Two things have helped bring me to this point: I was inspired by Jenn Ashworth’s recent 100 Days of Writing project, described so beautifully in this blog by Prolifiko, the writers’ productivity coach. I also read Steven Pressfield’s book The War of Art (Black Irish Entertainment, 2002), all about overcoming procrastination and committing to creative practice. (Thank you to Mel Green for telling me about this book when we met at Gladstones Library recently.) Both helped me see that I was wasting time and energy justifying not writing, when I could just show up and write.
Why do I do this dance of avoidance? Yes, I have a day job and a family, but so do most writers I know. And it’s true that starting a new book can be scary, demanding and difficult. But when my writing is going well, it’s transforming, absorbing and satisfying. When I’m deep in a project and my writing practice is flowing, everything is better. My whole life hums with the rightness of it. It feels like what I was made for. I’m happier, healthier, more me. I don’t begrudge hard work or all the other chores I have to squeeze into a day, if I’ve made time to write first.
But the truth is, I was daunted by committing to this project publicly. I described it to my friend Tara Guha, author of Untouchable Things (Legend Press 2015), hoping she would join me. She felt the same mixture of excitement and nerves. Even with a published novel apiece, we still experience the self-doubt, the resistance, the questioning.
But we have agreed that we will do it, come what may, come the busiest weeks of our day jobs, come family commitments and all the unexpected snags and twists of the daily juggle. We have agreed that we will show up to our writing projects for the next one hundred days, with no time pressure or word count goals. We will show up, engage, keep the faith with our writing selves.
So for the next hundred days, I hope this gentle practice of daily creativity will help me silence the relentless questioning – can I do this? Am I good enough? Is this interesting?
Instead I will shut up, show up and write. And post pics of the evidence, to keep me accountable: here's day 1:
Wish us luck?