Monday, August 20, 2007

The 650 Words-A-Day Challenge

I have a new book I began some weeks ago that I'm stalling on. Okay, procrastinating. I sit at my computer, search for recipes to use up the huge zucchini my neighbour gave me. Read an article on Internet Addictions and get lost in cyber-searching for 'related articles'. Did you know that food metaphors abound in our discourse about information? Water metaphors run rampant. We say that we 'wade through the information', 'swim in it', 'drown in it' and 'surf its channels'. We speak of 'oceans', 'rivers'.... ooops. I digress. Back on track, Spider Solitaire chews up a bit of time, as does letting Ellie and then Mollie in and out of the backyard. Suddenly, the open window of space and opportunity to write closes as time evaporates into meaningless tasks, and I have to move on with my day.

Doesn't do much for getting the first draft finished. Does a heck of a lot for increasing my anxiety level, and my sense of disappointment in myself! -- I know I'm not living my Be. Do. Have -- Be committed to Do what it takes to Have what I want.

I think about why and realize, that's another form of procrastination. It's not about why I'm not writing. It's about the fact that I'm not doing what it takes to get it written. Success comes in the Doing, not the whying.

It's just like the weight I want to lose. That thirty pounds and I are still best friends, still having a close and committed relationship. Why I'm not doing what it takes to have them gone is not the issue. The fact is, I need to Do, not chew over the why keeping me stuck in regurgitating my unease with carrying around my excess baggage.

Focussing on the why lets me off the hook of accountability. There are 5,301 reasons why I don't keep my commitments to myself. And out of that 5,301 -- there's only one truth. Because I choose not to.

And as I write, I remember the idea I had last night. The commitment I decided I'd start with today as an opportunity to do something different.

Six months ago I made a commitment to write on this blog every single day. I'm keeping it.

I need to enhance that commitment. Yesterday, two people wrote and mentioned that while my blog was good story-telling, it was a tad long. Yup. They're right.

Now, length is not the determining factor when I write in this space. I figure it takes as long as it takes. Because I have one hour every morning that I've committed to being present here, I don't spend a lot of time editing down -- which is always the hard part for me -- hence why I write long. Gives me more words to cut away when, as, if I have the time -- at least that's my excuse for not doing something I need to do to have what I want -- writing that inspires and doesn't tire out your eyes!

Good writing and long writing are not synonymous. Sparseness. Clean. Concise. Those too are attributes of good writing. Writing that sparks the imagination, asks provocative questions -- doesn't need length -- it needs powerful ideas written with clarity. So, my commitment -- for this week, is to write on here with a maximum of 650 words a day.

I'm going to borrow an idea from a cyber-acquaintance, Alex Fayle at Someday Syndrome and pose a question at the end that relates to the subject matter of my blog and leave the thinking up to you.

The question is: Where are you keeping yourself stuck in whying, rather than doing?

And PS -- feedback is welcome. I'd love to hear where you've excelled at Be. Do. Have. and/or where you're missing out because you're caught in the circular game of figuring out the Why.

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