It is scary to have 1000 words ahead of you and no idea where they’re going to come from. Especially at 11:34 p.m., which is exactly when I am writing my first (productive) words of the day.
Even if you don’t share the same writing goal as me, I’m sure you can relate, in some way, to finding absolutely nothing inside of you when you need to put the pedal to the metal (for example, I first wrote that as “petal to the medal,” which makes no sense at all).
I’m not supposed to be writing this. I’m supposed to be working on the very project I set out to work on this month. And yet, I just want to make my word count tonight so I can go to bed.
These are the things I’ve been doing for the last two hours: Check Facebook. Post to Facebook. Check Twitter. Post to Twitter. Think about how tired I am. Check Facebook again (no notifications). Start to write. Stop. Make snack. Conduct a short debate on which will be my nightcap: coffee or tea? Come to the conclusion that such a debate is moot because coffee always wins. Start writing a NoExNo email. Become suddenly and inexplicably fascinated with what that one girl from high school is up to. Realize I am nowhere near where I need to be before I can go to sleep, and I start writing this.
Somewhere closer to 12 a.m., I wish I was stronger. That after a busy day, I could just sit down and create masterful and poignant work every single night.
So I check Twitter again. This time, I see that my friend Dan has tweeted the following quote:
“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working” – Pablo Picasso
And then I get it. Tonight I was just going through the motions. I was only writing so I could check my 1000 words off my check-list and be done with it already, quality be damned.
I was phoning it in. And yet, I was still doing the work.
Have you ever had your best workout when you least wanted to go to the gym? Have you ever wanted to stay in but then went out and had the night of your life? Have you ever found inspiration from something you did by mistake?
You have to show up to reap your reward.
The point is: unless you do the work, you’ll never know what will come of it. For better or worse, you owe yourself a shot at doing something great.
It starts with showing up.
Now do the work.