I Don’t Have Time To Write This Blog Post

I am sitting here at midnight having a conversation with myself about this blog post. I’m telling myself, “You don’t have time for this post”. There are two things about that thought that strike me:

1. I have the time. It takes about an hour to put out a post that’s readable if not a work of art.

If I don’t have time to write this article, how have I made it to Level 190 in Candy Crush in the last three months? How do I maintain six games of Words With Friends most of the time?

If I don’t have time to write this article, how did I manage to watch at least four movies this weekend, including Ender’s Game in IMAX?

The truth of it is that I have the same amount of time as anybody else, “a lifetime”, to borrow from Neil Gaiman.

The thing I lack is focus and focused time. Speaking of focus, that brings me to the second point.

2. Hey! That’s ‘The Resistance’ talking. It’s also known as that little red devil guy sitting on your shoulder in the old Tom & Jerry cartoons telling Tom or Jerry to do something they know they really shouldn’t do.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about when I say ‘The Resistance’, go read Steven Pressfield’s excellent book on creativity and beating ‘The Resistance’, The War of Art. The TL;DR version of the book is that ‘The Resistance’ will do anything to keep you from listening to your ‘Muse’. It will do anything to keep you unfocused on what needs doing.

‘The Resistance’ will help you find any excuse to not do anything that brings about a positive change in your life or work that needs doing. ‘The Resistance’ as presented by Steven Pressfield reminds me of a gospel song by The Kingsmen (it’s fun to watch them stumble on a song they played a gajillion times in the 1980s ).

The chief difference between The Devil and ‘The Resistance’ is that ‘The Resistance’ is an internal force that encourages procrastination and enticements to draw us away from ‘The Work’, whether it’s creative work, exercise, or just work.

One, if you’re not familiar with it, buy and read The War of Art ( affiliate link that benefits my kids’ school) and two stop using the words ‘I don’t have time’. It’s better to say ‘I have other priorities’. and stop lying to yourself.

May Experiment

Sheesh! This whole writing daily experiment has been a complete failure so far. I guess I will have to start over.

One of the things about forming new habits, like writing daily or running, is that you have to be careful about how you setup the trigger / response relationship. If you just say you’re going to do it “sometime tomorrow”, you won’t..or at least I won’t.

The beautiful thing with the running habit I’m working on is, I wake up on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning, then I go for a run. That works most of the time. The two issues I have with using waking up as a trigger for a habit is: my wife occasionally has to go into work early and I still have to make sure the kids get up and I have a tendency to stay up too late and make myself unable to wake up in time to do whatever I’m supposed to do. Tomorrow, I’m going to the District 84 Toastmasters Conference, so unless I make myself get up, I won’t run. It’s a hotel thing. The good thing is I’ll be near a mall with a nice perimeter to run around.

But I was talking about writing. I can’t make myself write first thing in the morning because my brain isn’t fully functional until about 10 am. Anything I write before then not usually coherent. I normally produce my best material either mid afternoon or late at night, after everyone else is in bed, if not asleep.┬áThat’s when I did my best work for Comics & Geeks. I’m especially proud of a few of the pieces I did on there.

I’m going to be working on figuring out the proper trigger so I can get myself writing daily. It’s worked for running. It’s worked for eating properly. It has worked in the past for other habits I’ve tried to form.

Then again, I may just need a few nights of good sleep. That’s one of the things about getting actual exercise. I’m tired by the end of the day, even though I won’t be asleep before midnight.

Later folks!