This evening I trudged my way around the oval where Murphlet 6 was doing footy training. I usually love my evening walk, but tonight I was , without a doubt, trudging. It’s cold today, a but drizzly and I’m tired and a bit grumpy. The walk did not improve my mood. But it ticked a box on my list of things to. And back home, thinking about that walk, it has just occurred to me that getting my walk in is just like getting writing done.
See, the reason I was so determined to walk even when I’m didn’t want to, was because I’m in one of those pedometer challenges where you try to walk at least 10000 steps a day. This one is called the Global Corporate Challenge, and involves workplace teams trying to challenge themselves to be more active at the same time as competing against other teams in the workplace, across the country and internationally. If you don’t walk enough, you see your average go down, and your team average go down. If you do the steps your stats go up. And, you get fitter and maybe leaner.
Most days I’m loving it. I go for a morning walk and an evening walk, and often sneak in one or two quick strolls during the day giving me a break from my desk.
And I’m seeing stuff like this
But today, as I’ve said, was cold and wet and also cold. And I didn’t get much sleep last night. So it got to five o’clock and my step count was right down. And I thought about not bothering. Then I thought how I would feel tomorrow morning when I entered 6000 steps instead of the 13000 I’ve been beating most days. And that thought got me on my feet and I went for a trudge, and it got cold and I didn’t feel uplifted . But I achieved my goal for the day.
It’s just like writing. Most days I crave more time to write, so I appreciate the time I actually have to sit at my desk and write. I write poems and strikes and reviews and blog posts, and it get to the end of the day and feel satisfied.
But some days, I don’t feel like it. Maybe I’ve had a rejection. Or maybe I’m tired. Or maybe the sun is shining and I’d rather be out walking <grin>. Sometimes I don’t realise I don’t feel like writing, but I let myself get distracted by other stuff – the internet, television, rearranging the pantry. And some days I get to the end of the day and realise I haven’t written anything.
But I’m a writer, And my job is to write. If I had a little pedometer type thing attached to my wrist that told me how much writing I’d done, and then I had to enter in on a website each day, maybe I’d trudge my way through the words. But I don’t have a counter (except word count which isn’t always a sign of productivity because I don’t do all my writing on my computer, and also because sometimes a hundred perfectly crafted words is worth more than 10000 random ones).
So without the counter, all I can do is try to account to myself for each day’s productivity. And remind myself that if I want to be a writer I must write, even when it isn’t easy or fun. I have other tricks, like making a list of tasks to be done, and crossing them off as they’re done., and sometimes there are external motivators like deadlines. But other days it’s just a trudge. Getting one word down at a time till I can tell myself I’ve done enough. Because, again, I’m a writer.
Luckily, most days writing is fun and rewarding, just like most days are for walking. And, having written all this I now feel a whole lot better about this evening’s walk.