“The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.”
Juma Ikaanga, Tanzanian marathoner
So yesterday came and went without my developing a writing schedule. For some reason, I have much more difficulty blocking out space for writing than I have blocking out space for my other avocation, running. Both pose the same divergence in ways to plan my work. As a runner, I can plan by how many miles I’m going to run each day (amount) or by how long I’ll run (time). Likewise, I can commit to writing a certain number of words each day (amount) or I can set aside an hour or two or less or more to writing (time). I suspect that something physical is at work. Running requires a commitment of the whole body. I don’t run and watch television or run and listen to music (though I know many people do). When I go for a run, I am away from home, from Dutch, my wife, from Bobolito, my three-year-old. The activity creates its own realm, its own stillness even in the midst of motion. When I write, I have to create that realm in my head, or I have to go to some place where I am able to be isolated. But even then, the physical act of writing is so much less demanding than the physical act of running that it takes more psychic energy to maintain my focus. All of which are poor excuses, of course, for not having created a schedule. If anything, it points up the greater need for a specific schedule if I’m going to write. I need to devote myself even more to clearing a space.
Given that, and along with the idea that “perfect” is the enemy of “done,” I’m going to commit myself to 500 words each day on my novel, beginning today, the 23rd of November, 2011. Whatever I put here on the blog doesn’t count. Foolishly ambitious? Probably. But this post will end up reaching about 350 words or so by the time I’m done, so if I think in terms of several good-sized paragraphs, I think I can do it. Nope, wrong attitude. I know I can do it.