I’ve taken days off, a lot of them, in the writing of Accidental Gravitas. Were I running “on schedule” — which for me has meant writing the first draft of a novel in fifty-seven (or fewer) days — I would have put a large box on my bookshelf in my writing space three days ago.
But I didn’t because AG is nowhere near done.
It’s half done (I think) at 50K words. That’s my “product” after 33 days of working.
So I ask myself: “Could you finish AG in 24 days?”
If I pull 2000-word days — which is more than possible, as this is my “pace” — I should get to 98K, plus or minus, by January 18th.
But to get there, I’m going to have to task myself with another question: “What if I don’t?”
What if — after the established history of performance I’ve grown accustomed to, perhaps even “achieved” — I get to 01/18/2016 without having reached the “end”?
My yoga practice will save me.
(I’ve been getting to my studio six or seven times a week for close to two years. Prior to that, I’d go 3 or 4 times a week. I decided I needed to go more often if I wanted to reap a different level of benefit from the practice.)
In the last two years, I’ve come to realize that self-critique and assessment of my yoga practice does not lead to achievement; it leads to attachment. Attachment leads to expectations, which invariably are not realized, and subsequently a feeling of disappointment settles in.
My instructor has said, “Just practice, and all will come.”
So, with that mantra in mind, I’m going to write.
In the same way my yoga practice has evolved, I hope to find evolution in my writing.
It’s all “practice.” There are no “good days” or “bad days;” there are only days when I either “did” or “didn’t.”
(I’ve been saying this for a while with yoga and am beginning to think about writing in the same vein.)
Tonight, on the way to sleep, I intend to look back on my writing as a day I “did.” Maybe I’ll have another 2K words of the story completed, maybe not.
If I can let go of the numbers — both word count and days until I hit the 57-day mark — I will consider that as much an accomplishment as having, in fact, gotten to the “end.”