Guilt, Anxiety, & Other Distractions

Months ago, I had the idea to start a blog. I thought it would inspire me to write more consistently and help me get more accustomed to putting my ideas out into the world. As you can tell by my lack of posts for the past few months, things didn’t exactly go according to plan.

I’ve discovered that I can get rather distracted. Though part of me crucially wants to write – I feel guilty when I sit down to do it. A to do list of other priorities runs through my head: “I should call and check in on my grandmother,” “I can’t believe I didn’t finish that project yet,” “maybe I should go to sleep early so I can and work out before heading to the office,” “I could use this time to finish one of the books I’m in the middle of”… The list goes on and on. When I’m tuned into that station, it’s hard to turn it off.

And then there are the thoughts about the writing itself: “this sounds horrible – why did I ever think I was good at writing?” “maybe my ideas aren’t as interesting or worthwhile as I thought,” “what if someone disagrees with my point of view?” “What if something I write causes issues for someone else?” “I had so many ideas earlier – where did they all go?”… It can get very tiring.

This is not even to mention the visual, auditory, and other stimuli of my internal and external environment – the hum of the refrigerator, weird lighting, the whir of the computer, sore muscles, hunger/thirst (or both), a phone with seemingly limitless capabilities…

So many distractions. How do we ever get things done?

The crazy thing is that I actually really like to write. Writing calms me down after a frustrating or stressful day, helps me process my emotions, energizes my creativity and enthuses me about stories I’m working on – because I can get so into the characters I’m writing about… and yet, I don’t always write.

I thought of Jim Rohn’s quote “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” Yes there are a gazillion distractions, but couldn’t I creatively come up with a way to push past them and get started?

Noticing that the blog idea wasn’t as productive as I had hoped, I purchased a question a day journal; I’ve used those in the past and enjoy seeing how my responses change from one year to the next. The timing coincided nicely with the start of the new year, which was convenient, and motivated me to begin this resolution – I’ve been pretty good about this, but then again writing a line or two a day isn’t going to get me anywhere quickly.

A couple weeks ago I began a new blank/lined journal, in which I’m trying to write at least a page or so a day – about anything, to increase the words on the page and time spent writing.

Perhaps I just need to start smaller, try a different tactic – something less intimidating… I’m not anywhere near publishing a book yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday.

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