It’s a Saturday afternoon, I sit on my couch surrounded by books on “creative writing”, my favourite songs on a playlist in the background. I put pen to paper. I write one sentence and stop. The next one does not come easily.
I distract myself by making a cup of tea and nibbling a shortbread biscuit. I have a quick dance to “Who Can It Be Now“.
My stomach is tense and I feel edgy. I am trying to make a decision. Nothing serious or earth-shattering mind you. Simply, should I do another 100-day challenge? For the last two Septembers, I’ve begun similar challenges, linking my photo project with blog writing and focussing on a 100 Happy Days challenge. As my birthday month, I’ve come to realise that September is always a time of change for me – I often start new things like new journals and new projects, look for new homes and move house and in September.
The music catches my attention again. I play an imaginary saxophone and sing the closing lines to the song “..hey, hey, ooh”. I’m not focused.
This time I am considering a 100-day writing challenge. For a while now I’ve considered writing up some memoirs but have made little progress. My tension (dis-ease if you will), makes me realise that I am not physically comfortable. I have to be comfortable to write. I locate my eating tray to use as a writing support because I am writing by hand – shock, horror! I settle back onto the couch and sip my tea.
“I feel good” is playing – if only I did! Why is this so hard?
I think there are a few things holding me back, excuses I suppose.
- I get too caught up in the technicalities of writing a good story when I should just write, as you can see from the books in the photo;
- When I think about writing memoirs, I feel completely overwhelmed by where to start.
- I guess at the back of my mind I am worried that I won’t be able to write every day because I do have a full-time job after all. This is a biggie. Will it be a train-smash if I don’t write every day? Of course not, but then it will defeat the purpose of trying the challenge. And I know myself, if I let one or two days pass without writing, then they will become a week and so on…
While I drink more tea and sing occasional snippets from songs I contemplate a way forward. Brain wave! I can work towards my aim of personal writing and include some academic writing that I need to do, as part of the challenge – two birds with one stone. Why not? It’s my challenge so I can set the rules, right?
Poppy, my elderly cat, joins me on the couch. Disappointed that she cannot get onto my lap, she settles on the arm of the couch, purring gently. A comforting presence. Cats seem to have an easy life. Sigh!
“Nothing can stop me…” more imaginary saxophone playing…
Ok. I can do this, with these provisos:
- I will not set any daily targets for number of words or pages, I will just turn up
- I will not waste hours on schedules and planning in detail as I normally do
- Any writing counts: blog posts, memoirs, academic papers and journal entries
- I’ll use a writing tracker that I have adapted from one I designed for my 100 Happy Days projects. (If you’re interested, they are available to purchase, just click on the link!)
Who knows, I might even write about the process as I go along, as I’ve done for my previous challenges. The difference is that this time I’m going to abandon my perfectionist Virgoan tendencies and simply go with the flow and see where it takes me.
Significant drum crescendo/solo by Phil Collins – “I’ve been waiting for this moment for all of my life…”
Get to it, Debbie! Get started today. Err, does this post count? #100DaysOfWriting
Songs that provided the backing tracks for this post:
- Who can it be now? – Men at Work 1981
- I feel good – James Brown 1964
- Moving on up – M People 1993
- In the air tonight – Phil Collins 1981