17 Days in, New Years Goal! (or just ‘Goal’?)

100 Days of Fiction

Writing fiction for the world to see is supremely fun for me. Sadly, though I love this blog I’ve neglected it far too often. It’s too easy to blame any lack of consistency on external forces like Life Changing Events (Wait… did I just have a baby?), Work (oh geez, they’re paying me money again?), or Lack of Energy (no, no… it’s more like I enjoy extra sleep, and the exciting prospect that today I might wake up in a puddle of my own drool.) But I won’t.

Each and every day for the next 100 days I will write a new 1000 word piece of fiction, and post it on this blog.

There’s a secret that everyone takes advantage of in life at least once, but they may not realize that they had. If you do anything for 21 days straight it becomes a habit. Continue on for 100 days straight and you’ve evolved into an expert in the skill or habit you utilize. I’ve done this a few times in my life and I’ll do this for craft.

Examples from my life?

I’ve always had this ungodly fear of heights. No, you say, you have a fear of falling. Damn straight it was falling. It’s sheer horror. I remember having to keep a distance of at least five feet from any balcony railing. If possible, have somebody separating me from the ledge so that if something caused me to fall (a gust of wind? a gang of resentful teenagers getting kicks shoving people over railings in the mall? monkeys?) maybe, just maybe they’d have fast enough reflexes to grab me before I went over. Hell, I remember gripping the black rubber railing on escalators and staring at my vice-like grip, white-knuckled.

Then I went to Europe the summer before my senior year of high school. You cannot say you’ve gone to Paris without going to the top of the Eiffel Tower or the Arc de Triomphe. I stood far back from the railing of the Arc (by the way, did you realize there’s a museum in the top of that arc?) and a couple of cute girls from my school asked if I’d go to the top of the Eiffel Tower with them. Mind you, I was scared of heights but I had always been adventurous. So, I went with them determined that I’d get over my fear of heights.

God bless cute girls and the chemical imbalances they cause in teenage boys.

I sit here writing about traveling to the top of the Eiffel Tower, but I recall very little. It’s funny how fear twists the mind. We climbed to the second story (which is VERY high. I think hill giants labeled it as the second story.) There’s a restaurant or something there. You walk around looking at plaques that encourage you not to commit suicide or jump. You read other plaques that inform you that they enshrouded the entire structure in chain-link because the 400th person that swan dived from the Eiffel Tower didn’t believe the 399 Yelp reviews of those who did not survive jumping off the tower, and did not survive.

I remember taking an elevator from the second story to the top (because they ran out of chain-link, so you can’t take the stairs, because you might jump and die) and I recall only one thing. I recall looking at a tennis court the size of my thumb on top of a six story building. Gulp. The only evidence I have of being at the top is one of the cute girls took a picture, where I’m smiling back trying to be calm and cool, and there’s a couple of French teenagers who are about to leap out of their pants beside me because they just realized that they were caught in the shot… and maybe mommy and daddy didn’t approve of them sticking their tongues down each others’ throats? Or maybe the horror on their faces has to deal with Mothra and Godzilla fighting over who takes a poo on the Louvre?

Like I said, can’t remember much due to the fear. And I like the prospect that I might have blocked out Godzilla scratching his bum on the Louvre.

I went home from that trip determined to do everything to get over that fear. The day I touched back down in the states I learned how to rock climb. Going higher and higher, combating my fear. Every single day I found myself in Garden of the Gods or a rock climbing gym doing everything to stay up high. Needless to say, after months of climbing every single day I got over the soreness and was really good. It was the only sport I excelled at.

Because of facing my fear like this got over my fear of heights. Not 100%, but it hardly bothers me now. All of this because I stayed consistent over a period of time at doing something simple: expose myself to heights. While some may still bother me, my wonderful wife has no problem dancing on the edge of a cliff willy-nilly just to freak me the hell out. But I’m no longer white-knuckled on escalators, and I can rest my elbows on a balcony railing and take in the view.

There are more examples in my life where I excelled by establishing a consistent behavior over a period of time. There are many successful people out there who did the same thing. But the purpose of this post is not to talk about them or more events in my life.

The purpose of this post is to establish my next goal in consistency.

I will write a 1000 word story every single day for the next 100 days, starting right now.

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