Focus on the journey, not the destination. How often have you heard that saying? Or perhaps the comment that you will not find joy in finishing a project or activity, you will find joy in the actual doing of the activity.
They say that writers write and that may be true for many wannabe writers. For me though, the thing that I struggle with most of the time is the writing or “doing” part.
To that end I looked up the definition of the word “doing.” The definition is – noun – the activities in which a particular person engages.
Perhaps therein lies my problem – I may be so keen on wanting to see a finished product with my name on it that I never really sit down and begin writing. Instead I read stories written by others thinking that that could be me putting out such stories or I dream of seeing a column with my name in the byline.
I cannot begin to mention all the things that I want to do that float around in my head. I have also thought about developing a comic strip or a series of short stories using an insurance investigator as my main character (since I spent 30 + years in the insurance business as an underwriter).
I know I have many notebooks full of “what if” type scenarios I talk about doing but never really took the time to make them actually happen. I would not only write about them, I would go so far as to draw up plans about them. Having done that I would then determine what my time schedule should be and then even questioned myself as to whether I should write in the morning or the evening? Taking it even further, I would even ask myself the question: what is the best way to write these articles, stories, or whatever?
See where I am going here?
“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” – Bruce Lee
In looking back at many of the journals I have written over the years – I could probably write a book about all the things you shouldn’t do if you want to consider yourself a writer. The contents of my journals provide a brief description of something I struggle with all the time. I am the type that can think of all kinds of things that I would like to do but apparently my problem is that I am constantly trying to figure out how and when can I do them. Bottom line though is that using this train of thought, as I sit and pontificate the best way of doing them, I spend too much time thinking and therefore I never actually start.
I would be better off taking the approach I sometimes do when my mail and other pieces of paper stack up in my office. One of the secrets I learned when I was working and got backed up was to actually take all my files with the most important ones on top and stack them. Then I would sit at my desk and handle each and every file I touched. While I may not have handled it to a conclusion, I handled it. I used to know a mnemonic that I would use back in the day that assisted me when I got backed up or thought I had too much on my plate. While that particular word slips my mind, another one that I just made up will do the trick.
When you have a list of things to do in your office (or improvise so as to use it for other projects as well) think of the following mnemonic: RAFT
Read, Act, File, or Trash the item.
Let’s face it – while most of the items can be addressed first time around using this method, there might be a few that cannot be handled immediately. But the pile should be whittled down some after taking this approach. And of those that are left, you can devote more time to them because you will not feel overwhelmed by the stacks of files you were once facing. See what has been done. Rather than plan too much, you took action and did something.
So, the three words you need to remember whenever facing any project you have – “Just Do It!” I intend to and my objective/goal is to write at least 4 posts a month to this site. What about you, what actions are you going to take to write more?
Until next time!