Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Paying yourself last

You do your job, you have dinner-bath-bedtime with the kids, you meet all the other daily committments, and finally you are into the mythical "free time" when you have some latitude as to what you are going to do next. By this time, for me, its about 9 pm. And I'm too tired to care about the things I ought to care about.

Something's wrong here. Night after night I'm staring at whatever I wanted to read or write or organize, and I'm just slogging. It's not quality energy.

I'd like to get back to getting up early, and using the early-morning time for the important personal things. It always felt better to have my writing done in the morning . . . gets you tuned into a purpose beyond the routine. The down-side to that is that, most of the time, I'm dreading the onslaught of the work day, and it's tough to focus on "higher things" when you know the phone calls will be coming soon, and you'll have to answer for things undone.

I need to get involved with other people, too. It's hard to get good energy in the evening when it's just yourself, but doing anything with other people usually elicits a higher level of energy from me. I think that's one of the reasons it does me so much good to get out to customer sites occasionally -- it breaks my rutted patterns and keeps me in a high-energy state for a longer period of time.

Most importantly, it's one of those "right livelihood" moments, where you ask yourself whether the way you live most of your working day is really the way you want to live.


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