Unattainable goals. There’s something so damned attractive about coldly planning out a brutal, almost draconian regime which you know you have no chance of following. While in college, I would often indulge in wishful thinking by blocking out my day, allotting an hour here to the studying of Mandarin, an hour and a half to exercise, two hours to creative writing, such that each moment was accounted for and each day maximally productive. Even as I tweaked each Spartan schedule I knew that I would never follow it, not stick to anything so extreme. But still I pretended, sitting back and looking through half closed eyes at an impossible future, and would envision myself three years down the road, successful in every venture.
Since college, my dreams have grown more modest; no longer do I block out each half hour of each day, but for the most part rather have indulged in fantasies of regular sleep schedules in which I slumber for eight hours each night; dreams of going to the gym each day for an hour or two, and then throw in a healthy diet for the sake of completion. Exercise, sleep, nutrition: with such a stable foundation, the rest would surely follow.
But sleep is a mercurial beast, protean and adapting to each new vagary in my life, defying regulation such that I can never seem to hit my stride. Colds and the occasional flu always knock me off my work out schedules, or sheer fatigue such as the burn out I’m undergoing at school. Suffice to say, my schedules and arrangements continue to remain phantasmagorical.
One area that I have always wished, however, to impose some order, some discipline, is in my writing. I took a creative writing course in college in which my writing teacher asked that we write two pages a day in our writing journal. Cultivate the habit, she said, learn to write no matter your mood, your level of enthusiasm or inspiration. Make it as natural as breathing, and you will improve. I didn’t follow her advice, this being back when I believed one should write when under the heavenly inspiration of the muse or not at all, but today her words haunt me.
So, impossible plans, mercurial dreams. I’m going to set myself a challenge, and will record my progress each day here in this blog. My writing challenge is simple: I must write, no matter the quality, 2,000 words a day. I will work on several projects that have stalled out on me, and see what I end up with, see for how long I can continue this run.
Wish me luck, because given my track record, this stint won’t last long. But of such foolish ventures are dreams made of!