Though the traditional “Fool’s Errand” is usually defined as “A needless or profitless errand,” that is not my intent with my self-appointed task. In fact, my calling it a Fool’s Errand is in part on purpose and in part by chance. Early in September of 2018, I was over a year into difficulties with my writing habit. At the time, I wasn’t writing regularly, or, really, much at all. Frustrated by my lack of initiative and seeking to find some other insight about my difficulties than I’d been able to gain through discussing it in traditional therapy, I asked a friend of mine to do a tarot reading on my lack of progress.
The reading he gave me resulted in a couple of realizations. First was that I was focused too much on what I’d lost, namely my daily writing habit. Secondly, I was afraid of writing, something I hadn’t seen until the reading pointed it out.
Luckily, the spread also had a couple of suggestions for how I could deal with these issues. The first, “Go with the flow,” was something I’d been using previously, with little success. As I’d been going up to this point, I hadn’t made much progress on incomplete projects, and I kept on starting new stories. This was not what I wanted, and I knew I lacked any sort of discipline for getting things done. I just didn’t know how to change things. But the reading also came up with the suggestion that “It’s okay to be a Fool.” This was an enlightening concept for me, and what it basically means, in my mind, is that I must take a step back and, if necessary, allow myself to write badly in order to reacquire any sort of regular writing habit.
Following a day or two of contemplation on the suggestion of “It’s okay to be a Fool,” I made some decisions. First, I’d designate the month of September for preparing to write. This became a plan to spend the month reading through those relatively few incomplete projects I felt I had a good chance of completing. Second, I’d begin writing again in October 2018 with a goal of 250 words 5 days a week. This was not a time to try diving back into the deep end of writing with a massive writing goal. I needed to start small. Third, I would take some time each of the 5 days I’d allotted to my writing to actually write 250 words. I would not worry about their quality, or if they even had anything to do with whatever wip I was writing on. The thought behind this was that I just needed to make it a habit to spend some time each day writing to retrain my creative mind. Finally, and most importantly, I would also spend September developing better self-care habits that would hopefully aid me in my writing goals by providing me the time I needed for writing and all the other things I wanted to do.
Things mostly went as planned, but I was still all over the place with my self-care habits through September. At the time, I was working with a bullet journal, and not very well despite my best efforts. I more consistently failed to do anything with it than anything else, and when I did work with it, I felt stressed instead of like I was accomplishing things. Also, I felt like I spent too much time repeating things in it, and I’d neglected certain aspects of it for months already. Fed up with all this, and desperate for a way to ensure I remembered to dedicate time to writing each day, even if I did nothing else, I tried half-intentionally tried a new format toward the end of September. Much to my relief and happiness, this new Task Journal format enabled me to not only get my writing goal done, but it also motivated me to complete the other tasks I had on my list for each day.
So, with the new Task Journal and my decision to work first on Unwritten Letters, I embarked upon my Fool’s Errand to get back into a regular writing habit on 1 October 2018. Because I’m resisting the urge to assign myself a specific schedule on improving my writing habit, I’m not sure how long I’ll carry on with it, though I intend to do my best to get back up to the ability to write up to 2,000 words a day 5 days a week. Until then, expect updates on my Fool’s Errand about once a week, usually on Saturday.
(19 November 2018; 00:47)