I had surgery earlier this week. You didn’t notice my absence because I banked some blogs in advance. That’s what commitment looks like. You do what you need to do to show up even when you can’t show up.
This part of the 15 minutes of writing I did the day of the surgery:
“But you’re having sur-ger-y.”
That was the spousal unit last night, pronouncing every syllable as if talking to a deaf person. Which I suppose in a sense I was.
I had just said that even though we had to leave the house at the ungodly hour of 6 a.m., I planned to get up early so I could do my 15 minutes of writing.
Yes, I’m having surgery today. But that is not going to stop my writing streak (day 303, thank you very much.). I’ll write tomorrow, too, hopped up (or, more accurately, down) on pain-killers. It might sound like gibberish, but I’ll be doing it.
Why write today? Would sleeping for 15 minutes longer really change much about the day ahead? I suspect there’ll be a fair amount of sleeping ahead for me today. Lying flat on my back, at any rate.
But writing for 15 minutes—this will give me a great sense of accomplishment. I don’t think I’ve done anything for more than 300 days in a row—except, the evidence would suggest, breathe.
My writing has improved significantly since I started. And I expect it will continue to. And did I mention the sense of accomplishment? I know I did. But 303 days in a row—it bears repeating.
Still, I wish I could think about something other than water.
Friday 2/24: what commitment looks like
Came through the surgery with flying colors. Faked lucidity long enough to get my Writing Unbound class started yesterday—thanks to our guest teacher, award-winning poet and Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Tina Kelley.
Tina talked about what commitment looks like to her: She outlined her own version of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, where her time flows to writing, rewriting, pitching her writing and then—maybe—to watching a TV show.
She also cited a very convincingly named statistic that 96% of everything we write will be crap. If you know that most of what you write will be bad, churning out the bad stuff puts you that much closer to something good.
And she talked about how writing more is the only way to write better. And to find your writer’s voice. All things I’ve said myself, but it’s always nice to have reinforcement.
That’s my 15 minutes for today folks. And today, that’s about all you’re gonna get.