Monday, July 25, 2011
A Little Bit Here... A Little Bit There...
“Fantasizing about pursuing our art full-time, we fail to pursue it part-time – or at all.” Julia Cameron, The Artists Way
This quote has haunted me from the moment I first read it. There are quite a few things I’ve failed to pursue part-time as I adjust to adding an outside job to my workload.
I’ve always been the type of person that wants to tackle one job at a time, working diligently until it’s done and I can move on to the next item on the To Do list.
That process isn’t really an option anymore. There are too many things that need to be tackled, to many distractions, and not enough daylight to allow for that kind of long-term focus.
Take the yard, for instance. I was so overwhelmed last year that the extent of my yard work was paying someone to mow. Needles to say, the jungle has multiplied here in the south.
I keep avoiding it, pretending if I don’t see it, all those saplings, overgrown bushes, and weeds don’t really exist. But that doesn’t work for long – as a few people have taken the time to point out. After reading Cameron’ quote, I decided to tackle the yard 30 minutes at a time (with the kids at my side – which helps me accomplish even more). And only on weekend days, because that’s the only chance I have to do it in the cool of the morning (I’m not desperate enough to see the work done to be doing it in 100 degree heat.).
It’s slow going. And I have to admit that it’s very hard to stop when I hit that 30 minute mark. Just a little more, my brain says… No. No more.
But at least I have the “done” parts to focus on when I pull into the driveway. I smile and go back to pretending the jungle doesn’t exit… for now. I’m attempting to do the same with my writing. Instead of rushing headlong into a project, then petering out in 3 days, I simply ask myself when I have a bit of time, “What can I do, right now, with my creativity that would be fun? Which of my stories do I want to work on? What part (brainstorming, editing, writing, critiquing my work) do I have the energy to do at this moment?”
And I leave the rest for another, hopefully better day.
So tell me, are you a “dig in until I finish” kind of person, or “a little bit here, a little bit there” kind of person?