When I go to the gym, it doesn’t matter if I walk on the treadmill for 15 minutes or 30 minutes. No one is timing me or watching me to make sure I work out, and as long as I log in for 12 times a month, my insurance will reimburse a portion of my gym fees. But no one is keeping track of the weight I’m losing (none so far, by the way). I’m the only one who will notice. So I don’t give up after 15 minutes. I increase the treadmill’s incline, or I speed it up, or I switch to the elliptical machine. I try to challenge my body so that eventually, I will lose weight.
The same thing is true with writing. No one will notice if I take a day off. If I write less than 500 words in a blog post, no one will say anything. It’s funny, just as I was planning out what to write in my head, Ed started to head upstairs. “I still have to write a blog post,” I said.
“No, you don’t,” Ed replied. He was right. I didn’t. Don’t get the wrong idea; he is supportive of my blog…it’s just that truthfully, I didn’t have to write a blog post tonight.
This NaBloPoMo blog-post-per-day, however, has been my “thing” since 2009. No one will know if I don’t write 30 posts for November this year.
But I would know. I know when my blog posts are written at the last minute and not thought out. I know when they are mundane and not very interesting to read. I’m not a humor writer, as much as I want to be. I can’t always find the right metaphors, and I often “tell” my stories instead of “showing” my stories.
I try to challenge myself, however, and so I write. I exercise my writing skills even when I don’t have to, so that eventually, I’ll become a better writer.
What have you been exercising lately?