Published: Thursday January 15, 2015.
The point of me writing 500 words each day is not actually to write the words. It’s a repetitive task that, as I continue to do it, will become habit. I’ve already blocked out some time to draft and write my first book, and I’m already two weeks into the year without a word of it done. That’s really OK, though, because it’s no longer an insurmountable task and other things are taking my time instead.
My writing is getting done earlier in the day. There have been a few days in the past couple of weeks where it’s been after 9pm when I sat down and fired up IA Writer to chew up some wordage hurdles. That’s hard. Not that it’s after 9pm, but there’s a good reason why it’s that late; invariably I’ve had a full day and prioritised the aforementioned other things. A full day is better than an empty day, at least for now.
IA Writer lets me work on a blank screen with no text distractions. Ordinarily, blank paper scares me, but screens are a different matter. I know what 500 words looks like on a screen, roughly. I know that the quality of most of my writing is quite wobbly right now, too. The important thing is getting it done and treating this time as the run-up or on ramp to a more predictable pastime. It will get easier, I’m certain.
In the meantime, the habit of leaving my mobile phone at my desk when it’s time for sleep is beginning to take. The effect it’s having on the quality of sleep is, although not easily measurable, significant in a positive way. There are evenings when I head upstairs to bed, realise I am carrying a phone and consciously go back downstairs to deposit it. There is no checking of email. There is no checking of anything just in case. Everything that’s happening at that moment in time will be easily accessible in the morning, and the world hasn’t stopped since I don’t check my email at 10pm each night.
My silly £5.50 alarm clock is doing its job and actually isn’t that silly after all. I’m not quite at the point where I have a reliable sleep pattern, and that’s not a bad thing necessarily, but I am waking more refreshed. I’m also not at the point where I can jump out of bed and go walking first thing, but that’ll happen soon. I am beginning to notice the dawn start a little earlier each day, and a desire to make myself a better life is slowly returning. I switched phone networks the other day, and I’m looking around the another electricity supplier, too. These small changes are borne out of a spark for a better existence, not from fear or necessity. These small changes are already starting to add up.
Sure, there’s more than enough juggling and plate spinning going on, professionally and personally, but that’s life. There are more lows than highs and — believe me — the lows are low, but the master plan won’t happen by itself.