There are seasons for all things in life. I think someone wrote a song about that.
Moments to work like a hound, moments to rest. Times for drinking, times for health.
There’s falling in love, there’s solitude.
Lately I’ve been waking up, grabbing my journal, and finding I don’t have much to say. Classic writer’s block seems a doubtful culprit since there are no deadlines or responsibilities with my casual morning writing.
What I fear, then, is emotional block. If I can’t dump my straying accumulated thoughts on to page each morning, are they even there?
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It was this time last year when the thought of being a writer first crept into my mind.
My sister and I had spent two weeks traveling through Southern France. She left and I continued to Genoa, Italy. I couchsurfed with a young and lovely psychotherapist for 11 days. We drove up mountains on his motorcycle, swam in the Mediterranean, became expedited lovers.
When he left for work during the day, the apartment was mine for hours. I was an actor then, so no job at home awaited me. There was nothing “official” to work on, the days were utterly open.
On one of these days, a short story appeared in my notebook. My first, I think, since a three-pager (typed, double-spaced) in middle school. I didn’t realize I was remembering as I wrote it, but those minutes are carved into my brain.
My psychologist tells me I tend to overanalyze things. She is not the first loved-one to do this.
“Do you mean compared to other people?” I finally ask.
I was surprised at this. What do others do during quiet stretches of mental space?
Years ago I might have taken Carole’s comment as a badge of honor, but not anymore.
Overanalyzing is like stirring a pot of beans and expecting them to become something other than beans. They only become more mushy.
Analysis has it’s benefits. It gives time to empathize, to strategize, to creativitize.
But analysis is also an excuse of inertia. Analyze instead of act.
Or a way to feel in-control of outcomes that don’t exist and may never come to be.
I thought this would be the triumphant year in which I wrote a book.
Apparently, it is to be the year I learn to write a book.
(If you’re following, yes—I still plan to have it finished soon.)
Three months will mark the anniversary of setting off to finish my little “masterpiece.”
By the end of October 2016, I thought I had everything necessary to push it through the final rounds of editing.
By the end of January 2017, I realized the whole thing needed to be rewritten. (Upwork beta readers at $30 a pop and growing subconscious fear led me to this decision.)
It needed more information to deserve the title How to Travel For Free. I was not happy with this fact. I wanted to be finished with my first book.
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You didn’t make the wrong decision.
There is no wrong decision.
It doesn’t exist behind you, nor in the minds of yourself or others. It doesn’t exist anywhere.
There was never any outcome with judgment attached to it. There was just an outcome. That’s all.
We exist rather negligibly in a gargantuan universe. Applying a subjective human judgment system to the outcomes we think we’ve created is a bit…grandiose.
Every moment leading up to now has simply been a stepping stone. Every moment has served one singular purpose: to get you to now, and now, and (wait for it)…now.
Lucky for you…
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What do you want to be when you grow up?
Don’t answer that.
You can spend a lifetime chasing after that question. Landing on something, asking if it’s right…wondering if you’ve made a mistake. Deciding to wait, stay, or try something else.
The five-year-old son of a friend came home the other day distressed.
My friend said, “What’s wrong?”
The crestfallen child admitted, “I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.”
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For fear that they will tell me what I don’t want to hear, I’m refraining from reviewing the posts I’ve written lately.
The sneaking suspicion is that I’ve been complaining a lot about how generally distracted I feel.
Beginning a few months ago, in a state of utter boredom with book editing, lack of social life, lack of work, it seems I turned to haphazard romances spice up my life.
The thing about romance is that it’s really, really engaging. Especially in the beginning. It’s full of untouchable hope and sparkle and mouth corners turned upward ever on their own accord.
New romance: a wonderful drug.
I’ve been doing drugs as a way to escape life block.
They say when you grow up with someone who has an addiction (work, alcohol, worrying, painkillers, sex, socializing), that even if you do not share the same addiction, you learn the associated emotional and psychological behaviors.
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The past month hasn’t felt very productive.
How can I write about creativity or reaching goals if I’m not doing things?
Two things jump out at me here:
1. Travel seems to lose me around six productivity days per round trip. I’m mentally scattered the day before and after, and generally distracted with movement on the actual day.
I’ve made two trips, so that’s 12 days. With more discipline, it probably could have been closer to four. People with “real” jobs do this all the time out of necessity. Ugh!
2. Since I’m a vagabond without fixed scheduling, I often rationalize reasons not to work on big goals