I’m a writer.
Like most dreams and career goals, there are many obstacles that I face when I place down each word. For starters, it’s the idea. What should I write about? Is this idea worthy of focus? Do I have the thoughts, the words, the mindset to write about the topic I’m focusing on?
I pick the idea, and then I start writing. It starts off brilliantly, and then my mind starts drifting to other things. Maybe I should just read a book, make my bed, go for a walk. Actually, the way I started isn’t how I wanted to begin. I highlight, delete, begin again. I get halfway through and realize that wasn’t what I wanted, either. The first way was better than what I’m trying to write now.
But now I can’t remember what that first way was. I remember the first line, so I begin there and I start again. This time (or maybe several times after this), I get to where I’m going. I’m on a roll.
And finally I’m at the end. I’m pleased with myself for actually starting a project. Sometimes I hit save and publish and let whatever happens, happens. If it’s a story and I’m in a word document, I take a break from it for several days, several weeks, several months, and then I look back at it again. Then I realize that this wasn’t what I had in mind. What my vision was in my mind isn’t what is shown on the page. So now I have to start all over again.
Of course the thoughts of procrastination stat again. I go to work, I come home. I’m tired, so I watch the television. Oh look, it’s Survivor. Dateline. The Amazing Race. These things take time. Or wait, look, my favorite blogger finally updated. Let’s read that instead.
They say it’s a stairway to heaven and a highway to hell. If this can be applied to being a writer (or any kind of career, to be honest), it would have the same effect. It’d be easier to take the highway to hell, because the distractions and obstacles of getting to where you want to be is much harder than trying to climb the ladder to your heaven (in my case, writing).
But the great thing about the stairway is that it’s made of steps. You don’t have to take them all at once, just baby steps. If you do a little bit each day, you’ll have a little bit finished. Then when you look down you’ll realize how far you’ve come. It’s that much harder, but isn’t that more satisfying?