There comes a point when you just aren’t counting anymore.
The 1,400 day mark snuck up on me. It happened because I no longer care about how many days in a row I’ve been writing. It’s no longer about the number or the consecutive or any record or any of that. The number is just a cherry on top but I’m eating the cake Every Single Day.
In case you’re new around here … 1,400 days ago I wasn’t writing. At all. I liked to talk about writing and how “someday” I’d be a writer (again) but I wasn’t doing it. John Muldoon over at Monthly Experiments customized one of his challenges so that I would write 30 days in a row in order to (try to) build up a writing habit. I wasn’t looking forward to it. It sounded painful. It didn’t sound like fun. Talking about being someone and actually being that someone are canyons apart from each other. Long story short, I succeeded in the 30-day challenge and have kept going and today is day 1,400.
It’s now hard for me to imagine not writing every day. It’s hard for me to fathom not being a writer. I scoff at the idea of doing what I was doing 1,400 days ago. It’s no longer an effort, in fact, it’s energizing. If I don’t get to my writing in the morning, it’s like not having coffee to start the day.
Why do you do what you do?
At these 100 day milestones, I try to think back and reflect on changes or progress since the last 100 day milestone. At 1,400, what comes to mind is a scene from the Shawshank Redemption where Red (Morgan Freeman) is sitting before the review board about his parole and his whole attitude has changed since his last parole meeting. He’s not trying to convince the board that he’s rehabilitated, he even questions the definition of that word. He’s no longer sitting there for them, he’s sitting there for him. He no longer cares what they think about him or even if they are going to let him out.
It’s at this point that they set him free. He’s no longer doing it for them. He’s no longer “trying” to be someone that he thinks they want him to be. He’s speaking from his heart rather than from his mind. He truly no longer cares what anyone else thinks. He’s who he is for his own reasons and they can take it or leave it. They let him out.
Writing fuels my heart and streamlines my energy.
I can no longer not do it.
I used to joke that I was “a travel writer who didn’t travel or write.” At some point, I thought it was funny. But it wasn’t funny. I wanted to do, I wanted to be, both of those things and I was neither. Now I’m both.
You can’t fake 1,400 days.
What gets you out of bed in the morning? If you had no other obligations, no commitments, appointments or responsibilities, what would you do first thing in the morning? If it feels like you’re paddling upstream, when do you know that you’ve turned around your vessel and are floating downstream? What comes easily? What builds energy instead of uses it? What’s in your heart? Only you know it and only you can let it out. You don’t have to tell anyone, but let it out a little bit every day. In fact, do it Every Single Day.
If it’s truly coming from your heart, from a place that you feel instead of know, by letting it out you are letting it bloom. By holding it in, it will soon corrode and at some point become poisonous. Don’t worry about 1,400, focus on another number. Here’s a good one: 1.
If today were Day #1 of who you want to become, how would you act? What would you do? Even if briefly, even if secretly, even if you think you wouldn’t tell anyone in a million years. Who would you be if today was day one of the rest of your life?
See you in another 100 days. I’ll be here. You?