Thursday, March 24, 2011

Third Step: Understand the Agreement (just for an hour)

This is the third part in a series leading up to The Practice Room's one year anniversary on April 12th. The first step is about the power in attention. Step two is about values, the engine that keeps us working. This post is about the agreement.

What does it mean to sign in to TPR?

For each person it's a different thing. For the stay at home mom, she puts off that huge to do list (and the small child) and focuses on her writing life for one TPR hour. For the blogger, twitterer, and chatter, it may mean that she turns off all media and just gets down to the uninterrupted act of writing. For the teacher that comes home to a busy family, it may be her one hour of the week that she lets herself jump in and fully engage with her project.

For all of us, it is an hour that we put people off, it is the appointment we have with writing, it provides the structure for something that otherwise feels too hard to do. It's the same amount of time as a TV show, less than the time it takes to watch a movie. The agreement is to write, not do the other things. Again, what that looks like to each person may be different. Whatever the actual writing task, it is our hour to hone that attention from step one, and live that value from step two.

But remember, we are like puppies, getting distracted by the world over and over again. And during the hour we train ourselves. Bringing our puppy selves back again and again. Kindly. And with plenty of treats.

Next Thursday: step four, rewarding ourselves.