I want to do it all. Always.
This is the feeling that precedes doing none of it.
Going on social media and scrolling.
Eating ice cream (not that ice cream is inherently bad; it’s a beautiful thing).
Feeling bad about myself.
I have a new system, because they seem to last for about a season and then they begin to decompose. (I resist, try to outsmart death by Doing It Righter, panic, enter into denial, and eventually give in and shuffle around waiting for that tap on my shoulder that tells me it’s time to begin again.) In my new structure I’m texting my writing goals to Kelsi on Mondays, and checking in by phone on Fridays. Hallelujah for accountability and friendship!
One item on this week’s list is to research two small publishers based in Minnesota who primarily supply the school market. So I got on the internet this evening… and opened five tabs. I didn’t stop at site number one and start compiling the writing sample and resume they require– I went on a research binge.
This might work well for others, but not for me. When I do too much research I get overwhelmed. And then I start making Big Goals to Do Everything. Now.
It’s scary to do something (note the small ‘s’).
It’s scarier to take a small, real step than a huge imaginary step. (Brene Brown in Daring Greatly comments that she can’t go for a ten minute walk because she’s supposed to go for a four mile run; a run that never happens).
What do I really want?
I want to be a clear channel for art to come into the world.
I want to get out of the way and be filled with creative energy.
I want to connect, to share delight, to reflect the beauty of life.
Goals, systems, publishers are supports for that, not the compass point.
Take a breath.
Ask yourself, what am I here for?
Then do your best and revel in it.