I have to write. Right now. Because if I don’t write now, if I have a bowl of popcorn first and read some comic books, I’m going to feel even less like writing than I do now. That’s right, I don’t feel like writing now. But here’s the thing – I have to write. This is my commitment and that surpasses, it trumps feelings and preferences. I just need to write because, who knows, this could be my 10,000th hour and if I miss or delay that, then I’m missing or delaying my success. So even though all I’m doing is a stream-of-consciousness thing, I’m putting in my time. Sometimes that’s what work is: we put in our time. Some days are extremely busy and the work is hard. Other times, you go to work and there’s really not much to do. But you still have to be there. You still have to be physically present. I remember going to a meeting once in which we were all supposed to learn a new computer program. Unfortunately the program didn’t work. I was the first to discover this and I told my supervisor, who informed me that I was doing it wrong. I wasn’t. The program didn’t work and there was nothing anyone could do to fix it. I asked my supervisor if I could be excused to work on other things. I was told no. We were required to stay at the meeting even though there was nothing to do. So we sat there for the next 25 minutes while the supervisor made some unnecessary announcements until the time was up. The point was we had to be present.
That’s what purpose is like sometimes. I have to be present. Specifically what that means is that I have to write, even if what I’m writing seems to be pointless or a waste of time. I still have to show up. Publishing isn’t as important, though that’s usually the goal. But the main thing is the writing. There’s no shortcut to this either. Thinking about writing doesn’t count, even if I write the greatest work ever (in my head). If it doesn’t appear on a piece of paper or a computer screen, then it doesn’t count. Talking about writing doesn’t count either. Even if I inspire someone or someone inspires me, if it doesn’t appear on a piece of paper or a computer screen, it doesn’t count. The only thing that counts is sitting in my chair and writing.
And that’s what I’ve done. I’m tired and hungry, but I did it. I had to. My Muse was counting on me. I have some goals and I won’t reach them magically. If I want magic to happen, I have to make something appear out of nothing. That’s why I fill the blank page or the computer screen. I’m trying to make magic happen. Tonight I did it. Tomorrow I have to do it again. I have to Get Started and Keep Going. I have to.