Last night for the first time in a long time, I thought about blowing off my commitment to 15 minutes of Product Time. The day hadn’t gone as planned and I’d let other commitments take precedence, so Product Time didn’t start when I scheduled it. It was late in the evening, I was tired and whiny and quite frankly in the middle of one of my least favorite writing tasks (transcribing an interview – I love interviewing people, I really enjoy crafting the transcription into a cohesive piece, but the transcribing is just torturous). I just didn’t feel like writing.
Fortunately, my Loft Writing Habit class starts this Friday and I couldn’t imagine going into to the first class and admitting I hadn’t honored the commitment I encourage all my students to keep. So I reminded myself that I only had to do 15 minutes, that I didn’t have to finish the whole transcription, I didn’t even have to transcribe at all.
I decided to start with an email I’d received from my writing buddy Jean (the one who wrote that outstanding poem Synaptic Jazz). She’d attached a New York Times article with this note: “Made me wonder whether the ‘habit-forming’ aspect applies to writing and your book. A bit of a stretch, but it was an interesting read in any case.”
Jean understated it a bit. The article wasn’t just interesting, it was exactly what I needed for a Brain Factoid for Chapter 10! (For those of you keeping track, I finished Chapter 9 on the target date of January 15.) I hadn’t even realized I needed this information. This was synchronicity working at its best.
The gift of having a writing habit is that we show up even when we don’t feel like it. And the gift of showing up even when we don’t feel like it is that putting in our time puts us in position to receive something unexpected and wonderful.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said it best:
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.
“All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”