After a brief (sort of disastrous) late summer trip, I faced up to that old truism: you can’t run away from yourself. Traveling is wonderful because it rips you out of your set routines, denaturalizes the unconsciously accepted “you” (your habits, your established relationships and roles), and thus promises to remake you anew. More basically, I become so interested/distracted by the new environment that I can’t be bothered by my own neuroses. But then you come home and ah, all the same problems.
My biggest problem is my anxiety about work (which is based in writing). Simply put, I haven’t been writing. It isn’t writer’s block or lacking time. Just good old fashioned anxiety-driven procrastination.
After a pep-talk/lecturing from a good friend, I came home and realized I needed a serious plan to finish my thesis in time. Then, like all good procrastinators, I spent 20 minutes first rewatching Sailor Moon Super S Episode 7/Series Episode 134. “Makoto’s Friendship! A Girl Who Loved Pegasus” or「まことの友情!天馬に憧れた少女」.
The episode begins with everyone gushing over a hit million-copy bestseller titled The Moonlit Pegasus. As Ami puts it, it is sentimental romance between a girl and a pegasus that “touches your heart without rhyme or reason.” Chibi Usa is particularly interested because it seems to be exactly about her own Pegasus.
The author is a girl their age named Takase Tomoko (a certified Literature Girl/bungaku shojo). Makoto reveals that she was actually the person encouraging the author to write back in their previous middle school. Tomoko was so insecure that even though she wrote feverishly, she never dared to show anyone her writing.
But the girls discover that Tomoko had recently stopped writing and disappeared hikikomori-style. Her home is surrounded by angry editors demanding long overdue manuscripts. Tomoko just stays with her head down in her bedroom, crying “I don’t have any dreams left anymore.” (The boy that inspired her stories has gotten himself a girlfriend, long before Tomoko could even confess.)
I love that the monster of the week (Tenko) is a timer that explodes after just 2 minutes.
The resolution comes with a message of universal understanding…
Chibi Usa longed to meet Tomoko because she had met a pegasus just like the one in the story. She explains, “I was touched by your story because I knew someone was seeing the same dream I was!”
…and a little tough love.
Makoto basically calls her out on her regressive cowardice and by the end?
The lesson? I know my thesis is a world away from a sentimental romance about a pegasus but the fact of the matter is, I just have to get over myself and write. And even though I hate starting new challenges and goals on “odd” days (like the 17th!), I set up a new one for myself starting today.
Challenge: Write every single day for 30 days.
Anyone want to do this challenge with me? A daily writing habit seems to be a popular goal, judging from online response at least. There is a popular site called Monthly Experiments that hosted a similar challenge.
Why 30 days? Mm kind of an arbitrary number, especially considering I am starting mid-month but I think it is long enough to create a writing habit and short enough not to intimidate me. I will be updating my blog at the end of each day to check up on myself and can fill in the details of this plan later.