Does Success Breed Failure?

Saturday, October 17, 2009
Yesterday, despite all of my moaning in yesterday’s post, I did everything on my to-do list which meant the first thing on the docket this morning was to create a new to-do list. Easy enough. But something about yesterday’s success made me uneasy.

I mean, I didn’t just do yesterday’s to-do list; I cruised through it. I made copies and sent out queries. I wrote. I revised. I got through with the list and kept on going. I researched and organized. I even had an idea approved by an editor, giving me a new article to work on over the next couple months. And all this from a girl infamous for drafting static “to-do” lists that generally gather more dust than checkmarks.

So as I sat down at the computer this morning with my pen and my pad of Post-its, poised to compose today’s to-do list. That’s when I forced myself to confront the dark truth of yesterday. If I’d managed to complete every thing on my to-do list, then I just hadn’t been asking enough out of myself.

Because really, I don’t make to-do lists, I make wish lists of all the things I wish I did if days had 36 hours in them and life wasn’t so chock full of interrupters and my mind wasn’t oh so very capable of creating any plethora of distractions. Yesterday spoke of focus and, dare I say, productivity, possibly even sustainability. It was all very shocking.

So I decided to put in some meatier goals in today’s to-do list. No more “revise a page of this essay” or “finish editing a chapter of that novel.” Nope, today, I’m revising whole essays and entire chapters. Well, at least on paper.

In addition, I decided it was high time to find publications for a few spec pieces that have been rolling around with the proverbial mothballs in “My Documents.” I once heard a writer say that she finds a home for everything she writes, no matter how long time it takes and at that point in time, I vowed to do the same. Of course, that writer probably isn’t trying to place, say, an 800-word biography of Granuaile written in 2005 with a youth audience in mind. Finding a paying market for any of these pieces probably depends more on divine inspiration than on me researching publications, but every once in a while, I like to pretend it’s a worthy use of my time instead of really just a distraction from other more productive goals. It can be hard to admit the ship has sailed.

I’ve got a ways to go with today’s to-do list. There’s been banana bread to bake and recycling to take out. And after all, there’s always tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails