Submitted by megan on Mon, 01/19/2009 - 21:49
I started on my new writing scheme today. No, no no, don't worry. I didn't start writing. Sheesh.
But I did create a 20 minute writing playlist.
You know, even after taking a break for several weeks now, I still feel like I could breeze through a 20 minute run.
I suck at running. I run like an old lady. I barely lift my shoes up off the ground, and I kind of shuffle along. Pretty much every other runner passes me, kicking up their feet. And you know what I think? I think "Suckers. That bouncy stride is going to land you and your poor knees in a brace some day. Hrmfph" The only group of people I pass are the actual old ladies.
This fact is fine by me. I'm terrible at pretty much every sport I've ever tried. I'm graceless, ungainly, uncoordinated. The fact that I can do anything remotely sporty - like touching my toes - without seriously injuring myself is like some kind of fucking miracle.
If this is the case, that I could do something I'm terrible at for twenty minutes standing on my head, why then does the thought of spending 20 minutes doing something I'm actually good at scare me so thoroughly that I do not start?
Because not living up to your potential fucking sucks. I have not lived up to my potential in several areas, and being a disappointment, even if it's just to yourself, is pretty high on my list of things I don't enjoy.
I like to think that writing is one of my skills.
I don't want to disprove myself.
Thing is, it'll be bad. To start. It's unavoidable really. If I do 20 minutes, 5 days a week, I'd be surprised if I produced anything more than a few usable snippets in the first several weeks.
When we were both in our dating phases, Jennifer and I had a saying, one that is more or less true: if you don't talk to them, you can't kiss them. I don't even know if it helped us get some of that fabled kissing, but it sure did make us braver about talking to people we thought were interesting and cute.
If you don't sit down and do it, you cannot write a book.
The rules of engagement: pour a drink; start the playlist, 5 crazy repetitive keyboard and drum loop driven music; if I get up, press pause first; the 20 minutes must be completed in 40. Five days a week. Sit down, press play, write. Whatever.
The thing about running, about dating, about writing, is that you really have to decide you want it, and dive in.
This playlist, these rules: they tell me I want it. It's how I roll.