It is Day 20 of my 40-day writing journey. Instead of thinking, “I’m halfway through,” I find myself thinking, “It’s half over!” The time has flown by, and I wish I had more to show for it.
But I’m learning about an important concept in the writing life. It’s called BICHOK. That stands for “Butt in chair, hands on keyboard.” 🙂 To call yourself a writer is one thing. To yearn to be a writer, to want to have written, is another. But to actually write is the most important thing, and the only way to do that is to show up every day and… WRITE!
It may not be good writing at first. But the more you do it, the better it will get. Note that I didn’t say “the easier it will get.” Some days it will be easy. Some days, inspiration is high and words flow faster than your fingers can fly over the keyboard. Other days, you may have to fight off discouragement or distractions, or feel uninspired, confused, or completely lost.
But if you just show up, every day, sit down, and put your fingers on the keys, eventually something will come out.
My mother and I both play the piano. She tells about a time when she was visiting at a church and someone asked her to play. She sat down at the piano, looked at the music, then at the keys, and nothing made sense. In her moment of panic, it felt like everything she had ever learned just flew right out of her mind. She could feel everyone looking at her and thought, “I’ve got to do something! I can’t just sit here. Maybe if I just put my hands on the keys, something will come to me.” So, she did, and at first, it was just noise. But soon, it did all come back to her and she was able to make it through the song.
Writing can be like that. Sometimes you think you don’t know how. Maybe everything you ever learned has flown right out of your mind. But if you’ll just put your hands on the keyboard and start, it will all come back to you. It may not be melodic at first, but eventually it will become beautiful music.
The past few days, I’ve worked a lot on the critiques I have to do for the writer’s conference, which starts in 2 days! I feel like I haven’t been able to work on my own stuff as much. But I know that as soon as get back to it, the words will start flowing again.
My friend Cliff says that writing is like exercise. You have to work at it, starting slowly, and build up your writing “muscles” a little at a time. Eventually you’ll be ready for a marathon, but just give yourself time to get there.
So whether it’s “halfway there” or “half over,” here’s to 20 more days of BICHOK!