Beccy is the author of beccyjoy, a blog she uses to share stories from her perspective as a young psychotherapist, Christian, mom, wife, writer and Minnesotan. Beccy posts focus on “having great relationships, motherhood, having awesome mental health, faith, saving money, being active, pursuing dreams, and understanding each other.” I’m honored to share Beccy’s observations and commitment to a 66 Day Challenge to pursue her writing dreams.
If Not Now…
A friend who is about 20 years older than me explained that he was giving up his dream to be a writer because his time had come and gone.
“Just do it now,” he advised, saying that I was in the perfect life stage to write.
“What? You’ve got to be kidding!” I thought. I have two small children, my house is a mess, I have a career, and I can’t remember the last time I slept the night through. From my perspective he is in the perfect life stage; with more experience, time, space, and quiet.
But as I sat in Rosanne Bane’s Writing Habit class, listening to my classmates explain why they were having a hard time making writing a habit, I was struck that we were all was saying different versions of the same thing my friend told me.
We were all convincing ourselves that we couldn’t write, especially not today.
While I would like to think I am unique, or have special circumstances making it harder for me, I learned that resistance is not unique, special or new; it is just a force that is trying to hold us back and it always sucks.
Questions to Break Resistance’s Hold
Rosanne invited us to write and brainstorm answers to “Why write?” and “Who benefits?” We started answering with small things like “I’ll be in a better mood.” Eventually we realized that there are no bounds to how many people might benefit if we do the thing that we feel called to do.
We don’t know who could be touched by our words or how someone’s life could be changed by the simple act of showing up to write.
In Storyline, Donald Miller says, “…when we push the plot forward we’ll drive light into darkness, no matter how mundane it may feel.” And suddenly, our messy house, perfectionism, ADHD, and cluttered desk do not seem like sufficient reasons to give up.
66 Day Challenge
As someone who struggles to follow through with good intentions, I needed to try something different with writing. Applying what I learned in Rosanne’s class (more on that here), I withdrew 66 dollar coins from the bank. Every time I show up to write, I transfer a coin from one jar to the other.
The jars of coins sitting on my desk serve as a visual reminder to sit down and write. The clinking of cold hard cash is my immediate reward for spending at least 15 minutes writing.
The clear jars allow me to gauge my progress and estimate how many more days until my habit is engrained (66 days in a row make a solid habit). If I fail to write when I said I would, I will start over, dumping all of my coins back in the first jar.
When all 66 coins have been transferred to the jar on the right I will reward myself with something fun that costs $66. Daydreaming about what I’ll buy keeps me coming back. A massage?… A babysitter for an afternoon?… Books?… Jeans?…Thai food with a friend?
Join me in this 66 day challenge. It could be just what you need to build your writing habit. Leave a comment on my blog and let me know how it’s going.
Read more of Beccy’s search for joy and connection at beccyjoy.wordpress.com.