Far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat. – Teddy Roosevelt
I’ve been stuck more often than I’d like to admit. Usually, it was because I drove somewhere I shouldn’t have…treading soft ground…losing control and running into a bank. At any rate, I couldn’t get myself out. I had to depend on the muscles of men or machines to pull me out. I learned a few little tricks along the way. I found that using boards, even cardboard, rocks, sand and cat litter in a pinch, will sometimes give enough traction to keep the tires from endlessly spinning.
We often get stuck in other ways, and getting out can be trickier than towing a car. Some of us have held dead end jobs or jobs that brought us no joy or satisfaction. We kept at them because maybe we needed the stability of an income or insurance. Hopefully, we eventually find work that both brings us pleasure and takes care of our needs. In the meantime, how do we cope? I suppose we think about the alternative of not having an income to supply our needs.
There are times we are simply overwhelmed by life, bogged down. Things seem to never go our way. Maybe we aren’t putting forth the effort to achieve desired results. Perhaps, we are in a depressed state. Maybe circumstances beyond our control have taken over and we feel at a loss.
I often find myself stuck in my writing life. Finding something to write about is not difficult for me. Choosing which one to write about is my problem. I am easily overwhelmed. My solution is to do nothing at all. Productive, huh? Not! I’m not just like this only at writing but various other projects and even life itself. I have three or four quilts going on at any given time. If I am invited to go to three events that are simultaneously scheduled, I’ll stay at home instead of going anywhere. It is like I am in a swamp… I jump from parcel to parcel of dry ground, sometimes the patches are too far apart and I sink into the muck. I must select a path and stick to it to keep from being mired. For some reason, cat litter doesn’t seem to keep me from spinning in the creativity department.
My main problem is that I am a procrastinator. It doesn’t matter how well I might be at doing something, I will put it off until the last minute. It’s as if I get a secret thrill out of completing a project just in the nick of time. I think part of it is that I work better with the adrenaline rush. So I put things off just to absorb myself in a sense of chaos. This madness both exhausts and excites me. Ok, I never said I was normal!
In writing, my biggest enemy is my inner critic. It never shuts up. It questions my every word. It ridicules my thought process. It mocks me. It crushes my confidence. I would like to silence this monster, but I wonder if my writing would suffer even more if I did. For now, I am “stuck” until I stop allowing this monster to spin my wheels. I suppose the key is to learn to balance the criticism to benefit my work.
I’ve always known that I lean a bit more towards being a right brained person. I decided to take this quiz which confirms I am 15% left brained, 85% right brained. This basically means I am more of a dreamer than a doer. Therefore, procrastination comes with the territory.
This is in response to Sharon’s ( The Heart and Craft of Life Writing) challenge of writing about being stuck. I couldn’t narrow my writing options today, so I went with someone else’s prompt.