I woke up for 4:00AM completely exhausted.
“Maybe no gym,” I thought.
But I’d deliberately ironed my new pants and shirt then loaded them along with my gym bag and shower kit in the car the night before. I did it knowing I would dread the work having to rearrange things to avoid the gym and shower at home. I can be mean to myself sometimes.
“I’ll just go on the treadmill,” I thought.
Changed clothes, shook up my protein shake, packed the rest of my gear and powered up to the gym and got onto the treadmill. I chugged back the vanilla ice cream flavoured protein milk shake and started listening to the newest episode of Star Trek: The Next Conversation – those two guys always cheer me up. I finished the podcast as I worked out and they kinda distracted me from being so damned tired.
“Okay,” I thought. “Only a few sets on the back extension bench. And I’ll use the fifteens, not the twenties.”
A few sets of that (I eventually went to the twenties), turned into a few sets of everything else, and ninety minutes later, I was showered and changed for work with a protein bar and another shake in me.
One of the regulars stopped me on the way out. “You look like a guy who is seriously considering going back to bed.”
I laughed. “You must be reading my mind. That’s exactly what I was thinking.”
“Well, keep going. You’ll figure it out, I’m sure.”
I got to work, went through my routine of things-to-do, and I remembered I didn’t write anything for today’s blog post.
“Ah, I’ll let it slide,” I thought. “I’ve done a post a day for exactly a month now. As a reward, I will give myself a day off.”
But wait. What will be my excuse next time? Where does it stop?
I showed up at the gym today and I was tired. I showed up at work today and I was tired. Why is writing any different?
Well, when I go to the gym, I get results (In five months, I’ve lost forty pounds of weight and four inches off my waist – I haven’t been a 32 waist since I was 16).
When I go to work, I get paid. I get to keep a roof over my family’s head and sometimes I get to buy things (well, most times I get to buy things, I just want to get one big thing – like a new laptop – but that can wait a little longer).
I get nothing concrete from writing. I’m not published. A handful of people read this blog. I haven’t finished a short story in weeks. I would love to write a novel but I have nowhere to start and who is going to read it anyway?
But that’s right. I want to write a novel. And those do not appear out of thin air. Oh, I would average 500 words a day before, but often it would be an average, and never every day. Not even for NaNoWriMo in any form – I would write one day and it would be the equivalent of three. And I honestly feel if I can do this every day, every single day, between now and January 17, 2019 that on the following day, those next 500 words will be the first words of the first draft of a novel I want to write.
Persistence will make the difference, I believe. And I chose what stops me, I don’t let the circumstances make up my mind.