On so many occasions, I have analyzed and determined and enacted, and, in the end, I find that my plans all come to the same thing: I have a Genius Idea that, given my extraordinary superhuman energy and no new obstacles, cannot fail.
…er. One of those givens appears to not be as true as I’d like it to be. Perhaps two.
Typically, the plan is something like “I will rise early each day, grasp my pen in a relaxed yet firm grip and …” which fails for want of sleep, or “Daily I will take a lovely half-hour and …” which fails for unexpected events that call for that time slot, or — stuff like that. Moreover, there is an inertial mass of multiple views of my life, all with their own obstacles and slants on any given goal, working together as a unit. We shall refer to this henceforth as Pangestaltic Inertia, neologizing a bit from geologists.
Now, that one I think I can correct for. But let’s wait.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been in the possession of unaccustomed stability and perspective, brought about by taking a week off of Life and getting lost at 9,200 feet. Heroically, of course. I’ve not done anything amazing with this stability, as I wasn’t certain I could maintain it. It’s a month old now, so I’ll put it to work a bit.
What I discovered when I returned from the heights, was that most of the world staggered along without me. Badly, but it did stagger. What’s more, I had no loss of self-esteem for not having been central in the solutions for a week.
That sounds like I could lessen the unexpected events by withdrawing some of myself from other things. Go back to being an employee instead of pseudo-management and pseudo-savior, for instance. OK, started that, and things are doing very nicely. Good.
Last night I borrowed some brain from my darlin’ redhead, and noted that, while the “disengaging” part of the plan was working, that isn’t the same as attaining something. So I resolved to take some time out during the day (now, for instance) and go attain something. Re-engaging with things I care about while disengaging from things I don’t.
Good, again. Good.
But there was that Pangestaltic Inertia waiting for me. I could see it, had seen it before, I knew how it would be. I’d get a few minutes with a keyboard and utterly not write.
*sidewise jump for a moment*
So. These days, I am The Guy at work. People come up with clever development plans and they don’t work, not at all, and the people get lost and despair. They come to me, weeping, and I soothe them. In nearly every case one of two things is paramount as problem: the person is working from unchecked assumptions or the person is trying to do multiple things at a time.
*jumps back, counter-ways*
I’ve spent a month checking my assumptions, and checking progress on the actions of those assumptions, and so forth. I’m good, there. I should disengage from some things, re-engage in others. So, if Pangestaltic Inertia is still overwhelming, I must be trying to do multiple things at a time, and thereby sabotaging my progress.
Let’s see. ”I wish to author” [verb usage, there] — when I say that, I initially think I mean “I want to write something.”
Dandy. So write a brief bit about what I had for breakfast. No, I really mean “I want to write something interesting”. Ok, write about — no, I appear to mean “I want to write something interesting that other people will read — and enjoy — and that one of them will want to publish — for money — that will eventually become –”
Oh. Well, nailed that diagnosis, didn’t I?
So, the list of actions I actually wish to take:
- Be pleased with writing as a process
- Be pleased with having written [if you don't think these are discrete elements, you haven't tried it]
- Have people read the stuff I wrote
- Have them enjoy that Outside of my control. Bad Scott.
- Evolve my writing to promote others’ enjoyment of reading it
- Send some of my writing out for consideration
- Repeat the last two steps for the rest of my life, which will improve the success rate of publication as well as my enjoyment
That’s a lot of steps to do at once. Glad I noticed.
Today I’ve done the first three steps. I am sufficiently pleased with myself. I would like for this to have been fiction, but one makes starts on these things, and traditionally I’ve always started by exposing myself in public.
Consider yourselves flashed.
Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry