Monday, October 29, 2012
Nothing to Say?
Sometimes I feel as if I have run out of words. For those of you who know me fairly well, you would be quite surprised by that statement. I seem to always have an opinion and there isn't really that much that stops me from stating it out loud. Ok, I take that back. I do try to temper my vocalizing of opinions based on how much it will change the situation (if it's not going to change anything and will probably make someone feel bad, I shut up) or the level of importance my opinion will hold in that situation.
There are days, however, when it seems as if there is nothing left in my brain to say.
I have spent the last five months restructuring how I spend my days. It's been a wonderful exercise in understanding what it is that I want to do, what it is that I actually do and how to bring those two things together so that I can achieve some goals that I've had in front of me for what seems to be a lifetime. I started out by creating a list of all the things I wanted to do in the next several years. That list included everything, from crazy-dream goals to practical things that just need to happen. Every time I think about that list, I come up with several more things to add to it. It has become a very scary list.
Once the list was in place, I built a daily schedule out for two weeks. I figured that I should be able to hit nearly everything in that list over a two week period. I committed to writing one thousand words in a journal every day ... no matter what. For the last 126 days, I've done exactly that. I look forward to the time I spend writing and since technology is so amazing, I can tell how much more I need to write in order to achieve the minimum and I can tell when it is ok to finally stop writing. I refuse to write one word less than one thousand words. Just this last Friday, I lost control of the day and when I woke up on Saturday and realized I hadn't written in my journal, I realized I was going to have to write two entries ... one for Friday and one for Saturday. I did it and felt great about it.
There are several random classes that I am taking online. Everything from learning new techniques in Photoshop and Illustrator to learning Excel tips, Wordpress and then my favorite is an Ancient Greek History lecture series by an amazing Yale University professor. It's the course he teaches at Yale. I've spaced these courses out across the two weeks so that I can keep learning.
Along with those courses, I've also committed to reading several motivational and encouraging books. I don't read them through like I read other books; I take my time and work through creative exercises that are assigned to me. I hope to be reading these books and others like them over the course of the next year. Books such as: The Complete Artist's Way by Julia Cameron or Eat that Frog by Brian Tracy, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield or Writing Your Way by Julie Smith. By slowing down while reading these, I allow myself to be continuously energized by their words, finding motivation each week that keeps me excited about meeting my goals.
There are several other little things that have to happen every day. I write my Pour Out a Blessing blogpost each day and if I know there is a day coming when I won't have time to write, I ensure that it is written early and posted so that I stay consistent. It is a commitment I have made to myself and to those who read the blog. Though there have been times when I've had to drop away from it for a period of time or days when I've missed and had to catch up; this is one thing I've really tried to stay committed to doing. I almost ended that sentence by adding the words 'without fail,' but since I've obviously failed several times in the past couple of years with it, I won't be that bold. Let's just say that this is one commitment I never forget and always try to accomplish. There are plenty of days when I open my Bible, read the passage I've selected for the day and realize that I have nothing to say about it. I stare at the verse or passage and wonder if it is worth it for me to continue. Terrible moments of failure fly through my mind. Then, I settle down, pray about it and after a while the words come. The words always come.
Finally, it has become quite clear that for me to accomplish the massive writing goals I've set before me, I need to write in those areas much more regularly, so I've set a goal of three thousand words per day, at least four days a week.
I generally have a paper due for my class every Wednesday. Those put me in a panic, so I won't expect myself to write for my goals on that day. Weekends are nuts. Since I stick my head in the computer all week, there is always something that has to be cleaned, washed, cooked, baked or straightened up. If I travel, it happens on weekends. So ... rather than feel like a failure, I refuse to set the three thousand word writing goal on one of those days.
The great thing is that if I can't write one of the other days of the week due to something going on, I can pick my word count back up on a weekend day. Flexibility has to be primary or I'll go insane.
So ... every week, thousands of words pour out of my fingers onto the screen and some days I wonder if I'll be able to fill up the tank enough for more to come out the next day. So far, they come and sometimes it is quite a struggle for me to find them. I think they run away and hide when they know I'm looking.
There's always something to say, which means the title of this blog is a fallacy. I just need to get started. Now that I've told you about it, I guess it's time to quit babbling and get started on today's next batch of words. (Huh, this post has ended up being over eleven hundred words ... I hope I don't run out before I get started!)