We’re almost at the middle of April and I’m approaching the blogger’s version of Heartbreak Hill—the point I’m about to throw in the towel and say, I can’t post anything today because everything I’m writing really sucks. That would really bite because I made it this far—nearly two weeks of back-to-back writing only to come to this. (Even calling midpoint Heartbreak Hill is incorrect because in the Boston Marathon it’s between the 20 and 21 mile marks.)
Sure, I have a medley of drafts which I’ve started, but none seem to inspire me to want to finish. I even have a list of topics that I’d like to write about one day—just not today and probably not even tomorrow.
I have no problems coming up with a list of excuses and scrounging up the most mundane tasks to help me get off track so I don’t have to write. Housecleaning never looked so appealing as it does on this gorgeous spring day. Even the idea of working out for a very long time seems very tempting. I also have this strange urge to call people I haven’t talked to for a very long time—I say “strange” because I prefer emailing/texting/meeting face-to-face over talking on the phone.
Why this block all of a sudden? High standards? Too many things on my mind? Not enough sleep? Burn out? It’s probably a bit of everything. I also have to admit that I have a tendency to peter out on a personal project around midpoint, especially when things get tricky and there’s not too much at stake. Somehow I need to create an urgency and find a valid reason to continue.
Sense of urgency. Having a deadline/time limit always helps. If I have any hope to meet my daily requirement of writing a blog post, I need to finish by the time the Princess comes home from school. I have less than 2 hours to write something with some nugget of wisdom for my readers to take away (no matter how small). The good thing is I have two more hours of sweating blood before the ordeal is through. There is an end to my suffering.
Incentive. I am amazed at all the things I’ve been able to get the Princess to do for a piece of dairy-free chocolate—she is willing to pick up her toys, do her homework, stop whining, and even talk to her father on the phone (and she dislikes the phone even more than I do). So what kind of prizes can I dangle for myself? A manicure/pedicure, a massage, or permission to go shopping—after tomorrow’s daily post is done, of course. I do have some lovely gift cards that I can use. As long as I spend within the limits of the gift cards, I should be OK, right? Hmmmm. I’m feeling a little better already. It’s been a very long time since I’d allowed myself to go shopping for anything other than groceries. All work and no play makes Sophia a grumpy, uncooperative girl.
Although it looks like I figured out a way to trick myself into writing a post today, I still have to deal with tomorrow. I like to take Ernest Hemingway’s approach of stopping in middle of a chapter so I have something to pick up from to write about the next day. So what do I write about next?