It has to start some time
What better place than here
What better time than now?*
I may or may not be the world’s best procrastinator. I’ll admit, I’ve done some of my best writing right before midnight when a paper or three were due at midnight. The thing about writing–and one of the many reasons I have procrastinated in the past–is because writing requires the writer to be in her own head. Watching Doctor Who, for example, or playing Candy Crush, on the other hand, does not. When you have a billion thoughts bouncing off the inside of your noggin’ (that’s Southern for “head,” y’all) at a billion miles per hour, the last thing you want is to be in your own head.
It’s like a tornado.
As I sit here writing this, I’ve checked out my arm muscles (strength training is paying off!), looked at the grass, wondered if the unidentified object at the edge of the porch is a stick or a dog turd, made a list of things I need from the grocery store, and wondered if my morning glory is still alive.
And that’s just what I can remember.
When preparing to reboot, I had all of these tasks I wanted done before hand, a bunch of the blah-blah-blahs: the site designed, redesigned, redesigned again, several posts done, graphics laid out, a planned system of writing, and more.
Years ago I had paid someone to build me one and I didn’t have any idea how to use it, and I quickly broke it. By breaking it, I mean, I had lost access to my log in screen. I had nothing backed up (how do you manage that?). I sat on the broken site until I finally deleted it because a) I didn’t know how to fix it and b) I was too timid to ask the developer for help and c) I was going bald from pulling my hair out in frustration.
So when I got ready to do it all over again, I prepared myself first. I started watching YouTube videos for WordPress development and started taking a class through Udemy. I mean, it was logical, right? But I learned how to back up; I learned how to fix things (some things, anyway), purchased a theme, and then played and played and played. And planned and planned and planned. Apparently, I can plan a thing to death.
And then I realized that I was still procrastinating.
Maybe it was the head thing. Maybe it was fear. But then I listened to Seth Godin in “The Grand Opening” from his Akimbo podcast (available on Spotify). In it, he talks about the history of hype marketing and the lack of need for it in today’s world–despite most things being advertised to us as hype. He told an anecdote about meeting a man named Sergey 20 years ago who said, “I have a little search engine called Google.” Sergey then said that Google didn’t do any outbound marketing because a) he knew that one day, everyone would use it and b) Google was better every day. Because Google was better every day, he wasn’t in a hurry for thousands or millions of people to use it right away. The longer they waited, the better their first impression would be. Now, I certainly have no grand vision to become the Google of writers, but I do know that I get a little better every day. Maybe it’s by learning a new writing technique; maybe it’s learning another thing about WordPress or my theme. Hype marketing really has no place in my vision or purpose.
At any rate, I pushed that unidentified source of procrastination aside and set a deadline: July 23, 2018, a date a little over a week from the date I set it. As soon as I set a deadline, shit went crazy. Suddenly, everything that I was afraid of paraded through my brain, but instead of throwing Moon Pies and paper flowers, they threw gallon jugs of Hawaiian Punch and beer bottles.
I couldn’t do this. It will look weird look right. I don’t even really know what I’m doing. What am I going to write about? What if no one reads it? What if everyone reads it?
I began dissecting my fears, one by one:
1. I could do this, but if I couldn’t, who would care? Just me. And I’d start again.
Starting again is kind of my superpower.
2. It might look weird. In the end, I’m okay with weird. Maybe being kind of weird is also my superpower. Maybe like Jessica Jones, I have more than one superpower. She can fly (or jump with “controlled falling”) and has super strength. Considering her powers are tempered by excessive drinking, starting over again and being weird as superpowers don’t seem so bad after all.
3. I don’t even know what I’m doing! But then again, when have I ever known what I’m doing? Rarely! I tend to learn as I go, make it up as I go along, fly, not by the seat of my pants, but rather by the wind velocity of my unplucked eyebrows. That works better for me in terms of actually getting stuff done. Otherwise, I plan and plan and plan and do nothing but plan. (Thanks to one of my dearest friends for pointing that out to me.) Apparently, I can plan a thing to death. I’m sure there’s a Prince song about that.
4. What am I going to write about? I’ve known what I wanted to write about for-ev-ah. Everything.
Yes, definitely everything.
As part of that everything, I wanted to write about the good side of life: the things and people that make the world a better place, stories that would otherwise go untold, the little moments and miracles that fall in the space between memories, the struggles and foibles as well as the progress and success of life, of self-development, of, well, everything. Also, weird random shit.
Because I like weird, random shit.
I’ve found that dissecting fears and seeing what I’m really afraid of is a great first step in getting through them. Normally, I would say “conquering them,” but I think that fear can be an exceptional teacher if we allow it to be, and learning from fear is more about making friends with that teacher than it is conquering it.
At any rate, it’s bound to be a grand adventure.
Weird Random Shit:
(1) Lyric Source: The post title and subsequent lyrics are from “Guerrilla Radio” by Rage Against the Machine from their Battle for Los Angeles album, released in 1999. RATM is one of my *all-time* favorite bands, both for their hard-edged, politically charged lyrics and their brutal beat. Paul Ryan, the current Republican Speaker of the House has said that RATM is one of his favorite bands. In response to this, guitarist Tom Morello wrote an editorial for Rolling Stone, blasting Ryan as “the embodiment of the machine our music rages against.”