Month Review: February

one million words

infographic: words I wrote in February

I wrote nearly 100,000 words this month; I wrote every morning and wrote an average of 3,000 words each day.

I broadened my focus from January  (during which my most common word was, apparently, “want”) to include reflections on writing, work, writing as work… the concept of time; the importance of inertia… thinking, feeling, people, philosophy, life and death.

I handwrote. I typed. I blogged. I published pieces on other blogs. I finished the first draft of a book. I finished reading four others.

And now, two months into this year-long initiative,

I want to share a word on making the word count happen:

It is not always easy.
It may not always be fun.
But: the meaningful things rarely are.

You have to make sacrifices to find the time. I got up at 5:30 most mornings to fit the work in before getting to the office. I wrote on the train, during my two-hour morning commute. I wrote at 6 am each Sunday. I wrote on Friday nights. I wrote despite working full-time; I reclaimed the “in between” hours in fit it in.

My point is that temptations and distractions came up, of course. They always do, for everyone. Possible excuses presented themselves, pawing at me – just like you -as I faced fatigue or frustration or fear – just like yours – before sitting down to write. But always, sometimes over and over if necessary, I wrung out the negativity and pressed forward.

This is an important thing to understand – that you will undoubtedly face these feelings (and that sometimes you may face them every day.) And it is the capacity to confront them, repeatedly, each and every day, that will yield the results you are looking for.

There were times when I could have slept in on the weekends instead of getting up and getting myself to Starbucks 8 minutes after it opened to write. There were times when I could have gone out instead of staying in to finish a piece. There were times when I could have watched the movie instead of quietly working while it was on, or times when I could have spent another hour surfing the internet instead of writing. (Or gone to bed early instead of making up for that hour lost by writing afterwards.)

The point is: I too had countless opportunities to not write; to de-prioritize the work or make excuses; rationalize against actually doing it. We all experience roadblocks. The important thing is not the obstacle, but the opportunity to overcome it; to force your way through feelings of exhaustion or frustration in the work… and you can. Everyone has it within them to drive their own desires forward.

You simply have to want it enough. And you have to make the sacrifices to make it happen.

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One comment

  1. […] wrote last month about the importance of determination and discipline in reaching our goals, and I will say it […]

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