After these past months, I have been (as I noted on Thursday) at odds with…. well, with myself it has seemed. Shan and Alberta were very helpful in offering both support and useful suggestions on how to get a handle on things. Shan’s suggestion of Raina Willick’s blog for some basic reassessment tools was spot on. I’m especially connecting at the moment with the piece named “Is it a Growth or Stabilize Year For You?”
I have a lot of projects “in the works”, a.k.a. unfinished. Some of this is a search for novelty, but a larger portion is a result of my initial concept (or goal, you might say) being bigger than I understood at the time. Some of the ideas grew as I felt I had to add on skills and frill and… well, do I really need to make videos for my books? Probably not. Do I need to learn how to take professional quality photos with a DSLR camera to enjoy the memories captured in a picture or to share the joy of those memories with friends and family? Not really.
The list goes on. Even with writing (which I do love) and research (which I confess I am more than mildly addicted to)… I don’t really need to understand all the recent scientific research on how the brain stores memories to say that one of my characters has a unique way of learning things about the world. Nor does giving a perfect representation of a post-Roman culture fit the world I’m trying to write. Indeed, there is no direct parallel that I know of to this world, and I’m not quite sure there should be.
That could be mean frightful things for the future.
Anyway, the point is (and yes, there is a point) that I’ve been doing some major reconsiderations.
One thing I am becoming aware of is how much I’ve been making things harder on myself than I need to be. A bit of this is Perfectionism (TM). I should know better. Not only have I written about the issues of it, but I have glowed many times about Shan’s excellent post The Chimera of Perfection. I’ve spent years dealing with this, enough time it seems like I would be done with this nonsense by now.
But… maybe that’s the problem. I’m trying so hard to fix this (and everything else), trying so hard to make myself into a better writer, better parent, smarter, kinder, more creative… yadda yadda, that I’ve become unable to just “be”. Thus begins one vicious cycle (Must Fix Self –> Sets Unrealistic Goals –> Fails to Achieve Goals –> Must Fix Self….
How does one get off the wheel? Or make it stop? I’m not sure really. Maybe I should just try slowing things down a bit first? Maybe I should just pick my point and jump boldly?
I don’t know.
One thing I am sure of… I am going to try to avoid the other vicious cycle that I often find myself dancing with. It’s related to the Perfectionism Cycle, the Escapism cycle…. Overwhelmed –> Let Go of a Lot of Activities –> Feel Useless and Lazy –> Start Doing All The Things –> Fail at All The Things –> Overwhelmed
And I am keeping on, keeping on. I haven’t drawn, but I I have written (I’ve even attended two local writing group activities since Wednesday to stave off some of the sense of being separated so much from my former writing community in the Albany area). I have maintained both this and the ROW80 blog. I haven’t done Photoshop lessons, but I have taken new photos and have toyed with some other photo-editing tools. And I’ve been slowly reducing my “PR list” (presently reading), as it’s grown to over 20 books in various degrees of finished….
So maybe what I’m doing is focusing more on what Raina Willick calls a Year of Stabilization rather than a Year of Growth. And… that’s okay, I think.