As the year draws to an end, I like to reflect on how the year went and what I want to accomplish in the upcoming new year.
Last weekend, I wrote down that I wanted to write more, with more regularity. I enjoy writing, but my track record is blotted with sporadic spurts of writing followed by long periods of lull and inactivity. All the advice from writers exhorts me to write, even when I don’t want to, even when I don’t have anything to say, and even when I feel what I have to say is not worthwhile. Just write, they urge.
I believe it. I agree with them when they say there is a need to get the junk out of the way so that the clean stuff can start flowing.
So, I pledged to myself that I would write more, with more regularity. In my enthusiasm, I thought, why wait for the new year? Start now!
That was on the weekend that just passed. Monday came and went without a word getting pencilled.
Tuesday, I thought, let it be the first day to translate my mojo into action. I planned to wake up at 530am so that I could give myself a half hour to drink my coffee and emerge from my drowsed state, and then a good hour to write before the needs of the day started clamoring noisily for my attention.
I got out of bed at 620am. That’s almost a full hour later than I had planned. I hit the snooze button on my alarm a few many times, loathing myself even as I stretched into the bed and clamped my pillow over my head to block out reality.
The whole time in Snoozeland, however, I was trying to motivate myself to break out, enter the world that I know I relish. You’ll feel better about yourself if you do this, I told myself. The day will be yours already. Set forth, Archana! In vain did I try to summon my spirit.
When I finally did throw off the blankets successfully (to my credit, there had been two previous attempts, after which I promptly pulled them back and hugged them close to my heart), it was by pleading and striking a compromise with myself: just write two lines, that’s all. If not your short story, write in your journal. Write stream of consciousness, incoherently, garbled, devoid of eloquence. Just write.
Ah, that felt doable. That felt achievable. This was a can-do.
It’s what got me out of bed. And then I did write, more than the two lines. Nothing like low expectations to get going.