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The First Quarter (b. 1/2014 – d. 3/2014)

01 Apr

Writing 150I’m sure today there are going to be a lot of blog posts from alternate universes where people say the exact opposite of the things they normally stand for, and that’s fine. Major internet companies have actually gotten really clever with their April Fool’s Day pranks, and I’m looking forward to seeing and sharing the best ones. I have a bit of a tin ear for pranks myself, though — I either come across as too pointed and/or mean or too strange to evoke anything other than confusion. I’ll leave the actual pranking to the experts until I come up with something awesome enough to pull off. You’ll simply have to put up with earnest navel-gazing from me today instead.

The first three months of 2014 are in the record books, and I haven’t really done a whole hell of a lot with them to be honest. I’ve been struggling in the quicksand of more ambition and less willpower for some time now, and my scattershot approach to my goals has been my undoing. At the time of this writing, I haven’t finished any short stories so far this year; I’ve run two or three Pathfinder games; and I haven’t been updating the blog as often as I should (three times a week). I’m saying this not to rub my face in my failure or anything — I just want to take stock of how far away my productivity has been from my goals.

So what gives? Pretty sure it’s the same problem as always — making plans to do something is not the same thing as actually doing something. When the appointed time comes to work on my game, or a short story, or a blog entry, or exercise, or eat well, there’s the crushing weight of Resistance aiming to stop me from doing the things I know I should be doing. Work has been too exhausting, and our TiVo has piled up, so it’d be easier to nuke a dinner and catch up on a TV show or two. Or I’ll actually write something and hate what I’ve done, scrapping it as soon as I’ve taken a look at it. Or the fear of the blank page consumes me to the point that I simply give and read what someone else has written instead.

On a high level, I’ve come up with a number of solutions for this. The difficulty arises when I’m trying to tie that mindset to individual, small moments. My toolbox for combating fatigue or fear or apathy in the moment is astonishingly bare, and that’s something I’ll need to deal with.

I need to turn my home into a place where productivity and creativity is welcome and expected. I’ve been trying to change my personal space so that it’s more comfortable and I’ll actually want to sit down there and bang something out; that means clearing clutter, making sure there’s a system in place so that clutter doesn’t appear again, making sure that my computer desk has the peripheries needed to make sure I have as few excuses as possible to write.

Progress is there, but it’s slow. I realize that in a very big way I’m going around in circles, identifying the problem, putting a solution in place, failing again and again. And perhaps I’m simply too close to the situation to see what’s really going on. Either way, it’s very frustrating to feel that need to write so strongly that I can’t turn it off, but not strongly enough to push through all the obstacles in my way.

At any rate, I’ve fallen off the wagon for the month of March, and now it’s time to get back on again. Hopefully I can stick to the plan a bit more closely and develop more discipline so that it’ll be a while before I have to set things down again. I’d like to write two short stories this month, make sure there’s a lot on the Writing Desk for you nice folks to read, have my Pathfinder game sketched out well in advance and work on clearing away distractions and obstacles to writing regularly, eating healthy and exercising. This month, it’s back to basics. I’m rededicating myself to the things I find important. Again.

 
 

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