Thursday, October 17, 2013

If Everything Goes According to Plan

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.  The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

Sylvia Plath

“The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium.”

Norbet Platt

“A writer is someone who can make a riddle out of an answer.”

Karl Kraus

If everything goes according to plan, I will have the next three hours to myself.  I’m going to do the following:
·      Write.
·      Respond to some important e-mail.
·      Write.
·      Do a You Tube video.
·      Eat.
·      Write.
·      Rest.
·      Write.
·      Pay some bills.
·      Write.
·      Write.
·      Write.

In a newsletter Steven Pressfield  (and Malcolm Gladwell, elsewhere) said I need to put in 10,000 hours of work to get really good at my craft.  Pressfield also said that those who do put in this time succeed.   That’s ten years.  I don’t know what counts, but I’ve been writing consistently in one way or another since I was 15.  I’ve written for school newspapers.  I’ve written in private journals.  There have also been books, Facebook sayings and term papers.  Then of course there’s this blog.  I’m nearing 250 of them in a little more than ten months.  I have no doubt that I’m a good writer, but I don’t know if I’ve put in enough time.  So I’m very happy to have some time now. 
As usual I’m not sure what to write about, but it doesn’t matter.  I just want to write.  That is all that matters: just the writing.  Writing, at its most basic level, is a very physical activity.  I just need to keep my fingers moving.  I can edit later.  I can delete the whole thing and start again.  It doesn’t really mater what I do with this after I’m done writing.  It only matters that I‘m writing.  If I really want to do this full-time, I need to fully use the time I have now. 
Using my time well has never been one of my strengths, though that has improved a lot in the last few months.  Every day I relearn the lesson that if I take care of the minutes, the hours will take care of themselves.  So I’m using these minutes as well as I can.  So far, I don’t know if this blog even makes any sense.  I have a feeling that I may have to trash this one and start over.  Does that make this wasted time?  No, because I’m still writing.  That’s the activity I need to be doing.  Yes, I can turn this into a blog, but it’s the actual writing that’s the important thing.  It’s especially important when I don’t feel like doing it. 
And there it is – my theme for the blog.
I really don’t feel like doing this.  Not at this very moment anyway.  I’d rather take a quick nap, which I still may do.  Yes, I was looking forward to this, and I still love it, but the Enemy is doing its best to keep me off this keyboard.  That’s what it does.  It keeps me from writing.
That’s how it works though.  I keep working even when I’d rather be taking a nap.
(Okay, I just took a nap.  I guess I needed it.  Perhaps it may seem that I lost the battle today, until I remember that writing is only one of Purposes.  Another one is to take care of myself physically.)
Zig Ziglar says there’s no price to pay for success, only a price to enjoy.  I think both are true.  I do pay a price for trying to reach my goals.  I pay with my time and I pay with my choices.  But yes, there is a price I enjoy.  I enjoy sitting here and writing.  I enjoy the work I’ve done and the feeling of accomplishment.  And I love, not just enjoy, but love, what this is doing for me, how it has helped me take control of so much of my life.   Honestly, I’ve never been more motivated and excited. 
Could I do this every day?  Absolutely.  There is so much to learn, not just about writing, but also about being a writer.  For example, today I learned that I was wise to take a nap and take care of myself.  I wish I had done so earlier and then I might have been more focused.  Here are some other things I want to learn:
·      Do I need background music, especially when there are crying babies nearby, or is silence okay?  Or should there be only silence?
·      How long can I go or should I go before I stop writing?
·      I’m told that it’s best to keep writing without editing, and then edit later.  But I can’t do that.  I edit as I go.  Should I accept that or should I go with the prevailing wisdom?
·      Should I be completely alone when I’m writing?
·      What about more than one writing session a day?
·      I’ve published a lot of blogs.  Should I go back and edit them?
·      How can I branch out or should I?
·      Do I need to push myself into new topics or will this develop naturally?
·      What about writing for others?  So far I’ve had two less-than-positive experiences with that.  Is it still a possibility?
·      How can I create time to read more?
·      Is it possible to become the man I want to be by spending more time doing the thing I’m supposed to be doing?
·      Is there anything more important than this?

The only question I can answer is the last one.  There is nothing more important than this, but there are things as equally important.  Those are any activities that are in keeping with my Purpose.  Those are any activities that help me to Get Started and Keep Going.