It’s one of the methods I use to motivate myself; I suppose it’s also one of the ways that I beat myself up. . . perhaps they are the same thing. I set myself goals, and I grandly pat myself on the back when I meet them (not literally, but internally); I also flay myself when I fall short (but all the pain is on the inside; so it’s a healthy, constructive kind of pain). Of all the motivational/masochistic tools I employ to keep me headed rapidly down whatever storied path I have chosen, these two phrases are among the most effective/painful.
“Today, I am a writer.” I can say that today. I am about ten words short of my goal of a thousand words today, and I am feeling so cocky that I put aside my next novel to write this post. I got this.
Yesterday, I couldn’t say that. So I made myself say that dreaded phrase: the one that makes me cringe, the one that reminds me of how many days I have until release day, the one that points out that a lazy writer is a shitty writer, the one that really cuts me to the quick.
“Today, I am not a writer.” What? What the hell is wrong with you? You know what your passion is, and you let a whole day go by without spending time with it? You’re so lucky, you have a life to be grateful for, and one of the things you depend on to keep you happy and sane is your writing discipline. Again, please tell me, what the hell is wrong with you? Are you not aware of how many tales are waiting to be told, stories that the Universe has entrusted you with? And on and on. . .
The voice in my head doesn’t care that I insulated about ten percent of our attic last night, or that it took so long that it ate up my writing schedule. It doesn’t take into account that I have a full-time day job that requires my full attention for a good chunk of most days, or that yesterday was the only day I didn’t meet my writing goals this week. It doesn’t give a damn that insulating the house already took a backseat to “Walking Between Worlds”, as did so many other things. It doesn’t even count this post, or some short story idea I decide to dash off. The voice in my head only cares about whether or not I am a writer today. That means writing the number of words that I set before myself to write in my next novel, or catching hell for it. That’s okay; it’s what I’ve trained it to do.
I am accountable to that voice, and no one is more keenly aware of that than me. I am accountable for meeting my deadlines, and my wonderful partner helps make both setting and meeting those deadlines possible with all of her hard work. Other than that, I am not really accountable to anyone when it comes to my writing. I’ve thought of a way to change that.
As of today, I will start posting original content on Twitter regularly. I would say every day, and that’s my intention, but I don’t need anyone other than me yelling at me for missing a day here or there. I like the idea of posting a promising line from my work in progress from time to time as well, but my sentences can get really quite long for a forum that cuts me off at 140 characters; don’t you think?
So, check in me on Twitter @JayNorry. . . oh, and go ahead and yell at me if you have to. . .
Thanks for reading!