I’ve started writing my tenth novel and it’s called ‘Sliver’ (no, not Silver) and it’s something I’m rather excited about because, well, it’s a nice round number, isn’t it? I am trying to make it a habit to write a bit every day. It’s amazing how you make progress with something by doing just a little bit every day, even if it doesn’t seem like you are doing much. In the past when I’ve written novels and plays, I’d make myself sit down for a while and plough through the words, then I wouldn’t write anything for a while, forget how the story was going and feel bad that I’d neglected my writing. Recently I’ve started doing quite a few ‘little bits of something every day’ and my creativity has gone through the roof. Whether it’s writing, doing an Open University course, or just taking some time out to read about something spooky, I have my check list of ‘minimal requirements’ for the day and they’re such little things that they’re easily accomplished but I really feel good about the fact that I Have Done Something That I Set Out To Do. Progress is being made and it’s a good feeling.
I have been reading a book called ‘Mini Habits’ by Stephen Guise where he says that getting into mini habits has improved his life no end. He started off with doing just one push up instead of a long gruelling work out that his brain just said ‘Nay Sir!’ to, and went on from there (it’s a good book, well worth reading if you need a guide on how to avoid procrastination and want to find out how to get into good habits) . So I thought, hmm, push ups, not something I’ve ever seen myself as being able to do, but okay. I shall give it a go. Not that I’m allergic to exercise or anything (ignore what my husband says!) but, like so many other people, it’s just finding the time to lurch about flexing long unused muscles without the kids laughing at you. So one evening I got down on the rug in my bedroom and… tried a push up. It wasn’t pretty, it certainly wasn’t elegant, but I did it. Actually I was quite impressed that I’d managed one press up so I thought, what the hell, I’ll do another one! The second one was even worse than the first and my arms swore at me and told me to stop it. So I tried a couple of the less aggressive ‘on your knees’ push ups instead and managed a few of those too. The next morning when I went to lift something I thought, my arms ache. Why are my arms aching… oooh, I remember now. Push ups. They must be doing something for me after all. So the next evening I had another go. I just started off with the one (arms bitched at me and told me I wasn’t funny) and managed to do a few more. It’s not much, especially when compared to the gruelling workouts my other half likes to do, but if I can do just one push up a day (that invariably leads to a few more seeing as I’m down at floor level already and sometimes a bit of planking – is that the term? – too), I feel I have accomplished something. Ten push ups doesn’t seem like much, but you know what, I have seen a marked improvement over the past couple of weeks in my upper arm strength (i.e. I don’t feel as if I’m going to face plant into the floor on the way down any more. And, if I do, it’s with a modicum of grace now, unlike the first time I tried it).
Here’s Hoping My Good Habits Will Soon Outweigh The Bad.
One of the other mini habits that I’m working on at the moment, other than writing my next novel and trying to get a bit fitter, is to write my blog on a regular basis, too. I think that mini habit might be easier to attain than this one:
©Nicola Kirk 2016 and www.nicolakirk.wordpress.com