Last December, I set some audacious monthly goals for myself. December, I met them. January, I met them. February. Sigh.
There’s reasons. There are always reasons. Some of them are even good.
But I think what’s challenging for me is that once I get off track, and my goal tickboxes start going unticked, I start getting demotivated. Yet at the same time, I have this hope against hope idea that I can pull it together in the end, that in some big burst of writing, it will all work out.
This is sometimes true, but more often (read: post-kid) it does not, but the belief that I could make it work makes it easy to let myself off the hook in the moment, and then more tickboxes go unticked and at some point I realize that no, I cannot pull this together. It’s too much.
I’ve been pretty good about not kicking myself in recent years, but there’s a little kicking myself. I should have used the time. Sat my butt down and wrote. Turn on the concentration playlist, start up Write or Die, take myself out to a coffee shop, something. Over the years, I’ve developed a lot of tricks to get started. I could have employed them.
I can comfort myself in pointing out that I at least did something this month, whereas in the past I would have many months of nothing but good intentions.
I like to remind myself that balance is also a verb. You don’t set it and forget it. There’s always an ebb and a flow and shift things around to make something work. But perhaps what makes it toughest while I have days when I fail to write is that I don’t have days when I fail to take care of my kid. I didn’t fail to file my business tax forms. (Although this year I came close.) I don’t fail to ensure there is some sort of dinner even if it’s pretty half-ass.
Let me be clear that there’s still a lot of things that fail to get done, since I literally made ‘clean the bathroom’ a goal so that it would happen on a regular basis. And likewise, somehow I’m also not failing to keep with up new episodes of Schitt’s Creek.
Perhaps that’s a better way to look at it. I didn’t fail to write, so much as I succeeded at many other things, none of which will help me as a writer, although I suppose if I didn’t eat my writing career would be very short.
In any case, I am attempting to avoid the obvious inspirational ending here, where I say how what I have to do is put butt in chair and write dammit. I know that. Nothing will get written any other way.
But in the spirit of self-kindness and honesty, this is simply where I am.
At least I can tick off “wrote blog post.”