Distractifications

Last night when I went to bed, I had big plans for today. I was going to wake up early, sit down and really just go to town with writing. I should have known this morning at 8:40 when I woke up that all those plans were going to get blown to hell. I’m still working up to my routine. Yesterday, I felt that push of Resistance. I saw that long corridor of fear and that Sissiphysian push uphill with my rock, that I chose to see it as. Instead of seeing it as the freedom to do what I wanted to do. I wonder if this is what keeps stray dogs wandering around neighborhoods where they have been chained too long.

I forced my hand to make the words happen and it worked. It always feels good to write. Every chance I get to set down and snatch the words out of the aether and put them on the page feels good. What doesn’t feel good is sitting on my ass doing data entry. Listening to coworkers talk about ham or taffy for hours, or be regaled by the tales of recent surgeries or the medicines they are taking for something as stupid as being overweight.

This morning is a moment of resistance. The Newtonian law of an object at rest remaining at rest applies to the Creative mind as well. The unbalanced force is when we will ourselves to put our butts in the chair, pick up that artist’s pencil, start mixing paint, or turning off social media and turning on our minds.

But wait. There might just be that one friend on Facebook who says something witty, or maybe I can visit with someone to become motivated? Or maybe this book will write itself and I just don’t wannnnnaaaaa!!!!

These are all just ways to continually distract yourself. Binge-watching a series on Netflix, arguing with someone about politics/pandemics/Star Wars. I understand that I need to build a resume, that I need to build my website again–after losing a year’s worth of posts. I need to keep my options open for freelance work and have to check Indeed and LinkedIn and other sites for this. And I should set up a Fiverr account too to try to bring in more income.

But what I have had the opportunity to do for several weeks now, but haven’t because of distractions is work on the book. First it was the pandemic, then the layoff, then the breakup, then the…damn, I’ve run out of distractions…how do I create more? Why not work on the book? I can do that. I can do all the rest and still have time. Once you remove the time you piss away on social media and driving around to run errands, you free up a lot of time. Even the words I’m writing right now are a way to distract myself. So, why?

Because I’m afraid of that book. It’s one thing to write a paid blog post about why you should shop at a certain hardware store, or the dangers of toxic mold, but when that writing gets bought, you feel good. You get to put a little away in savings. You get to pay a bill. When they don’t sell, you shrug and just figure that was a small chunk of your time that didn’t pan out. When you spend YEARS writing a book, and people hate it, or worse yet, people buy it and never read it. Well, you wonder why you spent all that time writing it in the first place. You have made more money writing about rain gutters or dental implants.

There are worlds out there your mind is creating and it’s up to your butt (in that chair), your fingers (on those keys), and your caffeine tolerance (how much until my heart actually explodes?) to get those stories out.

You risk it all when you tell people your dreams.

But when those dreams don’t get to be born, they die inside of you. When they are on the page, they flirt with immortality.

Time to stop letting myself be distracted. Today, I get to do something about it.

Setting stuff up

Today was a highly productive day. This morning, I was looking down the long path into an anxiety-filled obliteration, since I logged onto the paid blog site and for the life of me, I couldn’t find anyone I wanted to write for. Two nitpicky edit requests and I decided at some point, I will probably starve if I have to make a minimum amount of money every day. This morning was a little rough. Part of me thinks it was the four hours of sleep I got before having to wake up early to pick up my son (don’t drink green tea late at night, kids!)

We got home and I began to mainline coffee, answering all of his questions about things I changed around the house. Gone was the day job workstation, and in my writing room was the new computer. There were many changes he immediately noted, from the carnation the nice young lady at Scooters gave me on Mother’s Day to some pictures and items I moved around the house. He notices EVERYTHING.

I drank coffee. Started the edits. Looked for more clients. Texted my mom so she could talk me off a ledge. Then I decided to start making little lists. I’m only putting three things on the list each day.

Today, this was my list:

  • Write resume
  • Start work on rebuilding travel site
  • Work on the book

I got none of these done. A big reason was that an unexpected 1500 word post came through and I spent the next hour writing that. I picked up lunch for my son and I and then we went on a bike ride for an hour or so. We probably rode about four miles. It was nice to get some sunshine. Vitamin D deficiency is supposedly one of the big contributors to not doing well with coronavirus. I’ve been coughing and hacking enough lately. Could be COVID, could just be May and everything is in bloom. Either way, I’ve been unable to shake this cough since pneumonia in September. The cigars probably aren’t helping. Those were fun while they lasted.

I have to be able to let plans go, even when I make lists of things to do. I have two days worth of lists to cross things off. I realize that building a business at home isn’t going to happen overnight. I was going to work on the book tonight, but I’m tired. Even after my hour nap after the bike ride. The heat just sucked the energy right out of me. But it was good to get some exercise and spend time with my kiddo.

I’m looking forward to my chair arriving from Ikea in the next few days. The folding metal chair I’ve been using at my desk is painful after a while of sitting and writing. So much, in fact, that I have to twist and pop my back from the stress it puts on my spine between my shoulder blades.

Soon I will have to send out query letters, hit up magazines, businesses, and chisel away at the paid blogs. I have some content from the old site that I can revise and reattach pictures so at least I have the beginnings of my Gettingoutmore site again. This week might see another podcast with my son. Those are a good way to spend time together, but maybe I need a way to warn my listeners that a lot of the stuff he talks about is half-remembered stuff he’s seen on YouTube and he is not a bonafide source of information.

I’m heading off to bed now. The chair is pinching my back. I’m not sure if sitting on them or getting hit with one does more damage. I’d have to ask a professional wrestler.