I don’t feel well

I don’t feel well. 

It is 05:12AM and I am up to write. 

All I want to do is go back to bed. It’s nothing serious, just coming down with a call. But I don’t feel well and the bed is more tempting.

But I don’t want to break the streak.

Every morning for the last 40 days I’ve been up to write at five. As I am today. But those other 40 mornings I’ve felt OK. Some of them I’ve felt decent, a few of them I’ve felt great. But none of them I’ve not felt well, like this morning. 

Still, after twelve minutes of procrastination, I pulled myself together and started putting down words.

Being able to do something despite not feeling well is a tiny super power. Not because doing something when you’re feeling well usually leads to great outcomes. The magic comes from maintaining consistency. And, if you didn’t know, everything great is an outcome of persistent application.

Consistency. It is so easy to trivialise it. To think no worries, I’ll do it tomorrow. I’ll undoubtedly be feeling better then, so better to just rest up and spend my time doing something a little easier today. Most times I don’t even actually rest when I tell myself I’ll be resting. Instead I find myself mindlessly surfing the web, wasting time; not putting it to good use for neither doing nor resting.

I’ve devised a rule to decide whether I’m actually in need of a rest. If it is early evening and I don’t want to do the thing I should be doing, the only other option is to go to bed. If I end up going to bed at 7:30PM, that’s fine. It probably means I need the extra rest. 

In the morning, it is the opposite. No matter what, I’m not allowed to stay in bed when the alarm goes off. If I need more rest, the alternative to doing the thing is just sitting upright and relaxing. If I end up doing that I probably need to rest.

This morning, I did not feel like sitting upright and relaxing. It was more tempting to just sit down and write. I just didn’t know what to write about. These are the words that came to me.

One day, my goal is to be more focused in my writing. To write something specific, instead of just dumping words from my mind and on to the page. While it may seem like doing the latter has little in common with the former, I think otherwise. I believe that the first step to working consistently on something is to first learn to be consistent in doing the work.

In that sense, all the writing I am doing these days is less about what I produce now. What matters is that I am exercising my ability to sit down and write. Once I have that part down, I am in a place to work on more focused writing. And, even if I don’t ever get there, there’s that saying about the blind hen and finding a grain of corn every once in a while. 

That feels like a surprisingly apt image of where I’m at right now. And if I just keep looking, I’m sure I’ll find a grain of corn eventually.

This is an update on my attempt to create a daily writing habit. If you want to read more, I first wrote about it in Day one. And here are more posts where I write about my daily writing habit:

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