Monday, 29 February 2016

From pain to champagne in 4 easy steps

A motley quilt


When time is stitched together like a patchwork quilt, fragments of minutes and hours are joined to form a haphazard design, the thing you now call a career. You hope it will become substantial enough to wrap up warm in and keep out the cold one day. Or will it only amount to an overgrown hanky?

Without the action of going to an office for a set number of hours on a set number of days I often wonder if I’m actually moving far enough, fast enough to get anywhere. There seems like an insurmountable quantity of study, research, reading, absorbing, pondering, planning and writing ahead. I feel like I’m trying to run up never ending sand dunes.

In reality, it has only been five months since breathing the life back into what I’ve come to understand to be my life’s purpose. That only happened because our little Miss took it upon herself to sleep through the night, which allowed me just enough battery life to let inspiration take hold. One book draft later, I knew I’d started something, I’d come back to writing after a three year hiatus and this wasn’t all that long ago.

It is certainly recent enough that I still have to overcome the crippling fear that takes hold moments before striking the keyboard. The one that suggests you’re a hack, a fraud, a talentless amoeba and so on.

It all adds up


Often, before I start, I spend five minutes flicking back through the notebook I bought myself when I started writing again. Each day I note down a short list of what I did with my time scraps that day which counted towards my ultimate goals. And actually, we’ve come a long way baby. I’m over halfway through the notebook and I’ve hardly ever ripped out a page to write the shopping list on. It is filled with the things I’ve done, ideas I’ve had, things I plan to do, goals for the year, industry information and small sentences of celebration with lots of gratuitous exclamation marks!!!

I can see that I am refining my overall plan and now everything I’m doing is targeting the ultimate goals. What started as a fumble in the dark five months ago has become a walk with purpose. I’m closing in on smaller milestones on my way to a destination I now have a clear view of. I can see that now and it is reassuring.

Going analogue


I’ve never been one for keeping a record and I didn’t put much faith in my ability to keep this notebook lark going, but now I can appreciate its true value. It has become a tool vital to how I go about my business and manage my thoughts. In this technological age, sometimes you just can’t beat the physical and tactile simplicity of pen and paper.

Celebrate the wins - all of them


I’m using this blog post to stop briefly to sniff a rose before ploughing forward into a full study day tomorrow. I’ll just keep scrambling up those sand dunes. At least I’ve have the forethought to place a chilled bottle of champagne at the top of them, for once I’ve ticked off those goals, I shall be thirsty.

1. Scramble through sand
2. Sniff a rose
3. Kick a goal
4. Drink champagne