“Do something, or do nothing at all. Do ardently whatever you decide to do; do it with your might; and let the whole of your activity be a series of vigorous fresh starts. Half-work, which is half-rest, is good neither for rest nor for work.” – A.G. Sertillanges, The Intellectual Life
I tell myself, over and over again, that I would like to write more. But, in the absence of any external pressure, it’s very easy to silence that inner voice and, instead, turn my attention to the myriad distractions of the every day. Indulging in distraction is certainly easier than any sort of actual work, except for that inner voice which begins to scream. That and my aversion to the grey torpor that descends on my distracted mind, choking out any sort of color and light in the world.
So, to avoid that, I had the bright idea of forcing myself to write by resolving to post every single weekday between now and a scheduled trip at the end of the month, i.e. July 29th. Fourteen days, fourteen posts (I can’t avoid mentioning that it was supposed to be fifteen, but I abandoned the idea of writing yesterday for one of those “good” reasons that so often derail any sort of effort)*
I’m not sure that I’ll produce anything of particular insight over the next few weeks. Indeed, I anticipate some very sloppy writing; hurriedly slapped-together nonsense, vague musings on books half understood, ideas not fully formed, and aimless chronicles of sessions at the gym. The point is not to produce gold, but to create a habit. I’ll have to remind myself of that.
The only rule I’m setting for myself is that the posts need to contain at least 250 “original” words. I can’t simply throw up quotes from better authors as if that counts.
And that’s it, a public announcement of the project to engender at least some external pressure, and my first post in the books. Onward and upwards.
*A maxim I repeat to others and myself, but far too rarely follow-I believe I stole it from Terry Pratchett-is that if you fail to keep pledges to yourself for good reasons, you’ll very rapidly find yourself doing so for bad reasons, then not even bothering to give reasons at all, at least when you’re trying to inculcate a habit.