Start With Making A Vow
It’s easy to say I want to do something, but hard to follow through. Do I want to be fit and healthy? Yes! Do I want to set my alarm an hour earlier and jog in the rain? Um, well, not really.
After at least two decades of writing efforts starting and stopping, I felt I’d hit a point of now-or-never. Life was only giving me more excuses not to write, and when push came to shove, I finally felt just how much I wanted and needed to create. Not an easy thing to admit to myself (see F about fear and failure).
I vowed to write daily for one year and started that day. What came from that initial vow, that promise to myself to commit to my desire to write, was volition.
I mentioned earlier about some colleagues of mine who manage to teach, write, jam in a band, and raise a child or two (see M), and I think one characteristic they have that I’ve now acquired through daily practice is volition, a kind of power that comes from making the decision to do it—to paint, perform, or write.
As you make time and energy for your craft every day, the will to continue strengthens. As more months full of creative effort pass, you’ll find resolve instead of nerves (see N), focus, determination, and quick recovery when life throws you off course.
Daily practice is hard; it’s hard for all the reasons I’ve written about so far, like getting motivated (M), overcoming fear (F), and perfectionism (P), so if you really want to do this, make a vow. Promise yourself a set amount of time (six months? a year?) that you will give your craft some effort daily. Then, let that commitment fuel the drive to continue your work through thick or thin, in good times and bad, because I’m coming to suspect that the longer we stick with daily effort, the deeper the fulfillment, the more pleasing and surprising the results, and the happier we’ll be.