If You Want to Write, Write
Here we go again, back on the subject of writing and goals, knowing that the hardest thing about setting a goal and going after it is not failure. It’s re-establishing commitment to your deeply rooted goal after an inglorious, cataclysmic, life-altering event that threw you headlong into on-coming traffic while you thought you were happily trucking along with your goal. Yes, that, my friend, is much, much, much harder indeed. Fast forward and finally healed after living through Armageddon and going public with my daily commitment to write, no thanks to life, everything and everyone who tried to throw me off track. Let’s see how I do this time.
I wanted to write a book. And I was writing. I was. Maybe not daily, but I was working at the angle of consistent writing that would lead to a book. And the Universe had begun to respond. I was invited to write for work, albeit without a byline, but with reasonable success. I wrote for pleasure in my journals, filling one, at least per year, even though some are quite the testimony to a year of personal tragedy and look like they’ve been through the accompanying train wreck. I had a wall where I posted several book ideas on sticky notes and watched them grow and sprout and develop. Then, my goal to write a book by December 2021 took a radical detour when someone close to me (who shall remain nameless) made choices that he then visited upon me, effectively blowing my mind apart (and heart to bits) just a year and a half before my self-imposed deadline. Most days, I was lucky to remember my name. And so, no book. Or was that just the excuse?
Then I got myself a therapist, cut off communication with said-individual bit by bit, purged everything I found that reminded me of him and moved my deadline. January 2022. Guess what? No book. I got a new journal and filled it up with love for myself and gratitude for life, stopped seeing the therapist - she was awesome, by the way; everyone should have a therapist just like we all have a doctor, dentist or chiropractor - and still, no book. I wrote myself a wildly important goal (aka: WIG) and read Charles Duhigg, created some writing strategies, built a digital scoreboard but still, no book. Something was missing.
Writing 250 words daily was not challenging enough, you could say. I’m at 390+ right now and haven’t even broken a cognitive sweat. Writing 250 good words, that’s another thing. I’m certainly not ignorant enough to believe that quantity equates to quality. I’m also wise enough to know that one’s perceived substandard quality can also be a crutch to failing to engage in the appropriate quantity when writing. This brings me to tonight, in a hotel in central Washington, knuckling down because I’m PUBLISHING IT BY THE WEEKEND. Why? I need some skin in the game. If there’s no performance expected of me, there’s no driver to my cause, nothing really at stake, nothing real and tangible on the line (pun intended). All I need now is a consistent audience to reach for it. I think…
My new logic will be this: if you want to run a mile, you need to walk to the corner grocery store. If you want to sing, you need to open your mouth in front of people. And that’s where I am. Here, with you, in front of people. If you want to write a book, you need to write a page. Publishing in any way I can, knowing that if I want to write, I ought to write.
Kelly Johnson, PCC Executive Coach