Thinking and Doing

April 26, 2015 by KWills

This year was going to be the year I wrote all my A-Z posts ahead of time, and had them scheduled to appear by 06:00 every day. That was the plan. It fell apart when the time came to stop thinking and planning, and start acting.

And… I didn’t.

And so it got to be mid-April, and I was still floundering. I had just over two weeks to write nearly 30 blog posts, not to mention writing and editing my webnovel, ahead of the planned release of part one on May 3rd.

Now I have exactly one week to go, and I’m almost ready with the first post. I’ll be working at breakneck pace, writing and editing up to the wire for a good few weeks at least.

The plan was to have the whole thing written by the end of 2014. The plan was to spend March and April editing the manuscript and splitting it into post-sized pieces. The plan was to avoid stress.

It was a good plan. There was only one problem: I’m pants at following my own plans. This does not bode well for my attempts to have a career as a freelance writer.

Identifying a personal flaw carries mixed feelings. On the one hand, it hurts to acknowledge being less than perfect; on the other hand there is a sense of tremendous pride borne of being self-aware enough to see the flaws in the first place.

It goes something like this:

“I’ve maturely identified my problem – look at me being all grown up!”

 – Great. So, what now?

“What do you mean? Now I get to feel good about being mature. That’s it.”

 – How are you going to fix the problem?

“Fix it? Oh, come on. Nobody’s perfect, right? Isn’t knowing myself enough? How grown up am I supposed to be, anyway?”

 – Knowing yourself is the first step. There’s still a whole journey ahead. You can’t stop here.

“But…”

Yeah, I have parent-child conversations inside my own head. Doesn’t everyone?

So, how do I fix this one? Not by making another plan, that’s for sure. At least, not a grand, far-reaching one. For the last two weeks I’ve been making a list last thing at night of exactly what I need to do the next day. ONLY the next day, not next week, or next month, or next year. When I wake up, I review the list and pick something quick and easy that I can do at once. Then I do it.

This has worked well so far. Some days it has taken me longer than I would like to get to the first task, but each day has seen me accomplish something. Not as much as I would like, but then I could write 10,000 words, edit 5 chapters, and complete 3 in-depth reviews and still end the day wishing that I’d managed to fit in some music practice.

Because holding myself to impossible standards is another of my failings; albeit one I have decided to do absolutely nothing about.

After all, nobody’s perfect.

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