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Progress, #ROW80

January 21, 2015 , ,



I had a conversation this week with my shiatsu therapist during my dreamy treatment. We discussed the rise of coaching of all kinds and the trend toward using these services. He commented that the sports analogy does not fit for him and is annoying. I had not considered that, but it does conjure up an image of an athletic coach. Why do those with extra cash spend it to be directed and held responsible in their own lives? I think it is very similar to the fad of personal training in the gym that is still popular. I do not argue that teaching and training is a silly idea. We need instruction and explanation. We also need to develop our own system of discipline and practice. I could certainly benefit from some training in writing. For now, I am very happy to be involved in Round of Words in 80 Days because the exchange with other participants functions to hold everyone responsible. We are the coach because we set our goals and track them. It is brilliant!

To create a new habit and stick to it the magic time is 40 days. After 40 days the new practice will be part of a routine that seems natural. I have only skipped one day in my poetry writing because I set my goal publicly and said I would report my progress. I have a vision of angels singing rounds in Latin in a gothic cathedral. The pun, Round of Words, has become a vivid picture of words aloft being sung by a choir…in rounds. The Latin is, no doubt, a bow to word derivation and perhaps to the Roman pantheon. These small and delicate word angels remind me that I must choose some words and make poetry until I am well established in the habit of dwelling on words. I know full well that to master anything from hula hoop to Hebrew, one must first do that thing very badly. It does not matter how bad or how long it takes, the point is that it is impossible to learn a skill you have not practiced.

Since our commitment to the process is scheduled to last twice as long as needed for habit making I expect this to be very effective.  I told my therapist about this group and how much I appreciate it.  I explained that for me it is like ski school.  It feels reassuring to see your fellow students fall, as well as succeed in lessons because it shows that we all need to practice.  I also told him how impressed I am with some of the writers who are managing big expectations for various writing projects while finishing a crochet scarf or training for running a marathon.  Everyone is basically more ambitious than I am, so I can sincerely praise and look up to those with more difficult goals.  I just want to write poetry to get better at it.  I have set no number of words or other standards for myself.  To those of you who are whipping out thousands of words a day, I salute you.  I enjoy learning about your process and am inspired to try some of the stuff you do.  I feel successful simply being in a writing group.  It may even lead me to take a workshop at the Poetry Center, which couldn’t hurt.  Thanks for the words, gentle writers.  I appreciate your inspiration.

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Your blog posts are bit like poetry themselves! I’m glad to be on this journey too 🙂 Keep with it!

Liked by 1 person


January 23, 2015

that is a HUGE compliment I will savor all week. thanks


Pamela Morse

January 24, 2015

Oh I am really interested in the 40 day theory! I will try that out myself


January 23, 2015

I am so impressed with your dedication. I also like the analogy of ski school because everyone does screw up and/or fall– to only be told to pick oneself up and try again


Stevie Wilson (@LAStory)

January 26, 2015

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