Saturday, March 01, 2014
In January I wrote three blog posts and three chapters in my Work-in-progress on three consecutive Saturdays. Then in three blinks of an eye I realize I have missed the last two weekends completely. One blog post and zero chapters so far in February. This proves something that we all know, action begets action. Inaction begets inaction. My momentum was interrupted and my lofty plans slid into some closet in my brain just that quickly.
My problem is that Saturdays and Sundays are so precious. I work five days a week like many people, Monday through Friday. Dinners are late, work runs over, church and kid activities fill the evenings. You know the drill. So on Saturday I have ten or fifteen things crowding into my brain for attention. Groceries? Video games? Lounging? Dishes, laundry, taxes, piles of mail, someone's birthday, a new flip house, housecleaning, gardening, social plans, baking, sleep, movies, reading books, visiting with family, church, and? And writing.
I know when I'm thinking clearly that if I could pick a vocation that feels like I belong in it, it is writing. And when I'm thinking clearly I make promises to myself and others that I will place priority on my writing time. All the other things can wait. But regardless, if I leave a sink of dirty dishes or pass up a baby shower to go write, I do not feel good.
And when I'm thinking clearly, I know that I just have to do it. Just go in my writing room and write during my office hours and all the other stuff will be waiting when I come out. It is not so much hard to follow my own advice here, as it is easy to not follow it. Swirly-mind is what I call it. All the demands and needs are just there above my head, swirling in a soup of obligation and responsibility. Even writing is in the soup now.
My password right now is one that makes the annoying song pop into my head "Put one foot in front of the other..." But I do that on purpose. I use my password more than 21 times a day, which is the number of times the adult brain is supposed to need to 'get' something. So I keep reminding myself to stop looking at the soup. Stop looking up and instead look down. At my feet. And put one foot forward. One blog post. One batch of cupcakes. One clean toilet. That is the only way I've found to turn swirly-mind into productive human being. And it works! Well, some of the time anyway. Some days the swirl hypnotizes me with the steady beat of 'Pick me. Pick me.' But today? I looked down.