So You Don’t Want to Do the Thing You Want to Do


It’s 7pm on the night my blog post is due and I am vacillating between several rough sketches for blog topics that I jotted down over the last few months, none of which feel right to expand into anything worthwhile. Having had two weeks at least to work on this it’s no one’s fault but my own. I want writing to come easy but it never does. Or rarely enough that never is an accurate enough description. At times like this I ask myself if this is what I really want to do. And I have to reluctantly answer yes. The satisfaction I get out of having written something (notice I didn’t say writing—present tense) that I feel is good is a kind of fulfillment that I don’t get from any other source. I wish it was easier to just quit. It’s like a splinter that won’t come out and the only way to sooth it is with the salve of finishing something. Having done it is always satisfying to some extent. And the process can be exhilarating at the best of times, but typically it’s excruciating instead. And really it shouldn’t be. It’s just typing words. Good or bad it’s not physically demanding, but the mental load of trying to come up with something that feels worth my time is a large one. I don’t know if the key is to somehow try to ignore those thoughts of whether it’s worthwhile and just type. But that’s an impossible endeavor on its own. Just try not to think about something. Of course that’s what you’re going to think about.

I feel like a squirrel whose short attention span has the sole purpose of avoiding one thing. Writing seems to bring out my squirrel nature. Hey, you haven’t pulled out the dehydrator in a while. You really should make some fruit rollups. Remember that table you were going to build. Go for it! You know, that yard isn’t going to landscape itself. You’ve only got so many months of summer. Bouncing from one unimportant task to another in the hopes of avoiding that thing that I keep telling myself I want to do. Well want to want to do actually. And want to have done. But it’s the wanting to do that is the problem. Then I end up writing about how I can’t write and it feels self-indulgent. I don’t know if there is any purpose to this. Is awareness of a problem worth indulging one’s time in? I tell myself there may be someone out there reading this who is feeling the same way and is getting some sense of understanding or being understood, but I have no idea if that is actually the case.

Part of the problem I am realizing is that I am struggling with what exactly I want this blog to be. Up to now it’s been a bit of a catchall for whatever I feel like writing at the moment, which has worked mostly fine until the last few months. It seems as though it’s gotten a bit off track in a way that I can’t quite articulate. Maybe it’s actually just me that’s gotten off track. The lack of a defined format has allowed me to become lazy in planning and too often the entries have become whatever comes off the top of my head. That’s not to say that the topics themselves are bad, but had I put in the effort to organize and plan a bit more they could have been better representations of what I was trying to say. So in the end I think my conclusion has to be to put more time into planning. Forge my ideas until they are of high quality. Hone my words until they cut perfectly. And take the time necessary to do so.

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