I’m reporting the same mixed bag as a few weeks ago:
- Writing Big Year: how disappointing can it be? I’ll never set up a “conquer the world” humongous Big Year again – only by pure luck will it work as planned. All that said, I’m inching forward with the book and without the pressure this Big Year has put on me, I wouldn’t be where I am. Smile, Andres!
- Fitness Big Year: I called it “fitness” and I’m markedly fitter. The discipline is, so weirdly, joyous!
- Rock Music Big Year: I’ve listened each and every day, and have conquered 110 albums. But I can report no epiphany, no new anchor in my life. Is music dead to me?
I’m investigating the notion of really focusing in 2018 on each day’s goals and outcomes. We’re not used to subjecting ourselves to such intense discipline, except in corporate environments where one might work on a project with a very detailed, day-on-day, person-by-person plan. Would such an emphasis on “do this, do that, have I been good” work? Would the effort be more than the benefit?
Anyway, here’s a playful experiment. Might I “express myself” with nonsense doodlings even as I complete the feedback loop at the end of a day?
When I’m working well and on song, a day vanishes. I glance at a baking hot blue sky and head inside to my desk.
A month ago, I’d have greeted this welcoming late spring dawn with a run or a bike ride. Now the early light means work. Sweaty exercise is relegated to the hot afternoons.
Am I mad?
No wonder I’m struggling. I’ve taken what happened – the facts, the dates, the commentary – and stuck it into date order. Then I read my chronology and dream up a plot: the major events. I draft the main plot points: the key scenes. But there are many other background scenes and facts that must be included, so I draft them. The order of events is wrong or the story doesn’t hang together. Out come the scissors.
But then . . . how do I put the mess back together again? Some chapters are straightforward, this one is not.
You can bring a heap of peace into life by rising early. No other time of the day offers the same grace and potential.
Whatever shape or form this Big Year had on January 1, I’ve abandoned it for weeks, weeks on end. Book progress has inched forward at a rate so glacial that I’d need another century to reach publication.
Does this have anything to do with the success of my Fitness Big Year? A sleepless night has convinced me there is a firm connection. Quite some time ago, I switched exercising to mornings, mostly early, and the rewards were immediate in the form of great energy and honest application. I haven’t missed an exercising day in nearly six weeks, and over the last three months, rest days can be counted on one hand.
The idea was that a happy fit body would lead to ease of writing in the remaining hours of each day. Instead, I’m stalled, stuck and wallowing in unproductive activities. Life is sweet but the book is dying.
So . . . I switch back. Rise early, Andres, and work until noon. No distractions. Set goals and get stuff done. Today is Day One.