Every year I have a New Year’s resolution, sometimes official and sometimes not, to write more. I know the best goals are the ones that are written with specifics and are measurable. I think the reason I fail to make my goal more specific is because I fear the pressure that comes from doing so. I don’t want to be forced to write, but rather want to do it when I feel inspired.
In taking this approach I know I am limiting myself. I end up not writing as often, and I likely don’t grow more as a writer. I have often argued that if I force myself to write it will feel more like a chore rather than a hobby.
In thinking about my approach to writing I began to compare it to my running. I commit to 3 runs per week. Sometimes this falters during track season when I’m coaching or in the winter when weather restricts it, but for the majority of the year I can adhere to that goal. This sometimes feels like a chore when I’m trying to fit the runs in during a busier than usual week, but overall it is a reasonable goal and one that has seen me progress tremendously in the past two years as a faster, stronger runner.
I can’t fully compare writing and running. While running does require mental willpower to ensure I get out the door, writing requires much more brain power. Forcing myself to lace up my sneakers when tired seems much easier than forcing myself to string together words when I’m brain drained. Running is sometimes a social activity where as writing is a solo one. This can make me feel selfish for taking time from others to write. I view running as an essential element of my life, something that keeps me both physically fit and mentally sane. Writing enhances my creativity and allows for emotional releases, yet I fail to treat it with the same respect as I do my running.
Most of my runs I feel motivated to complete. There are certainly days when I feel less than inspired and each step is spent wanting the run to be finished. Sometimes I may not be in the mood to run, but find that once I get going that I end up enjoying it. I am hoping that if I begin to write more, even if I don’t feel inspired, that I may end up writing better than I expect. I rarely let excuses stop me from running. Whether it’s a schedule conflict or not feeling up to it, I almost always find a way to get in my 3 runs a week. It seems any excuse is a valid one though when it comes to not writing. I think it’s time I break that habit.
Beginning in 2019 I am going to make it a goal to write at least one blog per week. It may not always be the most creative or interesting, but it will force me to have some consistency. I am also going to make it a goal to work on my story or some other form of writing for at least an hour per week. This can be made up of any combination of time be it 15 minutes for 4 days or a full hour in one sitting. I am sure this will be painful at times, finding time to accomplish both goals particularly during track season, but if I have found time to run regularly then I can certainly find time to write regularly as well.
How often do you blog/complete other forms of writing? Do you find that the motivation to write comes easily or do you adhere to a schedule/make goals to keep writing regularly? Do you feel guilty for taking time away from family/friends to write?