Progress through Small Steps

I had to go in to the office today. It was going to be a much more important day, with the three lead developers getting into a room and whiteboarding the next generation of our flagship software. Two out of three of us were there, but the third was sick so we’re rescheduling. It was also the start day of one of our developers, so the day wasn’t a complete wash. Still, my time would have been better spent at home.

Staying home hasn’t really been the problem for me during the pandemic. I’ve always been a bit of a home body, and my favorite pass-times involve the computer, whether it’s computer games or writing. The thing that’s killed my writing progress has been the loss of hope. If I feel like there’s no hope of my stories being read, then I can only force myself to form the words for so long.

That brings me back to this exercise of daily blogging, which I’ve already talked about a little bit. Because I’m doing this publicly, there’s a chance that someone will see these words and a connection will form. My thoughts, coerced into this page, picked up by your eyes and turned back into thought. As Stephen King says, it’s telepathy. It’s magic. And I love it.

Writing something like this every day is a small step, even though it looks like a large commitment. It doesn’t take that long for me to jam out a post like this. I type very quickly, and I organize my thoughts before I start so that one point will theoretically lead into another. Some of these posts are going to be more coherent than others, and some are going to be better edited than others, because I’m doing this fast and dirty. This is first draft quality, baby.

The commitment is small every day, but intimidating because it’s daily. I do this kind of thing every October, though, so I’m not worried. And since I’m not trying to impress anyone, there’s reduced pressure to “get it right” every day.

Each post is a small step, all by itself. Is it actually helping me progress towards my end goal of writing for real again?

I think so. I committed to editing another 10,000 words this weekend, so I can have my next submission ready to go for the writer’s group. That feels like progress. Also, I’ve been thinking more about why my writing has been locked up. I think the daily blog is helping me gain some focus and perspective.

That will likely be the topic for tomorrow, but here’s a hint: I don’t think I’m worthy of taking up so much of another person’s time with my stories.