Clearly my own worst enemy
I need to caveat this acknowledging that my life’s fine – I got no worries, no anxieties – my ambitions for a life paid for by my creations is a decision and a choice. It’s been with me from a young age.
I’ve toyed with it as an illustrator, commercial artist and art director but that’s work for hire – not materially different from working construction. Mind you, it was imperative as a young man that I have the proof that the greater world – being an artist is a tough sell to the lumpen proletariat and if only for dating purposes (quality women love the starving artist thing in college but when they start thinking about paying rent it can lose its appeal) – and having a full-time gig tends to still the wagging tongues of doubt.
Blah, blah, blah “what’s the Satori?” Now that I think about it, the word’s a little grandiose for the realization I’ve come to, but I wanted to indicate the degree of seriousness I’m bringing to the table. Simply put, I found since the beginning of the year that I’ve taken my foot off the gas of my ambition. Call it lazy, call it seasonal affective disorder, call it distraction – call it whatever you want, the outcome is the same, and for me proof is all that matters.
So, my epiphany was that where I thought I was being too hard on myself at the end of the year, what the truth was that I wasn’t being hard enough. I’m capable of amazing creativity and productivity, what I can’t do is allow myself distraction. Distraction comes in a lot of forms, the kind you can’t do anything about and the kind you can. And I haven’t been serious about cutting away the distractions I’ve got control over, some are people, some are habits, some are mind games I play on myself.
Therefore, starting this morning I got back on the bicycle I fell off, the basics of my approach are as follows:
- Rise at 3:30, write/edit till 5:30
- Workout from 5:30 – 7:00
- Work from 8:00ish – 4:00ish
- Journal 4:40ish – 5:40ish
- Do something generative till 7:30
- Read till I sleep
The schedule is only a small (but vital) part of the program, how I set my goals is more important. But without the day architecture creating predictable outcomes is a million times harder. I’ve got two active manuscripts for novels, and a third to plot and write (and a possible volume of short stories, but I’m leaning in the direction of a visual art project to balance out all these words). Each of these needs a deadline, and weekly targets, so that’s what I’ll do this evening.
I know this is all terribly boring, but that’s the crap-shoot of having a public journal, sometimes I’m writing for you, and in this case it’s for me. Hopefully, if you’ve been grinding on some long dormant dream, this gives you some insight into the possible changes you can make to your life to free up the time and energy to accomplish them. Or, and in many cases this is for the best, you see that it’s too much work and you’re not willing to put in the time – think of the gift it is to set free such an energy sucking ghost!