I haven’t posted much about it, but 10 days ago, I entered into a 90 day art challenge with my good friend Joseph Rhodes. He’s a musician who has been exploring “his” sound and what that entails, and I suggested to him that he make a song a day for 90 days. I did the same thing a few years back, and when I was done, I had a body of work that had a theme and through-line to it which helped me find what my voice really was.
Then, I made the huge mistake of saying the following: “It’s literally impossible to do something for 90 days straight and not have something to show for it.”
Alarm bells went off, and my brain was alight with signs all reading “HEY DUMMY THAT’S YOU! YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT YOU RIGHT NOW!”
The past few months, I’ve been really lax in writing my novel, and it’s been affecting me emotionally. And what I found is that I let resistance and self-loathing get in the way of sitting down and doing the damn work. After all, nothing comes out of a faucet that isn’t turned on. Sitting down to do the work is turning the faucet on. You may get a few drips, or a fountain, or nothing at all… But the third thing is the only guarantee if you don’t at least open the spigot.
So, today is day ten. Last night, I finished the longest, most troublesome chapter that has appeared since I started writing the novel, and I didn’t just finish it, I completely rocked it out. That chapter has sat in parts and pieces for literally two months, because it was such an ordeal and so many parts needed to come together that it was daunting. But last night, I just rolled up my sleeves, sat out on the front porch under the awning and watched the thunderstorms, and wrote. And wrote and wrote and wrote.
Tonight, I may not have that same flow. I may get stuck. I may work on frameworks. I may trickle out three sentences and resign to bed for the evening. But I doubt it, because momentum begets momentum, and right now, I’ve got lots.
So there’s an update for you, starting 10 days into a 90 day challenge. Look for lots more now that I’ve made it public.
90 day challenge