I have a lot of writing to do today.
First, this writing, because Sunday is one of the three days a week I committed to writing a blog in this new year This is a pleasure! Have I mentioned how much I miss daily writing? Though it took time and energy that could have well been spent in other (sorely neglected) areas of my life, and it was time to take a pause, I enjoyed having a forum to voice my opinions, complaints and random thoughts on a daily basis. I find myself, now, thinking in sentences and workable paragraphs, as if my thoughts and actions are only legitimate if I could write them down. That, alone, tells me I need a break!
I also have writing to do for work. Today – a day off now that hours at the hardware have been cut for the winter months – is the day I promised my daughter that I would finish all the stories and articles we need to complete the next issue of the Beacon. That will allow her to finish putting it together (in stolen hours that she ekes out for me between other jobs and obligations) so that we can go to press. At that point, we are still two to three weeks away from having the issue out. And, as usual, we are behind schedule. So, my day’s focus is set.
As is often the case, when outside forces determine the scope of my day, my mind rebels. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking of all the things I would rather do today. I was quick to label each of them (and there were many!) with “should”s and “ought to”s and “really need to”s to reinforce my argument. I’m great at that! What helps is that all of it is true: my house could use a deep cleaning; the studio needs work; I should be getting things done in the studio; I should exercise…or at least get the big dog out for a walk; the list goes on and on.
Next, I play through all of my grievances. Though we’ve been putting many hours and a lot of energy into sending out bills (“Time that could be better spent covering events…or writing,”I tell myself), the return is often slow, and not sufficient. I have still not collected enough to repay the money I borrowed to cover the printing costs two issues ago! I have not been able to reimburse myself for more than a fraction of my continual contribution to keeping this publication alive.
Still, there are always – usually legitimate – complaints: not enough news; too little sports coverage; not enough politics. Yesterday, someone made a comment to someone – who then came and told me – that I’m not getting the Beacon out in a timely fashion. This, along with every single negative comment, plays on my mind and robs me of energy. Tell me something positive, and I will write it off a trivial; tell me something I could improve upon, and I will treat it like gospel, and worry over it for weeks. I’m terrific at that!
Next, my body rebels. First, after my midnight sojourn with procrastination tactics, grievance and complaints, I overslept. I woke up with a headache, stiff muscles and a sore back. “I am in no shape to be sitting at that desk all day,” I told myself, “I should be resting.” Finding reasons why work is impossible: I’m pretty good at that, too.
What I am not great at is just knuckling down to the task at hand. That is what I have to do!