My Weekly Writing Wish for You

Thursday can be a funny day for me. It’s the kind of day that I wake up and feel instantly like I should pull the covers back over my head, the kind of day when I get to work and immediately regret not doing the covers-over-head thing, the kind of day when I sit on the bus home thinking about the covers I’m about to drag over my head … You know, it’s just that kind of day.

Yesterday was different. After two weeks of feeling apathetic towards my writing and not really caring who lived or who died on my pages, I spent yesterday reading over the first 5000 words of a story I’d been working on. You know what? It wasn’t half bad. Every niggling doubt about the quality of the writing was wrong. Hey, I’m not saying it’s brilliant, but it ain’t bad.

I woke up yesterday feeling like I was finally ready for the world. The world has been there, waiting, my whole life – yesterday, I finally felt (for a fraction of a second) like I was ready for it.

This feeling was quickly replaced with the awareness that I had to go to work. I enjoy my job – don’t get me wrong – but sometimes it interferes with my desire to sit down and write uninterrupted and undisturbed and undistracted.

I thought about how I was going to get through the evening.

I thought about things I love, things I look forward to.

They boiled down to three simple things: food, wine, words. (Actually there were more but they are unobtainable, such as my cat curled up in my lap. Let’s be realistic.)

I promised myself bread, cheese, chocolate, wine, and writing when I got home. I make this promise (or similar) regularly and rarely act on it – the cost of such things means it’s an indulgence that cannot be regular, and often I get home and cannot function well enough to write or even contemplate food.

So. I went to work. I came home.

I kept my promise to myself. I doubled the word count and only stopped when my hands were cramping and fingertips were numb.

If I can’t keep a promise to myself, how can I expect others to keep their promises to me?
What is the value of “my word” if I don’t value it myself?

My writing wish for you this week is for you to make a promise to yourself. It might be something simple: “I promise to write tonight”, or something indulgent: “I promise to open that special bottle of wine this weekend”. It might be something that requires planning: “I promise to get to Paris for Christmas”. Whatever your promise is, keep it. You’re worth a thousand kept promises.

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13 comments on “My Weekly Writing Wish for You

  1. A most excellent post and a most excellent idea!

    I will definitely be taking this challenge/promise/thing up myself, it’s needed I think.

    Hope you loved the second lot of 5000 words as much as the first and that someday soon we get to see what this was all about.

    Cheers.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post and I hope you enjoy the challenge!

      The second round was good, and I have been plugging away at it every day since … a little here and a little there keeps me going. Slow and steady!

  2. Great post. I wish I’d figured out something likew this for myself about 12 months ago. Now, I’m fine & enjoying life to the full but making promises and bribes to myself would have been a great strategy. Being nosy I took a good look at the wine label – The Winery of Good Hope – fantastic name, and Lindt Madagascar… I’ll keep a look out for that 🙂

    • The Winery of Good Hope is a South African wine. I’m a big fan of the Shiraz though their Pinotage is fantastic, too. The Lindt Madagascar was a “to try” since the usual dark chocolate I get wasn’t where it usually is. This one was very smooth and delicious – recommended!

      I’ve tried bribing myself but my standards are so high (the joy of perfectionism) that I often wouldn’t follow through with the bribe. Keeping a promise to myself is a bit different … you can delay a bribe, but a promise is a promise.

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