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.