The morning after my return full of determination at 5am I jumped onto the sofa. I was in a great frame of mind and had lots of ideas for my heroine's back story. Eager to capture my creativity whilst in full flow I settled in with my tea and with fingers poised I began. All was well until Ferdy the dog decided that he needed to sit on top of me with his face on my computer sucking up the warmth. I adjusted my position and gave him a tickle.
Feeling safe and comforted I continued. Without warning random questions started coming my way.
‘How did this happen?’
‘Why can’t I sell the house?’
‘Why? Why? Why?…’
Forcing these uninvited thoughts to go away I tried once again.
Head back down, unclear of where my heroine's backstory was leading, I re-read the last half a page. OK got it. And on I tapped. Only ten words in.
“It’s wrong isn’t it?”
“Well the way in which he said….”
“What way? Why should I care?”
Whilst I love a great debate, and I adore communicating on all levels, talking to myself might get me locked up. I have also come to realise that to get my novel started I need to get other clutter out of my mind.
You may not be writing a novel but you may find yourself somewhere with lots of thoughts swirling around your head. These can be de-cluttered with just a pen and a journal. So I am inviting you to a 27 Day Challenge.
Here is the plan:
Set a goal for a number of words per day – lets say 1,000. I know it’s a lot but that is roughly two sides of A4. OK I lied - three.
Are you screaming "no I can’t"? What if I said that all you had to do was write for ten minutes each day? How does that sound?
What if I said, you make the rules? Yeah, better? OK so tell yourself what the goal is and write it on a post-it and pop it on the bathroom mirror.
Is this achievable? What random activities do I spend every day that I could cut out for this or at least reduce? Facebooking? Twitter? Watching TV?
Of course it’s neither a race nor a competition it is simply a personal challenge.
Have you thought about where you can write? The sofa? Your office? How about in bed? Make it somewhere you feel safe and comfortable and will not be disturbed.
What time? Night or morning are always the best. Anyone who thinks that they will journal part way through the day usually find that they don’t. It’s best either first or last thing. A word about last thing: this lets your unconscious mind unravel and by morning you usually have clarity – at least this is what works for me.
However, dear friends, I need to tell you something about me. I am a great starter full of enterprise and ideas where I often find a trail of unfinished things. You might call it easily bored. And it is true I am easily bored, however, journaling and writing has become my saviour on many a dark day and because I know its healing properties I want to encourage you to take up the 27 Day Challenge and see where it takes you.
What might you reward yourself with when you reach the half way mark?
What about a simple luxurious facial and massage? Something to ease the tension of your chaotic mind and taut body.
I can’t lie to you. Implementing new habits is tough especially when your inner critic is sitting on your shoulder, dressed in red satin whispering temptations in your ears.
So here’s the thing: after 27 days this will no longer be a challenge, will it? It will just be part of your daily routine, won't it?
We’d better get on with it then. And if I can do it so can you.
Remember that writing will pull the answers from deep within you. All you have to do is start and to trust.
What are your 27 Day Challenge questions?
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