Posts Tagged ‘random thoughts’
Lack of writing to this blog no one reads anyway is not necessarily because of lack of writing. I’m starting little bits here and there all the time.
In fact, I am actually finishing a lot more pieces in effort to get them posted here. And then I decide to not to post them here at all.
Why? To many potential blog post in the past few month have been a little too good to post. A little too detailed. A little too honest. A little too close to home. A little too close to pointing out who the topic of discussion is for my comfort.
Trying to be consistent why trying to be semi-anonymous/autonomous/respectful of other’s privacy is hard.
Working on my podcast for the Ten Minute Life Coachthis week was a little surreal.
Last week’s episode was titled ‘Living Off A Template‘ and in it I talked about how I write the script for the podcast in a premade template that shows me how long the segments are based on how long the document is.
This week, I did what I often do. I did not have the thumb drive available to pull the template so I began typing the main segment outside of the template, using Google Docs specifically to have cloud based access to work on it on several computers, and even my tablet, over the course of the weekend. I gauged how much time the segment would take not by reading it wit ha stopwatch, but based on how long the regular document was, and figured the eyeballed look was good. I then ported it into the template, then finished the other weekly updateable segment inside the template as normal.
This week, the main segment was a minute shorter than I wanted it to be, and i didn’t know it until after I had recorded and began editing and mixing. A mistake like this only comes from measuring with a tool you are not familiar with.
As in no electricity for about five hours late into the night last night, as the storms rumbled overhead. That means an end to the needed house cleaning I was doing with no chance to procrastinate with mindless television (even if the house cleaning wasn’t getting done anyway).
And since I had no internet access, I shut down my computer and huddled up in a room with my wife and read by battery powered lantern for a few hours and listened to the storm, since it was still relatively early in the evening.
Oddly enough, I was also powerless to stop the rush of ideas that were flooding my brain, and since I was conserving battery power for my computer and my cell phone, powerless to try to contain it all by the normal means.
I could have attempted to write some of it down, but as I have learned, it is a much faster and easier process to turn jumbled ideas into working ideas if I can get that information down electronically from the start. And the light of the lantern wasn’t conducive to late night composing, although Thomas Jefferson might have called me out on not trying.
Oddly enough, without power going to all the electronic devices in the room that have little lights on while the lights are off–the television, alarm clocks, charging cell phones and the like–it was really dark when we turned off the lantern and went to sleep. But that is a whole other post.
Anyway, there was little that could be done. It was to dark to do anything but be still, and we were still monitoring whether or not we might need to quickly leave a damaged house if the wind decided to take a piece with it, or if the trees around the house decided to start crashing down on us.
I was powerless to do any of the things I usually do (work) and powerless to do much of anything else.
Faced with a situation where I was completely out of options and had no control of the situation, and knowing that I wasn’t in the process of dying, I spent the time relaxing. At least as much as I could knowing the workload I was going to face in the morning reporting storm damage.
It is very rare when I am faced with a situation where I feel totally powerless. Overwhelm, frustration, and being fed-up enough to quit happen every day. Powerless doesn’t happen very often. And it took being without power and situation of being literally powerless to back me into that corner.
When you find yourself staring face to face with a force you are powerless to control, what do you do?
Part of the process of learning is learning that those who may have ‘made it’ (or seem to have ‘made it’ or are at least trying to convince you that they have ‘made it’) still deal with the same frustration they had on the way up and that you may be having now. Senior sales associates have bad prospecting days and bad clients they can’t seem to shake, artists deal with creative blocks more often than you would believe, and general creative types have projects that they fall in love with that somewhere down the line seem to morph into sentient beings whose sole purpose is to torture and torment their creators. I’m about to share with you on such monster I had to slay unexpectedly.
This time last year, I was in the process of giving up on the current iteration of the You Already Have The Answers / Today’s Quote & Question Website (the information is still live at http://youalreadyhavetheanswers.wordpress.com). Now, I am in the process of mentally killing two website projects that were launched at the beginning of this year because I am being drained of all my energy by all the work that goes into them.
You Already Have The Answers had the luxury of being a project that was years in the making, with some sort of daily quote or weekly question being published in some form online that turned into a full years worth of daily content ready to go a year before I even launched the website. Most of the upfront work was complete, and the bulk of the ‘daily’ work consisting of making sure the write up for the day’s quote and question was still relevant to the time (as I said, some were written almost two years prior to my 2010 launch of the project).
I took an inadvertent hiatus from posting to this blog on April 1st of last year, and within a few days lost the will to pick it back up. Turns out that I had made a major victory in the gathering of content around the concept. I will probably never know if I had a real winner in the concept itself because I was receiving no response. It was a daily blog / Twitter / Facebook / email send off that was bringing back no responses. And it was wearing me out.
As it turns out, being a ‘friend’ and posting that the dog is sick or that there is drama in your life that of course is not your fault is good fodder to pull in more than a few comments. Attempting to create coherent conversations with these same ‘friends’ doesn’t really work as well. This is even true for the celebrities and social media gurus using the internet and social media sites, although you may have to look a little harder to see it. They may attract huge numbers in the way of followers and actual responses, but you’ll find the bulk of those responses fall into the ‘you’re so awesome’ worship category or the ‘me too’ parrot category.
You Already Have The Answers never really worked as a way to garner conversation online, so I reluctantly moved away from it, and although drained from all the hard work, I had sincerely hoped I would find something soon to fill the void with something that I could love just as much, but would have its potential actually show some potential. So far, nothing really has.
I now sit on the verge of killing two other projects that I have put a lot of work into that both have daily components. One is Monday though Saturday, the other seven full days a week. Neither of them is as beloved as You Already Have The Answers, but both of them were created in part to fill a need for another love of mine, money. And they are not making any, and I’m getting the same feelings I did last year. I am getting a little tired of being a lot tired from putting in the all the time it takes to get these projects done.
I am not killing them, at least at the time of this posting, but the temptation is so there.
The key to dealing with the frustration of failed, failing, or frustrating projects and tasks is to make sure you are learning something from them. I learned so much about the process of editing my own stuff working on You Already Have The Answers that it has become second nature to proofread my work multiple times before publishing–even if it may not actually help any efforts to produce texts with fewer spelling and grammar mistakes. It also sold me on leaving the safety of Blogger as my blogging platform of choice, which I am very grateful of.
Sometimes you just stop working on things. You lose funding, time, or desire, and stop. I have learned there is nothing wrong with that, especially if you took the time to pick up a few lessons about your abilities and yourself before you pulled the plug on the project.
And a little time away can lead to a fresh approach if you find yourself renewed with the spirit to get back to that dormant project.
Image Source flickr/fireflythegreat
In a split-second of inaction, you can . . .
. . . lose an idea, possibly your greatest idea yet . . .
. . . lose momentum, to what could have been your greatest streak ever . . .
. . . lose control, and watch what was complete order turn into total chaos . . .
. . . lose faith, and miss out on claiming that win you should have had.
How do you avoid having to take any of these losses? Focus. Pacing. Trusting. Believing.
Don’t let a blink or a flinch be your downfall.