I’ve been bouncing off the walls all week, perhaps longer. I’ve managed to get a lot done lately, but the panic sets in the moment I wonder if I’ve been taking off in the right directions. It’s hard to gauge, especially when the money’s not coming in, seeing as it’s modernity’s primary indication of worth – and even though it’s 100% shit, we’re stuck wading in it. Anyway…
I tend to use this blog for motivational purposes, but it doesn’t always fulfill that need because sometimes my writing gets more personal than I’m comfortable sharing. Since deleting most of my ancient posts on Livejournal, I’ve become more aware of when I shouldn’t be exposing everything that dribbles out of my brain in public.
Friends are a great sounding-board (because they can tell you when you’ve gone stupid) but you can’t rely on anyone to bend their ear every time you need. They have their own lives after all. So I started writing to myself in a conversational tone. Today I went over one I wrote months ago. It was more enlightening than when I first jotted it down, because I could see how far I’d come and how far I still have to go.
I ask myself questions: What am I not doing that I know I should? Why am I not doing it? Am I beating myself up? What’s getting in the way? What goal is most reasonable right now compared to what I think my goals should be? By the time I’m finished, I’ve written up a plan – a realistic one that takes all my weaknesses into account and works with them, rather than drowning myself in unhelpful shame. I looked back on the plan I made months ago, and was relieved to find I’m still on the right track, even though it doesn’t feel that way.
Writing resolves thoughts. Ann Patchett compares it to catching a butterfly – always killing it in the process. It can end up either neatly pinned, a perfect specimen, or a mangled husk. But some thoughts are more like hornets. Swatting them down so they stop buzzing round your head is the goal, because goddamn are they ever annoying. A hornet can also be a useful specimen, examined closely to figure out what itches you, but you have to kill the buggers first. Stabbing them with your pen actually works sometimes.by