An Old Irritation


Once again I find myself narrowing my eyes—at myself—and wondering why I am the way I am. What way is that? Able to focus, produce, and excel as long as I’m hitting someone else’s deadlines and expectations.

Returning to the world of school has brought a few things back into focus, some good and some bad. The issue mentioned above isn’t inherently bad; it just irritates me to no end. I have a number of writing projects on the go and goals I want to accomplish, and I’m just sitting here basically treading water wondering how all the time flies by.

I cannot seem to structure myself to be productive for long periods of time the way an academic course can motivate me.

I am the issue. I hate being aimless and I know I am a person who needs structure, but then I get nervous about making deadlines and rushing/stressing myself out. Because doing nothing isn’t stressful at all (there’s a heavy dose of sarcasm here).

In a different post I mentioned that I’m pulling The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People off my shelf and starting it once I’m finished my current non-fiction read. I’m also drafting up my second edition of the 6 Month Plan and adding deadlines. I have made a table with a breakdown of my day, hour by hour, to see just how much time I could be using to write and/or blog instead of doing both last minute, or when the mood strikes. I am researching developing a proper writing habit.

I am determined to break myself of this habit of letting myself down. I can be disciplined. Usually, my ability to focus is awesome—I must re-hone that. Perhaps a cycle of work then rest is needed. Perhaps a system of rewards. I’m realizing that getting nothing tangible out of my writing is a factor because then it feels pointless. Or that’s an excuse. I don’t know. I have to try something because the waiting game is obviously not working.

This is an old story, an old issue, and an old irritation. I’m sorry you’ve had to hear about it again, but if you have any tips to help me get into better creating shape I am all ears.


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  1. If you do better with external deadlines, maybe you can have a friend or writer-buddy (someone who knows what is realistic according to your goals and what life is throwing at you right now) who can set some timelines for you ? Maybe set a timeline with someone else who is doing a project and try to finish both by a certain date?

    1. That’s a really great idea. I’ve done the joint commitment deadline with Kate once and that really worked for me. Perhaps finding someone I need to “hand my story into” would work. Thanks, Cassie!

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