Success is looking at the big picture.
No, I have not become one of those motivational blogs, I will not be adding a link to paid motivational services on the sidebar. I’m just thinking aloud. Or in text anyway. Text isn’t particularly loud.
The point is that, as I have to keep telling myself, if you try to gauge your achievements by how much you get in one day, you’re probably going to see a fairly low level of achievement. At least if you’re me. I get like maybe 2 Things done per day, if I really push myself.
But how much do I get done in a week?
That is, a week where the majority of days are not spent thinking “Well, I didn’t get anything done today, just like I never get anything done on any day, why even bother trying”. How much do I get done in a week where I allow for the fact that getting things done might actually take a week? Or a month, even. Do I even notice? I think you can probably guess that the answer is “no”; I don’t notice, because I’m so used to focusing on the right-now, where I’m a failure, and that’s very easy to do. Am I Doing Anything right this second? No? Failure for life. That’s been my modus operandi for the past, I dunno, 14 years let’s say. Partly because I’ve been raised to internalise guilt-trips, partly because once you get started it’s such an easy self-hypnosis to perform that it’s hard to catch it before it perpetuates itself.
So today I’m going to start adding onto the whole “writing about writing” thing. Broadening the scope a little, you could say. My goal with this blog was always, in an abstract, idealistic kind of way, to try and portray the authentic experience of Writing, including all the other stuff that goes on in a writer’s life, some or much of which may actually have nothing to do with writing. Time for a new tag. I kinda like the ring of “I-never-go-to-the-gym rat”.
Today, I walked 4 kilometers in under an hour, including 2 hills. Truth be told it was just the same hill twice, because I’m efficient like that. This was inspired by watching one of my youtubers responding to his subscriber chat, in which somebody had lost 40 pounds (they’re American) in 45 days by walking 5 kilometers (they’re inconsistent) per day “at whatever pace I could manage”. I don’t know if I can manage 4 kilometers a day every day for the next month-and-a-third, but building on top of my Ubermensch schemes, I sure fucking wanna.
So, there. That’s something that I did today. And I’m recording this because my guilt-breaking goal is to tally up all the shit that I’ve done in a week and start judging my achievements based on that. This strategy shall destroy the sediment that has caked my brain into submission, and self-imposed guilt and shame shall be no more. So sayeth the Ubermensch! Maybe that should be my tag instead.
Writing-wise: tomorrow I have 2 assignments to practice-mark, and then on Tuesday I will compare with the lecturer and hopefully that will set me up for marking the next 33. After I’ve done marking, I’m probably going to try and do another 4 kilometers and then get stuck into finishing the final 2 chapters of my shitty YA werewolf novel, which really shouldn’t have taken this long to write but, well, it has. That’s the plan. But the novel part of that plan can happen at any point during this week – the marking, that needs to actually be done tomorrow, so that takes priority. Either way, both will get done, and it will be good.
Will I ever use this new category again? Even the Ubermensch cannot be fully certain. But the point is that I got to make a progress report, and even if it’s not about writing …
Here’s the thing.
Writing is so often a thing that we have to fit in around other shit that we have to do. Often, that shit that we have to do has to be fit in around procrastinating on doing said shit. So writing ends up having to squeeze in between two already opposing sides, like Jason sailing the Argo through those two rocks that smashed together constantly.
So getting your time-management under control, not just in terms of the actual scheduling but also the mindset you bring into it – in my case, forcing myself to get into the habit of judging my success/progress over a long period of time rather than only ever in the moment – is absolutely essential to getting writing done. Getting writing done is part sitting the fuck down and writing, part sorting out all the rest of your shit so that you will actually sit the fuck down and write. Today, I’ve started pushing towards the latter.
It reminds me that I really don’t “have” anything to write, though. Nothing that really demands my attention creatively. I suppose that can wait, though. Once I have broken some of my shitty habits and given myself the clean slate I need to get writing done at the rate I want to get it done, I can worry about what it is that I’ll actually get to work on.
For now, though, the Ubermensch must sleep. Ubermensching for 4 kilometers really takes it out of you.