“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” – C.S. Lewis
There is fine line between obsession and procrastination. Maybe it is just me, but sometimes I feel torn to being completely devoted to a task, and finding a substitute chore to fill my day. Chalk it up to my need for perfection and achievement, but this trait has haunted me for years.
As a young girl, the very messy and creative space I called my bedroom, would cause my mother unrest. I would spend days setting up the perfect office or organizing the ultimate classroom, making each student their own file of their work. I adored colored pens, pencils, tablets of paper, adding machines, and any other items I could sort, organize or just plain establish a system. You should have seen my paper doll collection arranged by outfits, size, and style. If only I would have known that filing cabinets existed, I would have asked Santa for a bank of the steal cabinets.
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and my assortment of paper and office supplies were simply magnificent. Well, maybe not so much for my mother. Sooner or later Grandma Jo would put her foot down. And it became the battle to clean my room. Now I was never high on stashing my loot under my bed or in a drawer. No if I was going to do the job, it would be done right. Once the cleaning bug hit me, the cycle started. First a quick few minutes of me unloading the countless treasures into the hallway. And then hours of very precise and meticulous moving of items back into my room. Every drawer, closet space and storage location would need to be in perfect order. My mother’s patience and my ability to stay amused by this task would run neck in neck. Just like clockwork, about 3 hours into the process I would wonder away and my mother would show up with a hefty trash bag to finish the job. No need to worry, I would simply begin to build my collection again. The moral to this story is, as a little girl, I would teeter from procrastination to obsession as fluid as one would skate down the side walk.
Fast forward decades later and one might ask, “Do I still experience this quandary on a regular basis?” Absolutely. The balance is tighter and not as extreme as in my youth, but unless I have the inspiration to accomplish a project to a level of satisfaction, I push it off my plate and focus elsewhere. On the flip side, once my mind locks course with a mission, I have an obsession to succeed. My blog is very much a product of this practice.
Briefly scanning the dates of entries one quickly realizes I am not the best at keeping up with the writing game. 2017 started with two posts in January and then my blog sat dormant until a couple of weeks ago. But this isn’t a true reflection of my writing. I have countless notes and ideas, that for some reason, I don’t feel the obsession to perfect and thus they fall into the deep dark hole of procrastination. Recently I discovered how many unfinished blogs are floating around waiting for me to bring them safely home to the internet.
Today’s post was discovered on Pinterest. I was working on a project and in true Jacky fashion in the middle of perfecting the content, procrastination began to take lead. I found myself cleaning off my desktop, which lead me to pin pictures I had saved for inspiration to Pinterest. And while I was deleting, reorganizing and combining my Pinterest boards for perfect organization, there they were, two boards I had started for blog inspiration.
This got me thinking how many more of these lone wolves lurked among my electronic devices and secured spots? As I began to dig, I found my reflections and views saved on my desktop, tucked in files on Dropbox, in a note keeping app on my iPad, and even written on a stack of beer coasters that are paper clipped together.
November is National Novel Writing Month, which challenges the would-be author to complete a 50,000-word manuscript in thirty days. Breaking down the math, that requires one to log 1,667 words a day on average. So my first step in developing an obsession to chase the penned word, post a blog weekly in October. And the simplest way to accomplish this goal is to dig up my buried treasures of unfinished prose. Titles such as, Always Dreaming – Horse Racing Theme, Change vs Transition, Fly Over States and Surreal Moments are just waiting to be nurtured, groomed and sculpted into the perfect thought. At the end of the day, my writing may be nothing more than nonsense, but it is my nonsense. And if this goal can kick my obsessive gene into gear, then it is worth finding an ending for all my potential future finished work.
“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense” – Alice