Monday, June 29, 2009

Don't Quit Your Day Job

Creating and the Full Plate

For months I’ve been dreaming about summer vacation. Once my children are out of school, I have a lot more time to myself. I only have myself to wake up each morning. There are no drop-offs on the way into the office and it’s a straight drive home. No homework, no school volunteer hours, no meetings and game days. It’s like a solider on leave. I may not be basking on a sun-drenched beach, but for me, the next two and half months are paradise!Now being an aspiring writer, my paradise is more time to write. However, I’ve been faced with many challenges lately that have kept me from my summer writing goals. Some of these are out of my control. Personal issues have arisen that need to dealt with, but some are of my own choosing.

My promise was to write one hour before work each morning, yet I’ve enjoyed sleeping in instead of keeping to my commitment. It’s so easy to break the promises we make to ourselves. I would never dream of letting down my family or co-workers, (on the contrary, I brought home three hours of office work this weekend) or my friends. Why is it then, that we can be so flaky when it comes to ourselves?

The advice I always hear is to make an appointment with yourself and stick to it. This is great advice, but hard to execute. No one is looking over your shoulder and you’re not in trouble if you bail. I keeping trying this one, but more often than not, I fail to make that appointment and then I feel bad about myself.

This week I decided to “pretend” I’m a high energy person. I get wiped out fairly easily. I’m the type that goes gangbusters one day and then the next day, I’m lying around trying to recover. I always envy people that seem to always be doing something and they appear to accomplish so much. “Why can’t I be like that?” Yesterday, I tried to talk myself out of several tasks. I thought, “You’re a person who keeps going,” and although I still didn’t finish everything, I got a lot more done than usual.

I’ve been using this technique in social situations too. I’m not a shy person, but when I have to go to a class, meeting or gathering I tend to clam up when there’s a room full of strangers. Lately, I’ve told myself that I’m not nervous about talking to new people and when I do I have a good time. This has really helped me relax and network.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to trick myself into thinking I can reach all of my summer goals. I still didn’t make my one hour mark this morning but I got in a good 30 minutes. I’m getting there!

1 comment:

Morgan Mandel said...

Summer does present lots of distractions. Sometimes you have to trick yourself into fitting your writing in. Pretend you have a deadline for an editor or your book will be dropped. That might work.

Morgan Mandel