I’m writing the first draft of a book. I set aside one hour a day to focus on it. Sometimes it flows.
Other times, it’s like tying down a hyper kindergartener to a chair and forcing her to count the lines in a 5-subject notebook.
Yeah, it’s like that.
Moments like that, the most ordinary things become interesting. Like my cellphone case… the plastic cover… the boba stamp cards inside (I have 3 free bobas waiting for me yas)… the metal that holds everything together…
Today was one of those days. I checked my timer often, confirming that my estimation of time is completely off. I heard myself internally yelling, That’s it?!?! and This is taking foreverrrr and When is this going to end?!
Basically, I was a child.
But for some reason, I couldn’t stop. Even though I kept creeping on my phone, my thumb hovering over Instagram and Facebook… I kept going. I put away the phone. I ignored the messages, the emails – the red notifications whispering sweet temptations to just check “real quick”.
The resistance was real. Really real. And I refused. Because I already knew what it was like to give in, to forego my resolution, to watch my willpower slowly cave in and crumble into dust. I already knew what was at the end of that. It isn’t failure. It isn’t punishment. It’s nothingness. It is emptiness. It is the feeling that, in the end, I didn’t choose myself.
Because this book is an extension of myself. It’s something I believe in, something birthed from me, my creativity, my thoughts, an idea.
I’d let too many ideas in the past go. I’d let them die premature deaths with I’ll get to them later or Nah, I probably can’t do that anyway. And now when I look back, it’s all nothingness. An emptiness. It’s me not choosing myself.
I gave up before I’d even tried.
I understand that feeling so well. And I don’t like it. I don’t agree with it anymore. I’m not okay with letting things go the way it “wants to go”. Of course, there’s always a balance of going with the path of least resistance. But that’s another blog post haha.
I want something to show for my existence. Not in the sense that I want recognition. But more in the sense of producing work that I’m proud of. That’s what the book is to me. And this blog. Seriously. Call me narcissistic, self-absorbed, conceited – I really don’t care.
I’m proud of my writing, that I keep writing and believe in it. Because I enjoy it and it makes sense to me. And if I can keep doing that, I’m happy. I feel I have so much to go, in terms of finding more direction for my writing. I know there’s so much more I can do – but there’s always so much more I can do. It never ends. There’s only today. Today counts.
I know, that even if my word count wasn’t as high as yesterday because my mind wandered, I stuck with it. I kept going because I chose myself. Because I found it worthwhile to deliberately push aside the less vital but “fun” things to pursue something for myself, to pursue myself, essentially.
I guess a part of me is proud because I’ve never really been proud of myself for anything. That sounds sad for some of you. That sounds like triumph to me.
The feeling of having reached the peak of a mountain that I never imagined was meant for me – it’s a nice feeling. To say the least hahah. Perhaps that’s a dramatic metaphor. I’m a dramatic person so I think it’s quite appropriate haha!
In all seriousness though – I see now, that when one has the desire, the burning desire for something, there’s a sense of focus on it, the sense of the blurring of everything else. Even when things don’t make sense, when things don’t seem like they’re going my way, or any way sometimes, when things are foggy and getting dim, that desire burns the way for me.
I just know that it will make sense in the end. I know nothing was, is, nor ever will be wasted. I know that it’s a responsibility I choose to have, to work at something I believe in. The world may not need or want it. But I need it, for myself. I want it, for myself. It’s worthy, simply because it’s mine and I’ve decided on it.
But not gonna lie – while writing this post, I’ve checked my phone at least half a dozen times hahaha. The resistance is real!!!
I end with something Steven Pressfield said in The War of Art:
The most important thing about art is work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.
I may have shared it before. That’s how much it speaks to me hahah. Really recommend it for anyone seeking to put aside the bullshit and get on with producing things that really matter – you know what they are.