Archive | July 2013

Feeling “Blocked” Is A Luxury

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I was telling a friend over drinks last Friday that, while I was doing my best to write, I felt “blocked.” She frowned at me in a way that told me I wasn’t going to like what she had to say next.

She asked, “What is your timeline to finish?”

I said, “August 1.”

“You realize that’s less than two weeks away,” she said.

I hadn’t realized that, but a quick mental calculation told me she was absolutely right. I nodded, taking a big swallow of my margarita.

“You need to get a move on,” she said.

She’s right, of course. And I realized something: “feeling blocked” is a luxury. It’s a luxury I can’t afford. That got me writing!

Photo courtesy of Free Digital Photos.net

In Action

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Now I’m in the thick of it. After all the fear, and anxiety (which led to massive avoidance), I’ve now dived in and am swimming far. It reminds me of something I often manage to forget when a big task awaits: once you’re doing something, a lot of that worry has a way of evaporating.

Once it’s time to take action, there’s no time to worry.

Is there a problem? I fix it. I feel like a warrior, slicing problems to ribbons with a sword (my sword is made of words- bear with me). The key thing I (again) realize is that all that worry was just wasted energy.

Ready To Dive In?

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Take a look at that water in the picture above. Doesn’t it look gorgeous? It looks great for swimming. All you have to do to start swimming is dive in. Dive right past those rocks into the water.

It seems easy when you’re just looking at the picture. But if you were actually there, standing at the edge of that cliff of rocks, you might be having some second thoughts. Is the water shallow, which could leave you with a broken neck? Will you belly flop and get the wind knocked out of you? Will you somehow really screw up and end up smashing your head or some other vital body part into the rocks itself?

This is what making any big decision is like. I’ve been dreaming of writing for years now, if I’m being honest myself. Now that I’ve decided to really give it a chance, it feels like I’m about to dive into the deep end. I’ve read plenty of books on writing. Done writing exercises. Outlined my story. Outlined the theories. Considered character arcs, plot points, concepts.

Now it’s time to dive in and start writing. Who knew a blank screen or blank page could be every bit as intimidating as standing at the edge of a cliff?

Well, yesterday I dived in. The water felt great.

Photo courtesy of Free Digital Photo.net

Make Today The Day

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There are those who talk, those who plan, and those who DO. I’ve got the talking and planning part down. Now, I’m working on translating that to action and being one of those who DO.

I’m big on transitions and beginnings. Mondays, the first day of the month, the first day of the year, my birthday, summer or winter solstice: I like to take any of those opportunities as time to start something. Well, it’s Tuesday. I’m the type of person who can easily take that as an opportunity to go ahead and keep planning, outlining, thinking about some detail, and let the week pass me by.

No more.

I’m going to take a page out of Nike’s book: Just Do It.

Today will be the day I put pen to paper and start typing and just get going already. I’m going to Make Today the Day. Are you in?

Photo courtesy of Free Digital Photo.net

All Set! No, Not Quite…

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Whether you’re about to graduate from high school, college, get married, have a baby, take a new job, you’ve been there. It’s that place where you’ve wanted something for a long time, worked hard for it, dreamed about it, and now… it’s almost here. You imagine you should feel ecstatic, and surely a part of you does. Unfortunately, there’s that other part of you. The part of you that leads to procrastination about what has to be done, whether it’s admissions essays or job searching or getting the nursery ready.

Why is that? Well, to sum it up in a word, it’s FEAR. Change is exciting, but change is also scary. Terrifying, in fact. Well, it is for most of us. I’m at that point right now. I’ve been incredibly excited about something that I’ve been dreaming about for years (literally), and now that it’s time to put my foot on the gas pedal and make it happen, I’m… procrastinating. Hesitating.

I know it’s fear. I know the only way to overcome it is to simply Get Started. And that’s what I’m going to do. Now. Right Now. After I finish that other thing…

Photo by Free Digital Photos.net

Baby Steps

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We can learn a lot from young creatures. It’s amazing how much we start out knowing, only to have to relearn it again as we get older. This baby giraffe shows: you just have to get up and take the first step. Watch this little guy take his first steps and keep right on going.

Every time I have to do something new, this is what it feels like. It’s always worth it, though. Thank you, USA Today and Youtube, for the day’s “Awww…” moment.

George Zimmerman Trial Shows “Nobody Knows Nothin’”

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Watching the George Zimmerman trial reminds me of something I’ve come to realize as an adult: “Nobody Knows Nothin’.”

When I was a kid, I loved to learn because I wanted to know everything, like a grown-up. One thing I came to realize in college is that there aren’t always “right” answers, or if there are, we don’t know enough to identify them. That’s why it’s so important to know how to think critically. Thinking critically requires you to consider the facts, analyze them, and develop a well-thought-out conclusion, even if you don’t have 100% proof that your conclusion is “right.” That intellectual ability is what’s supposed to make our liberal arts degrees worth thousands of dollars (try not to snort coffee all over everything).

There isn’t a stone tablet out there with the RIGHT answer, and we can’t always agree on what’s right. Or- let’s be honest- others just can’t understand why we are right.

This became crystal clear when I actually managed to get out of a few days of classes because some attorneys selected me for a jury. When we got to the jury room to deliberate I realized: Shit just got real. It wasn’t like CSI or NCIS or Law & Order where you ultimately get to find out The Truth. Evidence had to be interpreted to come to a conclusion about “reasonable doubt.” And you never get to find out if your “guilty” or “not guilty” verdict really is right.

Watching bits of the George Zimmerman trial has made me realize- again- that in Real Life, nobody knows nothin’.’

Image by jscreationzs via FreeDigitalPhotos.net