After the First Mile

David and I have been dragging rear a bit this week. It’s probably a mild virus, possibly something that hitchhiked from the tropics. Not awful, but we haven’t been hopping up and hitting the gym like usual.

Today, though, we mustered up the will power and did the workout. Afterwards, David said, “It didn’t feel good at first, but after the first mile, I got my rhythm and then it felt great.”

You know me – I thought of writing.

I’ve been working my way back into the groove this week with Middle Princess. I know I’ve talked about it before, how difficult it can be to get back into the writing every day and, more, trying to hit at least 1,000 words/day. A lot of people out there are doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), which calls for 50,000 words in the month, or about 1,666 words/day.

For me, I’ve really found that that first mile is really the hardest. Wordcount-wise, it’s somewhere around the first 350-400 words. Those can be painful and take forever to get out, but after that, it starts to feel good. Oh sure, some days I have to eke out to the very end, but often if I can just get past the 500 word mark, I can go pretty easily.

David said he thinks the hormones kick in after the first mile and I said, no, that shouldn’t be the case, because I see it with the writing like this.

What I think it is? The subconscious. Our subconscious is like a little kid or a pet. They like to play, to have fun, to run around and enjoy life. It’s the conscious, the left brain, who says “no more goofing off. you’re going to sit down and accomplish something.”

No, the subconscious doesn’t like hearing this. And, like a toddler or a puppy, it will test you.

Oh look! A yummy book to read!

Oh, let’s go outside!

What’s going on in Twitter-land?

If we want to get something done, we have to keep gently steering the subconscious back on task. I do mean gentle. If you scream at it, it’ll shut down and sulk.

But, if you keep running on the treadmill, keep tapping those keys, eventually the subconscious will play along. Then it starts to have fun. And, that, my friends, is when you hit the glory point.

It’s there. Believe me.

8 Replies to “After the First Mile”

  1. Totally agree with your thoughts on this! If I can JUST get past the first few pages on writing a new story, then I’m ok. But yes, bright shiny things like new books or twitter distract me endlessly. I don’t count the words so much, whichever half of the brain hates numbers can’t take the pressure!

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