100 Days of Writing: Day 99
OK so I haven’t exactly climbed K2 or been locked in a box underground for 100 days with only an oxygen tank for company, but it has been a challenge all the same. One that, back in September, seemed perfectly achievable, too easy almost. After all, it’s not like I was getting on stage performing stand up comedy night after night after night (after night x 100). I was writing. Doing what I love. What I do. What I want to do for the rest of ever. Welcome to the penultimate day of my 100 Day Writing Challenge.
I’ve learned much along the way, about myself and about the writing process but if I had to summarise, the two most important lessons I’ve learned are these:
It’s difficult to find the time to write every single day. Duh. I could have told myself that. Weekdays haven’t been so bad as I now treat writing like a job. I have a routine and a desk and I make myself ‘go to work’ each day. The weekends are when things are most likely to go tits up. Guests, nights out, hen nights, family, all put demands on my time, especially at weekends, and rightly so. As such, apologies to anyone that has found me unsociable and grumpy these past few months (that’s you Mr H, kids, dogs…)
Just because you love something and want to do it, doesn’t mean it’s easy, AKA A Challenge Is A Challenge If You Find It Challenging. I love coffee and I love chocolate. So if someone asked me to drink a cup of coffee and have it with a chunk of Lindt every day for 100 days, the biggest challenge for me would be to stop after 100 days (I know this for certain as 20+ years on I’m still going strong…). I would argue that I love writing as much, if not more than even my beloved caffeine and cocoa buddies above, yet to commit to doing it in some form or other every single day for 100 days has been a far bigger ask than I could have anticipated.
The reason, of course, is obvious:
Brain power requirement of coffee and chocolate consumption = zero
Brain power requirement of writing = (min: some) to (max: loads)
It would appear that my brain power fluctuates between zero and loads with alarming frequency, and on occasion it refuses to meet the minimal requirement of ‘some’, thereby rendering my writing ability completely useless.
On such days, increasing coffee and chocolate consumption, while not productively beneficial, can provide a modicum of comfort, often enough to enable me to bash out a few nonsensical sentences, anything to boost the day’s word count. The problem with this is the next time my brain is firing within the min-max power range, I read back what I’ve written and wonder how a four year old managed to sneak in and sabotage my hard work without being seen *backspace, backspace, backspace*.
Ergo, while the 100 Day Challenge has definitely been an effective kick up the arse**, I think my brain (and therefore my writing) will benefit from a break every now and then.
**Disclaimer: No writers were harmed during the process of this challenge. Unless you count the time I burnt my finger lighting the scented candle I use to create ‘ambience’ in one of my chosen writing spaces.