When I was writing and sharing every day, it was easy to write every day.
I saw ideas everywhere – while reading a book, listening to a song, talking to the woman at the post office.
When it was time to write, I picked one of the ideas and wrote a first draft. I stream-of-conscious typed and tried not to think too much about it. I set it aside for later.
Then I picked a different first draft and started hacking away at it. It was often painful. But once I was happy enough, I’d share it.
But I felt the connection between the difficulty – the act of writing and the outcome – the joy of finishing something.
The little bit of satisfaction of seeing an idea come to life was all I needed to overcome the difficulty. And the momentum and endurance I built after many days of writing and sharing made it even easier.
But now that I’ve lost the habit, each of those steps seem arduous. I got stuck at which idea to I pick for weeks. I procrastinated. I did everything I could to avoid it.
And to add to the difficulty, after returning from a long hiatus, I felt like I needed to prove myself to justify the break. I felt like I had to write something amazing.
But no. I only need to rebuild endurance. I need to make it easy as possible.
So if you’re thinking about coming back from a long break – whether it’s from exercise, meditation, or doing your art, find a way to make it easy.
Don’t try to write something incredible. Just focus on getting any idea down on paper. Don’t try to run ten miles. Just try to run for ten minutes. Don’t try to meditate for three hours. Just try two minutes.
Make it easy enough not only to start again but to finish too. And make it easy enough so you’ll come back tomorrow.
Then when the easy becomes too easy, you’ll find that what felt hard isn’t so hard anymore.