Yesterday was my 21st day participating in 21.5.800. (I started a week later than everyone else.) As I anticipated, this has been a good thing for me.
A few things I’ve learned over the 21 days:
- It is ridiculously easy for me to produce 800 written words in a day. Morning pages and a pre-bed entry in my paper journal emptying my mind’s contents usually takes care of it. Blog posts falling in this time frame have generally been superfluous.
- That said, I finally feel I can say that I am a writer and have wanted to be one since childhood. If words come that easily, then there’s no reason I can’t apply the same discipline and time (45 minutes to an hour) to a short story, novel, or other project. My biggest problems with writer’s block in those areas have been beginning at all and then maintaining momentum and discipline (i.e. applying butt to seat, pen to paper/fingers to keyboard). This has been a good training ground where momentum and discipline are concerned. So, next good idea I get, I’m jumping on it, and I’m considering seeing if some past projects can benefit from a U-turn, keeping the basic idea, but starting over.
- I really hate lying still and trying not to hold onto thoughts for 20 minutes, a.k.a. a 20 minute savasana. I just haven’t been able to do it. I get too twitchy and nervous, and get caught up in thoughts, or else I fall asleep on days I really feel exhausted.
- In asana practice, meanwhile, joining breath and motion seems to be very effective at shutting up my monkey mind. It releases the pent-up energy that gathers in my 8 hrs./day sedentary job. I also enjoy a more leisurely practice of twists and forward and back bends, followed by a short savasana.
- Therefore, I’ve found I’d much rather do a vigorous yoga asana practice than lie down for 20 minutes, even though the savasana sounds easier.
- Through the many free-writes I’ve done via morning pages or paper journal, I’ve discovered I’m not nearly as lost or directionless as I sometimes think I am. It’s not that I don’t know what I want out of life, as though the compass points are missing. I have the compass points. I know the general direction I want my life to go in, I just don’t know, in minute, turn-by-turn detail how to get “there” from “here.” (More to come on this subject.)
Also, my intuition was right on. I began 21.5.800 at the perfect time. The past couple weeks have been difficult in the stress-and-anxiety department. Certain circumstances continue to drag on, uncertainty has attacked me often, as well as insomnia and small-scale calamities (like my car quitting on me, in need of a tow and extensive repairs). Participating in 21.5.800 gave me healthier outlets for dealing with these things, and I intend to continue for the 10 day extension (putting me at the 14th), and perhaps continuing thereafter. We’ll see.