The Starting Line

To build some consistency into my writing habits, I said to myself in late July 2020, “I bet I could write a blog post every day from August through October. I did the math: 31 days plus 30 plus 31 equals 92. And thus was born my 92-day challenge.

If you search the internet, you will find times when I announced big plans. I will release a Myke Phoenix story every month. I will write a trilogy of novels about a kaiju (big monster in the tradition of Godzilla, if you don’t know the word). I am writing a novel about a girl, an alien, and me. I am starting a mystery series about a detective and his pookha partner, who resembles a 6.5-foot-tall skunk.

I wrote 12 monthly adventures and stopped. The novels are half-written. When I challenged myself to write every day for 92 days, I didn’t want to make a big declaration and stop, again.

So I didn’t announce that I would write every day. I just wrote. And what do you know. I posted every day for 92 days. And then it was 100 and 200 and I grew committed to writing a 365th consecutive blog and calling it a year.

This has been an illustration of one of the lessons they teach you: Don’t declare to the world what you’re doing, just get down to doing it. “I made this” is a more powerful statement than “I’m going to make this.”

Shall I now declare that I will keep blogging every day until I depart this mortal coil? I actually did declare that it has become a daily habit, but as I learned when I started a habit of writing a monthly superhero adventure, habits are easily broken. The road is cluttered with the wreckage of well-intended new habits.

I thought of calling this little piece “The Finish Line” and celebrating a pretty nifty achievement, because yes, I have never blogged every day for 365 straight days before, and that is cool. But the lesson I learned from the lack of a 13th consecutive Myke Phoenix story is to decide what’s coming next before you reach the finish line.

“Good for you!” Steven Pressfield’s mentor said when he finished his first novel. “Start the next one today.”

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end” is the brilliant line in the song “Closing Time.” And so, “The Starting Line” and not “The Finish Line.”

What am I starting? I’m not saying; that’s gotten me in trouble before. But I plan to keep sharing every day, so you can see what I make along the way.

Published by WarrenBluhm

Wordsmith and podcaster, Warren is a reporter, editor and storyteller who lives near the shores of Green Bay with his wife, two golden retrievers, Dejah and Summer, and Blackberry, an insistent cat. Author of Full, Refuse to be Afraid, Gladness is Infectious, 24 flashes, How to Play a Blue Guitar, Myke Phoenix: The Complete Novelettes, A Bridge at Crossroads, The Imaginary Bomb, A Scream of Consciousness, and The Imaginary Revolution.

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