I am not very good at finishing things that I start.
I’ve written a couple scripts that will never see the light of day. (I’ve written a couple that will hopefully see some daylight soon too). I have a number of jokes that I’ve never worked on enough to make them stage ready. I skipped the last three days of a 12 week workout plan. I was reading a book I got from the library and never finished it; the next time I’m in Northern Virginia I might even take it back. It’s only been 7 years…. I just threw out leftover oatmeal from over a week ago because I needed the Tupperware for some other foodstuff I wanted to save with no intention of ever eating.
Sometimes the trouble is not even the finishing — it’s the starting. It took me almost six months from when I was first inspired to do a 30 day challenge to actually begin it. I’ve been laboring over my web series scripts for a lot longer than I intended and I’m still not fully satisfied enough to pass them on. It seems like my favorite word is “tomorrow.”
I should do a study on how many people feel like me, but I’m not convinced I’d get around to collecting the results or using them in a meaningful way.
Well today is day 30 of my #30BlogsIn30Days challenge and, with this entry, I have successfully completed it. There is a part of me that wants to congratulate myself and toot my own horn (not that there’s anything wrong with that) for accomplishing a goal. But what this process has really shown me is that I need to be working even harder if I want to get where I ultimately want to.
Truthfully speaking, the act of writing isn’t difficult for me. It’s the act of sitting still and allowing myself to be productive that is the challenge. The more I surround myself with successful people, the more I realize the work ethic required to be the best. At this point I know that I have not mastered it. I’m not even close. But I have proven to myself that I can set a goal and stick to it. Armed with that knowledge, it is time to set loftier goals for myself than writing a blog every day.
I don’t know how qualified I am to give advice about finding balance or having a strong work ethic or even being able to turn off the TV. But as I figure my own shit out I hope that it helps other people come a little closer to chasing the things that are important to them. I know that I am inspired by those I see around me. When I hear about my students pouring themselves into projects they like, I want to be just like them. (Really I want to outdo them, but that’s a different post). When I see a comic have a killer set or get a major credit I am both happy for them and hungry to get mine.
And yet, it’s so difficult to turn that motivation into action. Fear, life, jobs, excuses get in the way.
I figure that I have three choices. One, I could change the way I work so that I get more done. This is really hard (and scary) because I don’t know how successful I can be. Two, I could sleep my way to the top. I am not above this at all, but I think I may still need some more good material once I get there. Three, I could quit altogether and just chase “normal” dreams. I know myself well enough to know that I’d sooner jump off a bridge than give up.
Once one decides to be in a fight, doesn’t it make sense to fight as ferociously as possible? Why do we let so many things stop us from being our best selves? Is this something we grow out of? Are some of us doers and others just talkers?
Writing a blog everyday for a month was tough to do, but if I can’t manage that, then I have no hope of managing my bigger goals. I say I want to be a writer. There is really only one part of that job description that I control. Having had a taste of personal success I need more of it. I want to make 2014 my most prolific year of writing yet. And then I want to top it every year until my fingers fall off.
I am finished not finishing things. Now if I could just find that library book….