You know things are bad when the staff wakes you up before dawn.
My trusty Canine Assistant, Fenway, roused me from a deep sleep at 4:30 a.m. (Yes, we share a bed; don’t tell HR.) The poor thing has been under the weather the last couple of days and she felt I needed to know, at 4:30 in the freaking morning, that she still hadn’t improved.
It was going to be one of those days when I had far more work than time, so I decided to accept Fenway’s nudge (perhaps she was just being a good project manager) and get out of bed. Some thirteen hours later, I am the literal definition of the phrase “dog-tired.”
And I have been working all that time, except for a brief interlude at the vet’s. “My dog has been listless all day,” I told them when I called. So of course she paraded into the office waving her tail like a flag on the Fourth of July.
Dog-tired at 5p.m. Friday
I had my finger poised on the trackpad, ready to click “shut down” when I saw an email from one of my writers. She wanted to sign up for the program I launched today (of which more later), but the math was wrong on the link—I had set the price $100 too high.
Clearly that wasn’t an error I could let slide until tomorrow.
So I fixed the link, pasted the revised code on my website, clicked “update” and…remembered that I didn’t yet have a blog written for today.
Commitment, right? It doesn’t get me on the exercise bike every day, but it did drag me out of a warm bed a the other night when I remembered I hadn’t made the next day’s To Do list. I wasn’t dog-tired then, maybe just puppy-tired. And did I say the bed was warm? Nice, fluffy duvet.
But I knew I’d lose half the next day if I didn’t have the To Do list I’ve gotten so used to over the last year.
Commitment is what’s kept me writing for well over 300 days in a row at this point. It keeps me posting a new blog on the “Seth Godin schedule”: Every damn day.
And it’s beginning to take root in the writers I work with. As we wrapped up the third 5×15 Writing Challenge yesterday, I unveiled the glorious sequel—higher stakes and bigger rewards for a super-sized commitment. And, just a few hours later, I already have a firm commitment from about a quarter of the people in the most recent Challenge, with previous participants looking to climb back onboard.They know that as hard as it is to commit to something, it’s easier when you’re not going it alone. They’ve experienced the power of a supportive community coalescing in just five days and they’re eager to see how deep the roots of our relationships can go in a longer challenge. I can’t wait to see that, either. And this new challenge will offer even more support: a weekly Writers’ Group, using Zoom’s interactive videoconferencing. And one-on-one coaching time with me.
“Elaine Bennett’s Writing Challenge is an adventure in Discipline, Discovery, and Desire,” one of my writers said. I didn’t set out to create something that profound. But, thanks to the diverse and talented group of writers who’ve joined my Challenges, that’s exactly what’s happened.
Your creativity called. It wants to be taken seriously. Join us.