Doing the thing

I find it hard to get started on projects. This may have always been the case. I definitely remember instances of complex plans for school projects that I’d barely have time to finish. I once got up at 6AM to finish making a calendar in French—I thought it was going to be this outstanding piece of work that would genuinely replace my teacher’s calendar! Reality didn’t quite match the idea though.

I got rather lukewarm responses to those efforts. That may be what drives me to be ambitious and stretch myself each time I take on a project. I dream of the day when I execute my fabulous plans and get the recognition for it. I just want to be loved, dang it.

But dreaming is what it is. Now I often feel overwhelmed by complexity, and feel like everything is impossible before I even start. For example, this post took some dredging up and followed a worrying pattern that’s become established in my life recently. I decided to abandon all my ideas for potential posts and just type.

The thinking was that if I just started, even if the result was an uninteresting whinge, it would still be better than typing nothing. And you can see long gaps between my posts on this blog. It looks like there are many days when I haven’t done anything.

Any typing that is. I should be kinder to myself, as I frequently I fill days with research and come up blank with how to explore my ideas. Occasionally, there’s nothing to show for the work, and it’s not advisable to rush in and just crank something out. I find the “have a go” approach commendable, but you need to have a purpose in mind. The worrying thing is that lately it seems like giving up and typing something, anything that comes to mind, is the only option. The baby steps toward doing something new lead nowhere, and the emergency plan is becoming the default.

The real problem is how to produce something to show for those days of unsuccessful researching. A failure is fine if you learn how to do it better next time, and without anything to show for those draw-a-blank days, one gets a little paranoid that they are being repeated over and over.

Even so, here is this post. An acknowledgement of the issue and a declaration of my intent to fix it. If there are a few more empty days with no posts, please assume I’m working on this. I’m still here and I’m trying. I promise.

· Motivation, Ideas, Mood, Twenty Two

⇠ John Irving, The Imaginary Girlfriend

Tade Thompson, Rosewater ⇢