Apt that this is on my mind today. I have two posts scheduled each week, one for Tuesday and one for Saturday, both to be published by 7PM NZST. But I hit a wall on Sunday that I was unable to circumnavigate until today. Not in terms of what to write, but being able to get started. So I failed to write and publish a post by the self-imposed deadline. How do we get ourselves to a position where we can conquer the walls in our lives more often than we can’t?
It happens so often that I identify something I want to do but find it difficult to start. Not only the first time but every time I’m looking to get stuck into hard work for a sustained period of time. I feel lazy and like I’ve done something wrong to hit whatever wall it is I find myself up against. My mind is never short of inspiration, new ideas find me even when I’m not looking for them. The problem I have is scheduling time to write, and sticking to it. I’m getting better at acknowledging the walls in my life. Now I need to identify the tools which I have to help me construct ways to overcome them more quickly.
When playing ultimate frisbee or football there are times I feel lethargic. My body has less energy and running requires mental as well as physical effort. But ‘the wall’ I come up against there often has an understandable reason for existing. I haven’t eaten enough food or the right food. I haven’t warmed up to get my lungs into workout mode. I haven’t had practice throws or kicked the ball around before the start of the game. These are all fixable, even during the beginning of the game if I start on the sideline. Or, I can be better prepared for the next game. My mind is also quite amazing when it comes to physical exertion in that it can convince me to run, and run, and run, on less food than should be possible, and still play well. Even if I play poorly, I turn up every week and get out on the field. (Maybe I need to start treating writing like it’s a sport?)
On Sunday and Monday inspiration struck and I wrote several blog posts ideas as notes in my phone as per usual. The difference this week compared to the last month: I didn’t open them again when I had time to turn an idea into a fully fledged blog post. It’s not that I didn’t have the time, it’s that I filled it with other things. When I publish a post, especially one which hits me solidly in the soul, I feel a sense of achievement. That I have done something I’ve been called to do.
In terms of time available to write there has been markedly less over the past week. Work has picked up so I’ve been staying later to ensure everything gets done. I’ve been spending more time practicing guitar and even writing music. (I didn’t actively choose to but while the inspiration was there I ran with it.) My father and I have started co-authoring the next short story we are going to enter into a competition. I have been reading journal articles and taking notes about the Shinto religion and Japanese mythology to be better informed as I edit my book manuscript.
I guess when I look at the past week like that there is much to be celebrated. Maybe the wall I found was a useful one to keep me up to speed in other creative areas of my life?
This week has confirmed to me I want to continue my journey away from the corporate world towards spending more time writing. At work I found myself staring blankly at the screen this morning. To recapture my focus I flipped open WordPress and read some thoughtful blog posts and left what I hope were thoughtful comments. Knowing I want to spend more time writing, and reading, and engaging with those communities, but not knowing how to get there is a difficult wall to climb—but not impossible.
What are the walls in your life right now? How might you work to overcome them or understand their benefit to you?
Thank you, to each and every one of you, for being here. Time is precious, and that you choose to spend some of yours here is humbling. Peace to you all.