Starting Small

Today was my first successful attempt at #writeandrun31.

I wrote! Not just this blogpost, but also I finished the first draft of a short story for this Emerald Street competition (deadline schmeadline, I’ve got three entire days yet), and worked on something for LabourList (watch this space, etc).

And I ran! Only a mile, ish. But actually the very tininess of the run reminded me of one of the useful things about projects like this, where you commit to do something every day: all I had to do today was write and run. As soon as I’d written anything, and run any distance, I’d done what I promised myself I would do.

It sounds counter-intuitive – writing one sentence a day, or running one mile a day, is not going to get you to the other side of a novel or a marathon any time soon. But it does keep the habit alive. If I’d committed to a proper training run today, at some point I would have checked my watch and gone ‘oops, is that the time, no run today’. But because all I had to do was run – and the kind of short run where I spend more time lacing up my trainers than actually out workin’ it was totally allowed – what do you know, I managed to fit it in. Looks like Zen Habits might be on to something when he tells you to Start Exceedingly Small.

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