It’s Monday September 5th, 2016 and in the US we’re celebrating Labor Day. It’s also the end of the Summer of Writing!
Back in July I created a challenge to write every day called “Summer of Writing.” It was meant to encourage anyone who writes and get them writing something, anything, every day from the 4th of July to Labor Day. We are at the end of the challenge. If you participated, how’d you do? Get more writing done? Focus more on your craft?
I’m proud to say I completed it knowing I wrote something every single day. I worked on projects soon to be released (like my new collection of stories), I worked on existing projects, I wrote outlines, blog posts, and more. All in the name of writing.
I made it a priority. Every morning I wake up, have coffee, and read or play games on my ipad. Instead, I used the time to write before the stress of the day zapped my creative energy. I found writing at the end of the day difficult and often unproductive. Working in the early morning when the house is quiet was the best for me to focus on my writing. There were occasional days when I didn’t get to write in the morning and I’d write in the evening but all day I kept thinking how I needed to get the words out.
That was by far the most important part of the challenge for me. I created a new habit in my life which will dominate my thoughts if I don’t take care of it. I made it more than a hobby or something I’d get to when I had time. I made the time. When I did that, everything else fell into place.
Like all writing some of it was bad, but I feel I’ve grown in the craft because I made a deliberate attempt to do so. Maybe I’m wrong and fooling myself. I’ve gone through moments when I wanted to stop. I thought “Who cares if I keep at it? No one reads what I write anyway.” I expressed that to my wife one morning and in her wisdom she told me not to give up, to keep at it, and if I loved what I was doing to continue no matter what. Those are things we’ve all heard but her words held more weight for me. I trudged on. My focus changed. I found the joy again. Even if I’m the only one who reads it.
The biggest sacrifice I made to create this new habit was my gym time. I used to go semi-regularly with a friend of mine to our local gym. We were one of the early risers and be home around six in the morning. I chose to use that time to write instead. I can honestly say my middle-aged body misses the workouts. Don’t get me wrong, I hated getting up and leaving the house so early. I always looked for excuses to get out of it. The determination I used to build my writing habit needs to be applied to exercising. I’ll need to incorporate working out into my schedule or I won’t be around long enough to see all my amazing fans!
I appreciate all of you that tried the challenge. Lakesha Mathis, Aaron Hamilton, John Smith, and others all attempted to make a change and if nothing else, I hope you were able to refocus your time over the summer to work on your writing.
It has been a summer of growth. Thanks for sticking with me. Let me know your successes or failures so we can all learn from them. Thanks again!
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