(Note to reader: the following blog is a bit of a mess and, largely unedited at my Muse’s request. In it, the free-write process will be evident, as will the fears and doubts of everyone who has tried to write anything more than two sentences in a row. It is, as I said, a bit of a mess, but my Muse insists that it is my life, my story, my time, my work, my dedication, my God, and even my Muse. So I’m going to leave it as is. If there’s a lesson here, it may be this: Purpose doesn’t always have to be pretty. It just has to get done. If that’s so, then I did my job here.)
I just created a playlist on my iPod called “*Fun.” It’s a collection of songs that are fun to listen to while I write another blog. I did this because I enjoy music and because it reminds me that it’s fun to do this, to write, to be in my Purpose. It’s been a few days since I’ve reminded myself of my goals for the summer. Here they are:
· Walk at least 30 hours
· Write 100 more blogs.
· Do 40 more radio shows.
· Put 20 more things on eBay.
· Read for 20 hours.
· Reduce my debts by 20% or more.
Even on my days off, it’s easy to forget my goals. It’s easy to get busy and distracted. If reaching my goals is a journey, then forgetfulness and distractions are a pitfall. So, regular reader blogs are seeing the above list for the fifth time. It will probably be seen a few more times, until I’ve reached my goals or until the deadline has come.
Today I went out to look for a bookshelf. I went to two places with no luck. It’s okay. It was still time well used, because I did my best. Yes, if I had known I wasn’t going to be successful, I wouldn’t have gone, but I didn’t know, so in going, I did my best. I still have a perfect life.
Right now I’m writing because I don’t know what to write. I’m just letting my fingers move across the keyboard. This part is hard. What if nothing comes? What will I do? What will I say? Will I just fill up these pages with meaningless babble? Will I fill up the page just to fill up the page? Is this what writer’s block is? I don’t like this at all, but at least all my keys are working. That’s good. Keep going. Keep going. This is frustrating. The key here is to remember to write. It doesn’t matter if it’s all garbage. I don’t have to publish any of this. I just have to write. I should actually be doing a lot of this. Yes, I’m feeling the fear that I’m not going to say anything worthwhile. It doesn’t matter. I just need to keep writing. What am I doing? I’m just writing. This was supposed to be fun; it isn’t. Maybe I could watch Breaking Bad instead. That would be much more enjoyable than what I’m doing here. Maybe I need a topic, but I can’t think of any at the moment. I could write about my history in sales, going all the way back to when I was 15, trying to sell subscriptions of the San Francisco Chronicle and the Examiner to residents of the Monterey Bay area. That was not a fun job. I didn’t like selling to people. I still don’t. After I left Monterey, I got a similar job, selling magazine subscriptions for International Magazine Service. The office was at 4981 El Cajon Boulevard in San Diego, California. I hated the job. I truly and absolutely hated it. I dreaded it actually. I hated going door to door. I hated selling. And I hated the fact that people got to be home and watch TV and eat dinner while I had to try to sell them magazines. I never really got the hang of it. Danny was the best. He was a jerk. He was scary and he wasn’t very nice to me and he pushed me around once because he got mad at me, but he was the best seller there. He sold an average of five subscriptions a night. I sold an average of two a night. If I made sales that night, Joe, our boss, was nice to me. If I sold fewer than five, he would barely speak to me. If the person I am now could talk to the person I was then, I would give him the following advice.
· Dress up a little better.
· Be more enthusiastic even if you have to pretend.
· Create internal goals for sales rather than hoping for luck or omens.
· If you really, really hate this job, find another one.
· Mow lawns or make some kind of deal to work at the comic store, even if it’s only for petty cash.
Is there any advice my older self would give me now? Can I have that perspective? I might advise the following:
· Write every day. Don’t miss even one day.
· Get up at 5:00 a.m.
· Learn all you can about being a writer.
· Forgive yourself your limitations and weaknesses. Just keep working.
· Be grateful that you get to do such a wonderful thing as writing. Do not complain, not even once, that you could be doing something else with your time. You have no idea how blessed you are to be able to do this.
· Love your Muse with all your heart. She was chosen for you by God to give you the best life possible.
· Don’t spend time worrying about writer’s block. It will come and it will go, but it will only go when you stay consistent.
· You were wise to Get Started and Keep Going. That’s why you had so much fun.