Archive for November 6, 2020

writing life

Showing Up

Over the past few weeks, while I’ve been taking time off from heavy-duty writing and trying to shake up my routine, one thing I’ve done is participate in a 30-day yoga challenge. There’s a program on YouTube that was set up for the start of the year, and I began it but only got a few days into it. I’d been thinking about giving it another go when someone in a writing group I’m in welcomed others to join her in doing it. And so, I’ve been doing a yoga practice daily.

And, wow, there really is a power in showing up every day to work on something. I’d taken a yoga class before, but it was once a week, and I’d done some things sporadically, but after doing it every day, I can feel such a difference in my strength and flexibility. Things that seemed impossible at first have become almost easy.

I’ve experienced something like this before, when I was doing physical therapy for my knees, and I was really good about doing the exercises daily. I finally got the range of motion I wanted, and I could get up and down the stairs easily.

This translates to so many other things, including writing. When I make a real effort to show up every day and put in the writing time, my output increases, and I think the quality does, as well. The more time you spend using your creativity, the more creative you are.

But this doesn’t necessarily mean every single day. I think “write every day” is bad advice because your mind needs breaks to stay productive. Even with the yoga, although this program involves doing something every day, it’s designed so that some days are breaks. You may have a few days that are really challenging for the body, followed by a day that’s just some gentle stretching and breathing. Find the gentle stretching and breathing for your mind. That may be a day to read a book instead of trying to write one. A better phrasing I’ve seen was “write every day you intend to.” Schedule breaks and vacations, but if it’s supposed to be a work day, show up and do the work.

Meanwhile, I have a 211-day streak on Duolingo for learning Norwegian. Even just doing 15 or so minutes a day is leading to real progress.

That may be my intention going through the rest of this year and into the next year, to show up every day (on the days I plan to) to work on the things that are important to me.