Let’s write 1,200 words from nowhere

I am working on a new habit of writing regularly. This is proving to be tougher than I thought. It was so easy to post on social media but taking that same energy to a new medium just seems so much harder. Why is that the case? I guess that is the power of habit. A good deal of effort and discipline is required early on with many things and habits are not exceptions. These are the startup costs I guess. The time, the effort, the discipline required and the things that have to be sacrificed to get started on something. When we get used to doing something it requires less effort.

So this piece is an example of something I am just doing on the go, an impromptu thing. I wanted to write but I had no idea about what really. However, I did not want to consider the idea that I had writer’s block, that I had nothing to write about. I wanted to explore this thing that I have heard about. That you can write about something when you have nothing to write.

It does not help when you are writing and you stop to check the number of words and it is less than 200 words when you would be happy to do at least 800 words. It can be a little discouraging to be honest. As someone who used to run a lot it is a familiar feeling. When you are starting the half-marathon, 21 kilometres, and when you are to feeling a little tired, you check your watch and it turns out you have not even covered 5 kilometres. At that point you know that it is going to be a long run because there is still a good 16 kilometres to go. You have not even done a third of the run at that point. But you don’t get discouraged. You only have to do one step at a time. So what do you do? You keep running. What else really!

One step at a time, that is all it takes. I am already inching towards 380 words but the idea is not to just come up with words, like fluff, to fill up space. No! You want to inspire someone in the process.

Nothing gets done until you are try. A goal remains just a wish until you start to work actively towards it. Then as you begin to work on it, it is no longer some hazy distant thing but something that can actually be achieved. And the more you apply yourself, the more you realise that you can actually do this.

Don’t get me wrong. It is not going to be easy to build a new habit. I have read from those in the know that 21 days is the time it takes to build a new habit. If you can stay the course for that long then you have made it. You have added another habit to your life and hopefully it will be something which improves the quality of your life.

So as I pause to take a breather, I realise that without too much effort I hit 470 words. Because I was just focussed on one word at a time. Thinking of writing 800 to 1000 words is quite scary. It seems like it is a huge amount of work but when you break it down, it is really just a number of words put together in many sentences.

It does help a little bit that I can do touch typing. I am forever grateful for the Pitman typing lessons many, many years ago. At that point in my life, I wondered of all things in the world, why on earth did I have to do typing. Why typing of all things ladies and gentlemen?

Little did I realise that typing would probably be one of the most useful things I could ever learn in school. Because long after I have left school, the position and arrangement of the the letters on the keyboard is not just in my head, it is in my fingers. I am not even sure that I really know where A, S, D, F are on the keyboard if I think about it but when I want to type the letters, my fingers know where to find them. I find this very intriguing. It is probably that thing they call muscle memory where the muscles know even though you might not actually be conscious of it. I guess it might explain why some people cannot remember their passwords but if they are on the computer, they are able to type it out with ease. As it turns out typing is probably the most practical thing I learnt in school andyet at some point I thought it was the most useless thing I could spend my time. To be young is to be foolish. I could not agree more with that.

When I set it out to type this, I was not sure what I really wanted to write about but I think now that as I start to approach the finish line, the point is getting clearer. I hope that I have not been waffling along the way because that would be no good.

Get started! On your marks, Get set, Go!

Don’t spend too much time in worrying about the nitty gritties. Get going and you will figure out many of the things as you go along. As someone who loves writing I have many hours reading up how to write more. And it dawned on me that I could never have been sillier. If you want to write more, you do exactly that, you write more.

If you want to start singing, sing even if it means you will get the wooden microphone every time. If you want to start coding, get into it even if you can’t get the code to run after many attempts. If you want to start cooking, get going even if means many burnt meals.

There is absolutely no substitute for starting. Nothing else in the world can replace this simple thing, getting started!

If you can type or record something on your phone or mobile device, go for it. If you can use your computer, great. If you have none of those things and just have pen and paper, that is more than good enough. Some of the world greatest literary pieces have their origins in pen and paper. Do not despise humble beginnings in any endeavour in life.

If you get started, you will start to make progress. The progress might not be obvious but you will now to get a little closer to your long term goal. Now that I am approaching 950 words in the article, I have been able to achieve this by pacing myself. I kept writing for as long as I was enjoying it.

Now that I have come all the way here I realise that I might as well go for 1,000 words. Why write all this just to stop short of 1,000 words. That really would make no sense to me at all.

So I will revisit this idea I had mentioned earlier but did not really get into it. I think to become really good at something it helps a great deal if you actually enjoy it. I know many people who are good at what they do. But some of them don’t actually enjoy it, it is just a job for them. But I also know others who really enjoy what they are do. These people are not just good, they are truly exceptional. I don’t think they ever work a day in their life at all. It is just play and they are inspiring the world in the process.

I think having reached 1,100 words, I am going to sign out because here I have exceeded my expectations. I started writing something with no clear gameplan and yet here we are. I went where the thoughts and ideas took me. I had a faint idea of the endgame, to actually put into practice the idea of starting something and I walked the talk, I wrote the words and told my story.

I hope that you are living the life you want every day. Go ahead and start taking those small steps. You will never know how far you can go until you try.

All the very best in everything. I am out. Tendai.

PS – The toughest thing now will be proof reading. Are we not blind to our own mistakes. I might have to read out everything aloud and that could take a bit of time. It is not easy to spot my own mistakes at all but I hope that I can weed out the embarrassing ones at least.

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