I had only one-half of one essay left to write in order to complete the first full draft of my book and I couldn't seem to finish it. I kept telling myself that there was less than 1,000 words between me and this first draft. I could easily write 1,000 words about finding a moldy orange in the pantry so why couldn't I write the words for my book?
I've spent the past few months trying to write and saying to myself...
"You'll never finish because you are great at starting things but not so great at finishing them."
"Everything you write is simple and trite."
"Why would anyone want to read this?"
"Who do you think you are fooling?"
I stepped away from the writing to get away from all that negativity. I immersed myself in other projects that made me feel that I was accomplishing something. I procrastinated and avoided and walked away because it was easier.
I like easy.
Then, I'd have moments when I'd play games with myself.
"Just finish the book and then you can start that other book that seems like such a good idea right now."
"Maybe it's hard because it's not what you are supposed to be writing."
But, I wanted to finish.
I took two things to the cabin last weekend to do in my down time - an essay from my book to revise and Steven Pressfield's "The War of Art". True to my nature, I chose to read the book rather than write.
I read it in one day and made a couple of notes but nothing he wrote felt life-changing. Then, yesterday, I kept returning to something he said,
I'm keenly aware of the Principle of Priority, which states (a) you must know the difference between what is urgent and what is important, and (b) you must do what's important first.
I kept thinking about all the things that have felt "urgent" in the past few weeks, all the blog posts and editing and even making muffins for the kids' breakfast felt like the highest of priorities and, all the while, there was this pull in my chest to return to my book and those last 1,000 words.
It was important.
So, this morning, I made a decision that I would prioritize important over urgent. I would finish.
And I did.
There is a lot of work still to do but today was a good day.
PHOTO CREDIT: VIKKI REICH