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Procrastination

I was cleaning off files on my desk today and I ran across a folder that I have stuffed with ideas to write on.   My notion was that whenever I got an idea, I’d write it down, maybe flesh it out a bit, and put it in this file if I didn’t have time to fully explore it.  It used to be yellow sticky notes on the computer but that got to be too cumbersome, and I couldn't see the computer.  The file has about 30 things in it now.  None of them I’ve written beyond a few scribbled notes or outline or idea.   One started notion after another, and I never seem to get around to finishing them.  On top of that I've got one that's been sitting here for a MONTH since I got back from Scotland and it's not even in the folder, it's paper-clipped and sitting on the keyboard of the laptop.  All the pieces, the notes, the ideas -- never finished. These aren’t my magazine columns, these are ideas for posts on here, and later to be incorporated into one of the three books I plan on someday writing.   Someday. 

I don’t seem to be writing much.  Writers are supposed to write damn it!   In the folder is even an article Tony sent me about just that: “Writers are Always Writing – Where the Hell Am I?”  Good question.   Lately I don’t know where the hell I am.  I’m feeling very listless, groundless, un-rooted, unsure right now.   I can’t seem to get motivated to do much.  It’s kinda been that way for a couple of years now, pretty much ever since the divorce.  Once again this year I’m disgusted and kicking myself for it being the end of October and I’ve not done really any of the writing projects and portfolio projects I’d planned and wanted to do – to eventually move myself out of politics and into writing.  I didn’t do them last year, and here we are another year later and I didn’t do them again.  Two damn years in a row!

Hell, even this post I started on last night at 11pm!  Put down a few notes and said to myself “I’ll do it tomorrow”.   At least I’m following through on that one.  Maybe it’s because I don’t have a “deadline” for finishing these things.   With my column, I know I have a deadline – and while it varies from month to month, it’s generally around the 21st of each month.   Often times I’ve had to beg my editor for some patience and give me a few hours or a day as I struggle to finish it.   But in the end, I tend to do my best columns under that gun – finishing them within moments of when they are due.

My second cousin Kay who writes a wonderful blog called “Where is Clifton Idaho” writes more than I do.  http://whereiscliftonidaho.blogspot.com  I have to give her kudos and credit for that.  I very much enjoy reading her posts, whether they are on family that I know or just general observations in life.  I try to give her encouragement when I can, and she does the same to me when she comments on here. I do know one of the reasons I don’t write as much as I used to, especially when I travel,  is that it’s easier now to share a quick thought and photo on Facebook than it is to write a blog post.  Plus I’ve been traveling with my i-Pad now for a year as its sooooo much easier than lugging around a laptop.  It’s great for posting pictures, and short comments on Facebook and emails.  The same with my i-Phone.  It isn’t however conducive to writing blog posts, or working on columns and books.

I spent 18 days in Scotland again this summer, took a lot of wonderful pictures, and have started several posts, but…  I also just got back from a gorgeous week of riding a motorcycle from Key West back up through Alabama and Georgia to Atlanta, enjoying the late summer, the southern hospitality and food, and wonderful roads in an area I’ve not been, but...   I’ve regaled friends with stories from these trips – about people I’ve met, things I’ve seen, and I’ve said: “I should be writing these in the blog” but….

But what really scares me more than anything though is not the fact I’ve not written, its this overall “lost” feeling I have and I can’t seem to shake, which I think influences me not writing.  Did it all start three years ago?   That’s when the bottom more or less fell out.  The divorce, the loss of major clients, the devastating IRS audit, the health.  What can I do to stop it -- this feeling?   I know I could write more – there really isn’t any time reason why I don’t.   Even when I get distracted at home and need to focus on just writing I could grab the laptop and go down to Starbucks on the beach like all the other stereotypical writer wannabes.  I don’t.   Do I need a self-imposed deadline of sorts?  What’s the consequences if I don’t?  If I don’t get a column in my editor cusses at me and I don’t get paid and I may lose the gig.  If I don’t post on here or work on my books who the hell cares, what’s the consequence?   Maybe I need to just quit the job and spend my savings and be poor and HAVE to write to feed myself.  The old “starving artist” routine.

I’m generally a pretty disciplined guy once I set my mind to do something.  Why can’t I get disciplined about writing?   What’s more, why can’t I get disciplined about this malaise I’m feeling in my life and figure out what to do about it?   I wish I knew.  I wish I knew. 

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Oct. 29th, 2011 02:31 am (UTC)
What Will I Do ?
It is called depression. See your friendly Dr. talk to him about it, see if he can prescribe a mild anti-depressant and see if a little chemical boost will get you out of the funk. I went through the same thing a couple of years ago,, and no one small pill a day and I am not in a dark place .....
(Anonymous)
Oct. 31st, 2011 05:23 am (UTC)
Lacka Wanna
It's a pretty normal feeling, this "lostness", though not everyone admits it. My thoughts are that such times come from plateau's in our lives caused by all sorts of happenings, some sudden and some long-term. I once read that when a person hits one of these stages, it doesn't matter where they start, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual...like a merry go round, anywhere will do. Age has a way of making us realize that our lives will likely not turn out as we had supposed. Divorce does the same thing, though it's even more personal. The best solution I have found is to perform "random acts of kindness" and think of what I do have that cannot be purchased. And, thanks for the kind words, Cuz. Kay
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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