I am a yoga tragic. I love it, and have done for years. But I’m by no means great at it, or that committed. I have phases of frequent practice, which helps me to become more flexible, stronger and generally less achy in my muscles.
I notice how quickly I lose my strength and flexibility after periods of not practicing, and how much longer it takes me to get back to where I once was. I didn’t attend a class for an entire year or more after having my son. Now that I have started to attend regular classes again, I realise how hard I must have worked before. I can appreciate how good I once was. Of course, at the time I thought I was rubbish.
Writing is like yoga. You show up on the mat every day for a month, and it gets easier. The Vinyasa flows and your body almost aches for the routine. You find comfort in the mundane. You stretch and pull and push yourself into positions you didn’t think were possible, let alone comfortable.
When you show up and write day after day, you find a rhythm and a stride. It’s easier to push away the negative thoughts because you’re there. You’re doing it. You are a writer.
When I was working on my WIP every day, or at least a few times every week, the words just seemed to flow. I didn’t have any blocks or self-doubts. I just wrote as if no one was ever going to read it.
Then I put it away and didn’t look at it for a long time and I lost all my confidence. When I came back to it, it seemed all too hard. How could I make this thing I had once been so committed to, a regular part of my life again?
As with my yoga, the only way I can improve is if I keep at it. Every week I stand on the mat and give it my time. My undivided, uninterrupted attention.
Every time you show up, on the mat, or at the desk, you’re proving to yourself that you can do it. That you want to be better. That you have the commitment to see this thing through until it’s as effortless as breathing.
Show up. It’s the only way.