“Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.” -Barbara Kingsolver
I just joined a health club and today I went in to do some of the things the personal trainer suggested. I told myself I didn’t need to do it all. I just needed to show up and do what I could.
I got to the club early feeling a little out of place thinking everyone will be watching me. The woman behind the desk took my photo because I was new. There were a few earlier risers there this morning. I knew they were regulars. They had their club designed workout clothes, sweaty towels, their wireless headphones. I was a newbie. I forgot my headphones and towel. I was still trying to figure out the equipment and how to lock my locker.
But that’s ok. Because I showed up. I know what I need to do.
With National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) coming up in November, I am in challenge mode. But it’s important for me to remember that I am not in competition with anyone. No one likes to be a beginner and with writing it feels like that almost all the time. I am facing that bright white sheet of paper each time I sit down to write. How I get myself there is the trick. (Just like the health club).
This year NaNoWriMo may be a good way to challenge myself and to recognize I am not alone in this journey. But whatever I do or don’t do daily should never be because I am trying to compete with someone else.
This writing thing. I do it for me.