About a month and a half ago, I posted about how I was starting ‘Consistent Reader’s Club’ over at Stringing Words. Since then, I’ve gotten a lot read, and I’ve come across a few references to similar things, including The Seinfeld Chain.
But unfortunately, I slipped this week. I was juggling a lot of things, including catching up on over a hundred blog subscription emails that had gathered in my gmail, finishing a story rewrite, and Campaigner business, and I completely forgot to set aside 15 minutes to read from a novel I hadn’t read before on Wednesday.
So my ‘chain’ goes up to 44 days, and I’m struggling with the notion of allowing myself the possibility of missing just one day a month without breaking the chain.
Con: It’s breaking the rules that I set for myself in August.
Pro: The point is to motivate myself to read more, and if I make this little allowance for occasionally forgetting or just being way too busy, then I’ll be more motivated overall.
I went right back to reading “The Gripping Hand” yesterday and tonight, but I haven’t quite decided if this is continuing the old chain with a mulligan, or starting a brand new streak. What do you think I should do?
Mulligan! Just so long as you don’t turn into me and start alternating chain days with Mulligan days, or doing one day on, two days Mulligan, or whatever.
I had to look up what a “mulligan” was, and found the following description that I thought might help you:
(from wikipedia): it is implied that a mulligan is forgiven because it was either made by a rank beginner, or it is unusual and not indicative of the level of play or conduct expected of the person who made the mulligan … they should be used extremely sparingly and only in such instances of legitimate human error, rather than in cases of mistake resulting from carelessness, laziness, or inexcusable neglect.
So. I think there’s your answer.
I think giving yourself a once-a-month mulligan is perfectly reasonable. That’s what I’ve done with my Seinfeld Chain (Thanks for the link, by the way!). I’ve found that I’m very possessive of that mulligan, though. Even on the day when a malfunctioning toilet flooded most of the rooms in our house, I got my writing in! I really want to save it for a day when I truly can NOT write because I don’t want to use it frivolously and then really need it.
As an aside, having the visible reminder of the Seinfeld Chain hanging on your wall makes it very, very hard to forget that you have a commitment to yourself for that day. Might be something to consider, even along with the Stringing Words club as a way to remind yourself.
Best of luck!