This month I'm participating in #reverb10. Every day a new prompt is issued and I will write my response. The goal is to reflect on 2010 and manifest what's next in 2011. Want to learn more? Visit www.reverb10.com.
Prompt: Writing. What do you do each day that doesn't contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
When I was in middle school, there was a newspaper contest to have someone be a kid reporter of sorts. You had to write an essay and they would judge all the entries. The newspaper editors narrowed down the competitors to 3, and then the writers had to do an in-person interview. I was a 7th grader and this contest was made a part of our class grade. I wrote the essay (can't even remember the subject- should bust out some old floppy disks and check it out) and turned it in without a second thought. I just wanted my good grade and didn't think about the contest. My teacher, Mrs. Eades (one of the few teachers names I can still remember), pulled me aside after class to tell me she really thought my essay could do well in the contest, even if I was against older people. She was right- I was one of three people selected for the interview!
In the end, I didn't get selected, but the vivid memory of being pulled aside and recognized for something I didn't think was special made me think that perhaps I could be a writer. When I was a senior in high school taking an AP English class, I saw Mrs. Eades at a restaurant, and I went up and thanked her for the confidence she had in me. That's how much it meant to me.
Years have passed and this blog is the closest I've ever come to being a writer. So as far as the prompt, I do lots of things every day that don't contribute to my writing! One day, I'd like to be a published author. I haven't said that out loud much, but it is something stirring in the back of my mind. But for now, I'm going to re-frame this question as:
Fulfilled life: What do you do each day that doesn't contribute to you being the best you can be?
Lately, I've had a lot of anxiety and some depressive bouts. The anxiety is completely unproductive, and in most cases, completely unwarranted. I spend a lot of time in an overtense state. It's like walking a super long tightrope for hours. Your body tenses, your muscles are contracted, your mind is over-analyzing and your focus is hard to come by. This invisible net holds me back from being the most productive, alert and positive as possible. This must change.
I'm also a classic procrastinator. I can find one million ways to NOT do something. Especially if it has to do with housework or running errands. My personal email is bad too. I have so many messages flagged for follow up that it would have been much more efficient for me to take care of immediately and then archive. Instead, I email myself all kinds of interesting articles I'd like to read at some point, or forward tweets I saw that I want to follow up on. I need to set a rule that if I can't commit to digesting the content within 5 days, I need to delete it. Move on.