#99: Having Written

The second week of my write-every-day-for-15-minutes challenge was, uh, a challenge. Right now, my biggest struggle is getting started. Once I’m sitting behind my laptop, I have no problems getting through a session. But getting started, man…

The beauty of this challenge, of course, is that there really aren’t many excuses to skip a day. Even if your postponing game is rock solid, you can always write for 15 minutes right before bed which, I am ashamed to admit, is what I did on a number of occasions this week. If I weren’t on a challenge, I would’ve definitely skipped a day. I didn’t, and I’m grateful for that.

In spite of the struggle, I feel like I’m making progress. It might be a placebo, but particularly towards the end of this week, I found the process of writing a little easier, as if the rust started peeling off my fingers. I’m able to do more words per session, and they seem less shitty than before.

There are many ways to get your writing done, and each of us is wired a little differently—I get that. Practising writing every day might not be something that you want to do, but regardless of that, it works. Creativity is a muscle.

It’s uncanny how similar writing is to running. Haruki Murakami wrote about in What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, and he’s right. I almost never feel like going out for a run. When I go, it’s uncomfortable and exhausting. But when I get back, I’m always, without fail, glad that I went. Even when it’s snowing outside, or should I say, particularly when it’s snowing outside.

’I hate writing. I love having written,’ many writers before me said, and I wholeheartedly agree. I don’t know whether writing produces endorphins, but it certainly feels like it does.

Writing or running, you would’ve thought that after a while, you just get used to it. I’ve run regularly for years now—thousands of miles, and all I can say is that the discomfort never really goes away. I feel the same about writing.

The best I can do is to write regularly to keep the muscles in shape. And maybe one day, I’ll be able to say that I’ve written thousands of pages.

What I Am Reading

I’m reading short stories by Ernest Hemingway. I’m a big fan of his endings. He often ends his stories on a sort-of ambivalent note. Haruki Murakami does that too. Something terrible happens, people die, but the story ends with one of the character stirring their tea. Sometimes it feels a little cynical, sometimes a bit more hopeful—as in this terrible thing happened but life goes on anyway.

The Collected Stories by Ernest Hemingway

Short Stories

I read the following short stories this week:


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