A Challenge

This year I’ve been trying something new; writing every single day. The limited term for this challenge is the 40 Days of Lent. A partially arbitrary period; I’m an avowed atheist, but there’s an air of sacrifice about and I’d be a fool to ignore it.

The idea came from a close friend, and we’ve been keeping in near-daily contact to keep one another on the straight and narrow. For the most part, we have been killing it, but we’ve hit some rough patches, and today is such a patch.

This is Day 16, and almost every fibre of my being is screaming for me to stop typing and put the head down, get some sleep. I’m feeling a little stuck – I have no shortage of ideas, I’ve been trying to space them out so that I can be sure to have something different to write about every day – my problem is motivation. I’m running low.

I didn’t write anything last night, so this post counts as one of my items, a warm-up to get caught up.

I recognise this feeling, I’ve felt it before as a photographer, videographer, guitarist, pianist and bassist, it’s familiar to most creatives, and it’s the reason this challenge is such an important exercise. Powering through this doldrum is what separates the professionals from the hobbyists. I could never get past it in my music, I’m no musician. I would drop the instrument for a while, anywhere from a fortnight to a year, and then pick it up again, feeling fresh and expressive. A professional musician doesn’t have that luxury, and when she gets past that “running up a sanddune” period, she will be a stronger musician for it.

Tonight is an opportunity for me to show myself how serious I am about being a committed creative writer. This post has been a warm-up – now I’m off to write down some thoughts and a couple of script pages or character outlines. It’s tough, but it’s a meaningful and valuable commitment in oneself.

I highly recommend it.