Lots of words and phrases put my writing and my writing career in grave danger. Some come from inside myself. Well, actually most of them these days come from within myself, even if they originally came from outside sources. These are words like “I’m not good enough.” “There’s too much competition.” “Other things are more important.” Yes, I’ve internalized these messages, but at least I’m aware of them and can argue back. No, the words that most hurt my chances of success are: “may as well. . . ”
As in, “while I’m at the computer, I may as well. . . ” Pay that bill. Address that birthday card. Make that appointment. And on and on. These small, seemingly minor, not very time consuming, yet often urgent chores will, without my even realizing it, eat up an entire morning. One leads to another. There’s no end to them. Every day there’s a new batch. Am I using them as an avoidance technique? Or do I really believe that a little desk-clearing will pave the way for working on a project? Is it the immediate kick of satisfaction I get from checking things off my to-do list? (A feeling, let’s face it, that is much delayed when it comes to writing.) Or is it fundamentally a lack of awareness of just how damaging to my goals such an apparently innocuous habit actually is?
Whichever it is, awareness of a problem is the first step to finding and implementing a solution. I’ve done it before and I can do it again. Now that I know.