There’s one in every house. A thing that’s functional, but not in ideal condition. Maybe there’s a crack or it’s gotten rather thin in a part. Perhaps it bends in a way it shouldn’t or you have to jiggle it just so. It’s still good and works, but any day now it will break.
That thing for me was my writing routine.
“But, Gloria, you fixed your daily word count problem,” said the hypothetical reader of my blog.
And, yes… I did. However, before I even realized that was a problem, I had noticed another one. A bigger one. But, things were working, so why fix it?
Because breaking isn’t pretty.
Dude, I ate a quarter of a jar of chunky peanut butter and lots of cookies. I also might have gotten weird while critiquing my friend’s manuscript. And when my daughter complained that her teacher almost gave the class detention for talking in the halls, but she wasn’t even talking, I went on a “life’s not fair” and “people judge you by who is in your group” rant.
So, I had a problem? Yeah. It was that I expected more discipline from myself than I was accustomed to. And that’s fine, if done in moderation/slowly over time. As I told a friend, “I just learned to dog paddle and jumped in the deep end.”
Today, I didn’t make my word count goal (third time since start of year), but I did write. From 10am until about 2:30pm, I “wrote.” In all that time I didn’t even manage 1,000 words (835). It was my 30th day in a row writing. That’s huge considering I used to do only five days a week and took off one of those days every other week, if not weekly, for stupid stuff (like cleaning the house).
So, after 30 days, my doggy paddle had let me down and I never learned to tread water. (Metaphorically. In reality I’m a fairly good swimmer.)
I kept denying myself the days off I needed. The days off my body and mind screamed for. Because, the streak, discipline, not at the finish line, and all that junk. Life stress? Pshaw! THE WORDS! My shoulders make awesome ear muffs!
Speaking of awesome, we have this awesome pineapple and coconut punch that we bought for the kids. However, if you add rum to tastes like a pina colada. As soon as I’m done writing this post, I’m making that.
Now, here’s the sick part guys. I know I need a break. Still… As I try to tell my fractured mind that, it starts talking back. “Tomorrow is just 1,000 and if I push I can make up what I lost today. Just 1,200 and I’ll be back on track. I didn’t schedule a break. I shouldn’t break.”
Tomorrow, I might end up writing. This broken routine, with broken me, might keep going. Tomorrow I might not write. Maybe I’ll curl up on the couch and finish NAIL SHOP PARIS or season 1 of GRIMM. And rather than telling myself, “Wait for Round 2 of ROW80” and continuing to torture myself, I’ll reset like I should. Then again, an asteroid could come crashing into my house and there isn’t a tomorrow.
I’ll find out for sure when/if I wake up tomorrow. But, first… Rum.
What was your last writing dilemma?