So…. It is now the middle of September and I JUST did my first One Little Word project from Ali Edwards’s course. Oooops. Totally ok, though. “Keeping up” is not a requirement to be able to get something out of the practice.
Oh, hey. See what I did there? “Practice” …. My One Little Word is PRACTICE and it seems like everything can come back to it.
[On the off chance that you are reading this and not familiar with the project, One Little Word was created by Ali Edwards. It is the practice of choosing 1 word to meditate and focus on over the course of a year. Go here for more info.]
Back on the very first day of the year — big plans, big intentions — I failed to write 1000 words of fiction, and I failed to hit my 10,000 steps. That’s ok. It was January 1 and I still had 364 days to get it right. And then other things happened and more life problems occurred, and all of a sudden several months had gone by without me even opening my novel file to work on.
I was clearly a big ol’ fat failure. Not even able to walk 10,000 steps in a day. Not coming anywhere near publishing the 4 books in 2015 like I had planned. What a loser.
To be honest, when I began this year and chose my word I didn’t even *think* about the fact that PRACTICE can also be associated with the being-ok-it’s-not-perfect part of making. It didn’t even occur to me that the very definition of PRACTICE includes some kind of failure. That’s why you need to practice in the first place, right?
I wish I could remember what I was reading or what podcast I was listening to that reminded me of this part of the definition of PRACTICE — because it completely changed my entire view on how I was doing with my One Little Word this year.
I simply can’t fail at something that is meant to be an ongoing attempt. It’s just not possible. It is literally impossible to fail at practicing. That is the whole point of practicing.
Which, frankly, is a huge relief.
“If it doesn’t work out, it’s just an experiment.” — Elizabeth Gilbert in a recent episode of her new podcast
So right now my One Little Word binder looks like this. Projects from 2013 and 2014 …. and this 1 envelope for all of 2015 so far. The letter written to myself for September’s project.
I might go back and do some of the monthly projects I missed. Or I might not. The projects are not the point. It’s the trying again and not beating myself up and starting up the practice that is the important part.
I’ve still got three and a half months left to PRACTICE.
How is your One Little Word going this year?
P.S. I’m sending out an email tomorrow morning about all the writing practice books I’ve been reading this year, if you want to be sure you’re on that list.
P.P.S. I’ve already chosen my OLW for 2016 and it’s going to be perfect and epic and I can’t wait.