I’ve been up for four hours now, and I haven’t written or published anything; yet.
This is unusual for me, since I have a commitment with myself to write and publish at least two pieces of writing online each morning. Depending on how long those pieces are, it sometimes takes me until lunchtime to complete.
Today began as usual. I woke up early, made myself a cup of green tea, and sat down at my desk to write. I had an article topic in mind, and began researching it. And that’s when my morning was thrown off course.
I found myself distracted by the content other people were writing and publishing. I started questioning my own writing abilities, and whether I should even be writing about this topic at all.
In other words, comparison and fear showed up at my door, which happens fairly often. The problem was, I allowed them to take control of me. I allowed them to distract and confuse me, and sap my time and my energy.
And it took several hours to get back to here; writing this article, which I would usually have completed twice over by now.
I struggled with what to write about for longer than I should allow myself to remain indecisive. Eventually, I decided to write about my struggle, since this appears to be what’s coming through for me today.
There were quite a few moments where I was ready to call it a day, and give on getting any writing done. I told myself I’ll catch up on emails, or editing, or other admin work today; and return tomorrow, refreshed and ready to go. And that would have certainly been the easy thing to do.
But I made a commitment to myself.
I made a commitment to show up five days a week (Monday through Friday) and write and publish two pieces of writing. On top of that, I’m a writer. I make a living from my writing. So how can I possibly call it quits after just a few hours?
And that’s when I knew I needed to write about this. Because this is what it means to be a writer.
Being a writer means showing up and writing, even when you don’t know what to write. Because this will inevitably happen in your career. You’ll feel uninspired or tired or lazy or distracted, and the words won’t seem to flow like they do on a good day. But if you save your writing only for your good days, you won’t spend much time writing at all.
And then by default, you won’t grow and become a better writer. You’ll fall behind all the other writers who are consistently showing up each day and writing, even when it’s challenging.
Without those obstacles and tests from the universe, there is no growth. And ultimately, I think growth is what we’re all looking for.
Perhaps we want the external gifts that validate the idea we’re a “success”: money, fame, and expensive props. But underneath those visible factors, there has to be internal growth. Because that’s what truly fulfils and inspires us to keep moving forward, and striving for better each day. Without that internal growth, we feel hollow, regardless of how “successful” we may be.
So you may think it doesn’t matter if you take today off, from whatever it is you committed to do.
Writing an article, sending an email, reading a motivational book, painting something, baking a cake, planting those seeds in the back garden… whatever it may be.
But it does matter. In fact, it matters on these days perhaps more than it does on the others.
Because this is a challenge. It’s testing you. It requires you to go further than you usually would, and ignore those voices in the back of your head telling you to give up. And in doing this, there is always growth. You’re on the verge of making a shift, creating a new story in your mind, and having a breakthrough.
So whether you’re a writer or not, doesn’t really matter. This lesson can be applied to anyone’s life today, regardless of who they are, or where they hope to go.
Showing up for yourself on the days when you’re struggling to is crucial in taking that next step. It reminds you that you have more control over your mind than you think you do. It increases your willpower and focus. And it is a beautiful foundation for growth.
Whatever you don’t quite feel like doing, or you’re struggling to complete today—find the power within you to push through that temporary discomfort. Keep going. Even when you’re not overly happy with what is pouring out of you.
Because it matters today, more than it does on most days. And you won’t realise that until you’re through the other side; like I am right now, as I complete this article that I wasn’t even going to write today, and hit publish.