a point about how true it is) I do. I also get easily distracted. Rather than convince myself that I can work casually when I have the time and not give in to distractions (an all or nothing attitude about changing my entire personality) I have found workarounds to better suite my personality. I need structured time, I need to track progress to see a return on that time, and I need a set schedule to stick with. Consistency is the key to growth.