Sunday, October 20, 2013

Reading, Writing and Purpose

“The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.”

“Everything passes, only truth remains.”

“How good life is when one does something good and just!”

Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov

I thought it would be a good idea to get started on my second blog.  I don’t know what the day or tonight will bring.  Generally, I’ve been doing the second blog of the day at night, but often, I’m tired and even falling asleep as I write.  Now I can work while I’m awake and energetic.   One of the traits I’m trying to resist is that of waiting until the last minute to do something.  Imagine how I will feel if I finish this blog in the next few minutes and can just enjoy the evening.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy writing; obviously I do.  But when something enjoyable becomes a commitment, then it has a different feel to it.  Now it’s something I “have to do” rather than something I choose to do.  No, I don’t really have to do it and, yes, I am choosing to do it, but I’m also choosing to follow through on my commitment, so in that sense, I have to do this.
Commitment is the key word here.  Commitment is more powerful than talent.  Consistency is more powerful than passion.  Determination is more powerful than luck.  So I keep writing.  Every day.  Even when I don’t feel like it, like now.  I Get Started and I Keep Going, past feeling, fatigue or circumstance. 
Sometimes I just write for the practice.  I feel like a carpenter practicing on a block of wood, just to keep the feel of my work close to me.  So often when I start these blogs, I have nothing to say.  Honestly, I just sit and write whatever pops into my head.  Then, after a while, if I’m lucky, something worthwhile comes out.  Then I go back and edit and add appropriate quotes.
There it is: my formula for writing.  Of course, I left out the part where I often get easily distracted and it can take me far too long to finish.  I also left out the feelings of fear and doubt I approach my writing with so often.  Still, I keep going.  That’s all I can do.  At the moment I’m feeling the same fear I felt while I was trying to reach my goal of 150 blogs my birthday.  I’m also asking the same questions:
·      Why did I commit to this?
·      Why doesn’t this get any easier?
·      Do I really have anything to say?
·      Is anyone even reading this?
·      How can I branch out?

In answer to the last question, I think I would like to branch out, perhaps by reading more fiction.  I read a lot, but my genres are limited to motivational writing and some finance.  For some reason, I think I’d like to read The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky again.  I read it in college and enjoyed much of it and have forgotten most of it.  Despite all the reading I do, I still feel woefully under-read and I don’t usually count a book as read if I’ve only read it once. 
Good writers read and not only in their own genres.  So I’m wondering if I should make it a goal to read Dostoevsky again.  I think it would be a fun goal and it would also be in alignment with putting in more energy and effort. 
There are a lot of ways to get out of a slump, but doing nothing is not one of them.  So I’m going to read my 700-page book and see if it makes me a better writer.  I’m also going to continue doing two blogs a day, a radio show and You Tube videos.
Am I being unrealistic?  Am I overdoing it?  Am I taking on too much?  Maybe.  I won’t know until I try though.  I know this much:  I can be doing more than I’m doing now.  That isn’t meant as condemnation.  It’s meant as a challenge for self-improvement.  All I can do is try.  All I can do is Get Started and Keep Going.