Sunday, June 08, 2008

June Boon

Holding Myself to It
One thing that makes it tough to hold ones own feet to the fire is the decision of just which way you’re gonna position yourself. Do you simply light the match yourself and try not to shrink away, or do you ask someone else to do the dirty-work for you, realizing that the latter option also makes it more difficult to change your mind and avoid the pain?

What the hell am I talking about, you rightfully ask? I’m talking about motivation; I’m talking about commitment; I’m talking about doing something I want to do, yet consistently find a way to avoid, day in and day out.

Same song, forty-second verse.

I’m talking about writing, specifically, writing here in my blog. As much as I wish it weren’t so complicated, I’ve decided that there’s only one way to successfully address the need I have to get back in the saddle, only one way to provide for myself the proper motivation to complete what I’ve started.

Waiting for the self-starting AJ to emerge just ain’t happnin.’ For some reason I just can’t seem to shake the creeping malaise of, “I’ll write tonight after dinner,” which quickly becomes, “I’ll write right after I watch this re-run of Law & Order,” which quickly becomes, “Okay…right after SportsCenter,” which almost always becomes, “Omigawd, it’s 3AM! I musta dozed off…”

It’s the only way I know I’ll be able to move on and finally silence the nagging of that fishwife–of-a-conscience I have. I realize now that I simply cannot do it without having someone else hold that match beneath my soles.

And I’m putting it all out here so that, hopefully, y’all can help me stay on task.

And while I’m certainly applying much more drama to the scenario than it will ever deserve, it’s unfortunately the only way I know to really gain my own attention. I really hate to be embarrassed, and I hate embarrassing myself even worse. So this is the best way I know to keep that from happening. No more excuses, I’m gonna get busy — or end up looking like a fool for making such a fuss about it (as if I don’t already).

I’ve had so many well-intentioned starts that soon thereafter turned into stops. It has gotten so bad that as of a few weeks ago I truly was ready to quit. And don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’ve felt paralyzed by the pressure — I have no trouble diving into a new story any time I sit down in front of my keyboard. It’s that I’ve simply had a devil of a time making myself finish what I start. That’s where the paralysis sets in. Every time I think about writing something new, I’m reminded of all the loose ends I have yet to tie up.

Why does it happen? Do I bore too easily with my own ideas? I honestly don’t know. I do know that I’m easily distracted. And it’s a really good thing I take lots of notes in the process of formulating any of my long-winded yarns, else there would be absolutely no hope of completing something as ridiculously overdue as LA Stories: 2005, which by the way I still do intend to complete, and do so, this month.

And that leads me to the subject of this sixth month of the calendar year; a month that once again has opened with the indication that it’s going to be another season of fire and brimstone here in Middle Tennessee. The first week of June established area records for consecutive ninety-degree-plus temperatures so early in the year.

The one benefit of the early heat is that today I actually have an excuse to be indoors, to escape being broiled to death while working out in the yard — a subject that will receive plenty of ink in the concluding parts of another series I’ll be completing this month: A Moving Experience...(an ongoing series).

Yep, I’ve been plenty busy — both at work and here at home — but that’s not enough of an excuse to really make me feel that my blog-silence has been justified. Nonetheless, I’m not going to just sit by and allow myself to make any more excuses. I’m gonna do something about it, and in the process, hopefully re-energize my writing to the point that it once again becomes a joy instead of a hangnail.

Post-Dated Posts
It’s too late to re-create the past — at least from a performance standpoint. Back in 2004, soon after the launch of my blog, I posted at least one entry every single day during the month of June. Obviously I can’t do that now, but my plan and pledge to myself is at least, from this point (June 8th) forward, to write every single day from now to the end of the month. Regardless whether or not I feel inspired from the outset, I’m gonna make myself get on that horse and hope that it’ll be a boon to my productivity.

Given all that I have left to do, merely from the standpoint of unfinished series,’ I’ll certainly have no shortage of material to deal with.

So here’s the schedule that I fully expect that everyone reading this will hold me to (including myself):
  • Unfinished Business
    This is your signal that something old has become new: Before the month is out, I plan on concluding four — maybe five — ancient-to-recent blog series that never quite made it to the finish line.

    In order to keep the story parts together, listed chronologically, I’ll be back-dating them to a time roughly concurrent with the entire story. Whenever I do that, I’ll post a direct link to the new/continuing parts with an entry entitled: Unfinished Business.

    I still haven’t decided in which order I’ll attack them, but the series you can expect to see being sewn up over the next three weeks will be, LA Stories: 2005, Two Tales of One City...or Somethin’ Like That, Good Things Come…, A Moving Experience...(an ongoing series), and maybe, if time permits, The Lion Sleeps Tonight.

  • Afterthoughts
    Well…only in a manner of speaking. Again, these are posts that came and went without seeing the light of day in Blogland; short-subject blogs that just weren’t short enough, apparently. I have several of ‘em; stories that seemed like easy slam-dunks when I began writing them, yet somehow became caught up in that annoying vortex that is my inability at times to close out an argument with myself. The stories range on a wide variety of subjects, from Classic Rock to Sports to Politics and Social Injustice. I’ve got at least a dozen of these old half-to-three-quarters-completed posts that I’ve debated now literally for years whether or not to push on thru the pipeline. I don’t know how many of them will make the cut, but I guarantee you I’ll be adding at least one or two of them into the mix within these next three weeks. I’ve decided not to back-date these stories, but to let them stand as they were as originally written and post them in the here-and-now. I may change a few time-related details, but will for obvious reasons I want to try and avoid completely re-writing them just for the sake of making them current.

    I’ll have to take them on, case-by-case, to see how that part plays out, but my main intention is to simply finish ‘em up, get ‘em out, and get along with it.

    Look for the first one to post probably tomorrow night, or sooner.
From Boon to Bust?
So after this, where to go next? Actually that’s a good question — one that I don’t have an answer to.

I suppose one of the reasons I’ve been stockpiling all these old stories is that I somehow felt the need to have something to post when I ran out of ideas. And right now I’m not totally convinced that hasn’t happened. I have to admit, I’m out of it, folks. I’ve really been struggling with the direction I want to go. I just don’t have the time that I used to, and the pressure I feel all around me as a result has sapped both my energy and my creativity.

Anymore I feel like an automaton at work, and even though I’m learning and improving my skill-set by leaps and bounds, I just want to run away and retreat to how things were 3-4 years ago. Life was so much simpler for me. I was having so much fun on so many different fronts. Things are just different now.

It’s not that I don’t think those feelings can return, it’s more that I think I’m in a state of mourning for my loss of temporary identity. Everything changed for me when my job was challenged. And while I weathered the storm well enough, I just can’t seem to shake the feeling that I’ve failed.

Listen, I’m not saying all this to elicit anyone’s sympathy, I’m just being real, and that’s what this space is about. The upshot of all this is that I honestly don’t know what will happen once I summon up all my resources to pour out what’s left of my blog story-surplus.

I’m sure I’ll think of something. Problem is, right now I have no idea what.

But enough with the negatory thoughts; I gotta think positive. The idea of this posting-blitz is that it will hopefully get me jump-started once again, and posting on a more consistent basis; so that’s the mind-set I’m gonna officially take from this point on.

Out with the swoon; in with the boon.

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