I guess I’m not as gung ho of a writer as a I used to be. Yesterday, despite all I have learned about putting words down in a relaxed and patient way I messed up.
I ended up with less than a quarter of my large 8000 word goal. That itself is okay, I suppose. I can always try again some other day. But that day isn’t today because I was cocky and assumed I would be successful when the results were still up in the air.
Yes, in the right situations confidence is key. When one is working with people and their opinions are important to the outcome, especially, confidence is key. People will let you GET AWAY with being wrong, or failing, a lot of the time if you are confident.
However, I think confidence can result in crushed expectations when dealing with the cold, unfeeling worlds of numbers and nature.
The bear doesn’t care how much you think you can outrun it. The page can’t be impressed by your candor and give you a pass. If I don’t write the number of words I wanted on a given day, I am not going to magically have caught up when I wake the next morning, because the universe is not accepting of our willpower the way human beings, both ourselves and others, can be.
The only way to get an effect is to work for it. Luck, maybe plays a factor. That depends on which scientists and philosophers you talk to about it. Regardless of the high level debates, and the theory and the math, a missing the ledge is not grabbing the ledge. Letting go is not the same as hanging onto that ledge.
I let go of the reins yesterday. I didn’t try hard enough. I didn’t deny myself time wasters. I made mistakes all over the day.
Well today, I am busy, too busy to take much action. And whether it is today or tomorrow, I cannot correct the mistakes I made just yesterday. The past is the past. It informs the future. It creates our current reality. The past cannot be rewritten, only forgotten or covered up. Only the future has any potential for radical change, starting with the moment and going forward. I suppose that also depends on how deterministic one imagines the world to be.
Yes, imagines. Imagines. We all have to imagine reality because without it we are only our present. Without imagination we are only where we are, and other people outside our room, outside our point of view, are merely myths until they write something on the net, or call us, or in some other way effect our point of view, the inside of our room.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that thought is only the beginning of action.
Plans are only the ideas of an effect.
Only action is action. Only writing is writing.
Simple tautologies to be sure, but what is more profound than the truth that thinking about something or planning it is not necessarily acting on it. If I plan to write 80,000 words this month than there must be some sort of action that takes place. About 100 hours in front of my computer hitting keys and imagining events and characters.
Turn imagination into action today. Don’t be like me, with my grand designs, failed goals, flawed expectations. Don’t even be like the me who is going to write more today, despite yesterday’s defeat, because that person is still only planning as he writes this post.
That person is not in the world of his fiction. Not yet, but maybe soon.
Perhaps the ancients were onto something when they said not to swear by their different gods. After all, to swear is a promise. In the Judeo-Christian texts, at least, this can be referred to as taking the Lord’s name in vain. In vain.
To swear, to promise, to take in vain. All promises are in vain, for they do not describe action. They only describe expectation and planning.
Make your plans if they help you, but don’t confuse them with accomplishment.
And don’t let this discourage you. Please, let this be encouragement to act in pursuit of your goals and stop procrastinating. I must remember this so much better than I do now. I must not forget. And I hope you won’t either.