The post I never wanted to write: RIP Writing Streak
My writing streak is dead. Long live the (new) writing streak.
953 days — that’s a long damn time. Sometime in May 2016, I believe, I committed to write for at least 15 minutes a day, every day. And I did — for 953 days. Until yesterday.
In the beginning, when I was ingraining it as a habit, I wrote first thing in the morning “before you check your email” as my coach Sam Bennett instructed. (No relation, except we’re both brilliant and gorgeous — so who knows?) In heath and in sickness — I even wrote the morning I had surgery. And the next day, hopped up on painkillers. Neither snow nor rain nor 11:59 at night…
I didn’t start worrying about the streak until the last six months. Travel, divorce, more travel — even dating. No matter where I was or who I was with, I did My Fifteen. Even when I spent ten hours writing for a client. Even when writing was the last thing I wanted to do. Even when I knew I’d be proving Hemingway’s observation that everyone’s first draft is shit — I wrote.
So what happened yesterday? It was an odd day to begin with — part 2 of a whirlwind trip up and down the East Coast. I got to breathe the same air as Elizabeth Gilbert for a while yesterday evening. I did take notes while she spoke — and later I tried to make that count for my 15. But it wasn’t original writing; if you’re gonna make a commitment, ya gotta stick to it.
Usually when I’ve waited too long to write, the mental reminder pops up around 10pm as I’m doing The New York Times crossword. But I was tired by then and looking forward to listening to a guided meditation when I went to bed. About halfway through the meditation, I remembered “I haven’t done my writing!” I thought about stopping the recording to do it right then, but I didn’t. I vowed that I’d do it after the recording.
“After the recording” — I’m sure you can guess — I was asleep. But I DID wake up, miraculously (the power of commitment). I grabbed my phone, opened a Notes doc, and wrote:
“I am so confused [hand hitting forehead emoji] I want up bwrite ye book as I font [hand pointing down emoji]”
Even by Hemingway’s standards I realized it was hopeless. The 953-day Writing Streak was dead — but the next one is alive and kicking.
Writing Streak — Day 1
Originally published at BennettInk.com.