Creating content is the pits.
And I don’t mean the pits like a pothole or a shallow recess in your back lawn. I mean the gravel pits. The deep well pits. The biting into a peach not realizing it’s a peach and recoiling from shattering multiple teeth pits.
And really, there’s no way around it.
As a writer, I want to make words my job. Yet somehow every Monday when I try to sit down to write a blog, I find myself lacking words. Quite a feat for me, who can’t even say hello without making it a story.
I mean, it’s insane. Work always feels so — workish.
And yet, if I can find something ELSE to do, something to divide my attention, I turn into this writing and editing machine. Or if someone turns up the pressure, perhaps by offering an opportunity and a deadline, all of the sudden I’m a bullet train. Unstoppable.
The thing that has always worked for me is flat out propaganda. I spin everything in a positive light for myself, like that lobbyist from Thank You For Smoking. I tell myself that little steps are actually big ones. I find the insane life-changing possibilities in small opportunities.
And when other people ask me how my writing is going, I share… oh I share… too much at times. I try to get them on the roller coaster ride because it keeps me on the roller coaster ride too.
But, honestly, there’s a lot of logic in this mentality.
I was once talking to a band that had hit it quite big and toppled off the edge of the mountain. I asked this band questions on what it felt like, to be on top, and surprisingly they told me they didn’t even realize that’s where they were until they were falling back towards the bottom.
“When you’re in it, you barely even notice. You’re too focused on the plan, on what to do next. You never pause to figure out where you are.”
That’s the truth, isn’t it? When you’re in it, you don’t get it. Until you’re not in it and you realize there’s something missing.
My wife was telling me a story a few days ago (she’s brilliant like that) about a woman who was extremely poor, won the lottery, and then went back to having nothing. She was being interviewed by a news outlet, and what she had to say was enlightening.
“Having all that money, all that wealth and all those things, that wasn’t happiness. No. Happiness was sharing half a cigarette with my husband to curb the hunger. Happiness was sitting on that porch with nothing, no money or stuff, barely enough cash to buy food, alternating taking a drag so the bread would stick in our bellies. That was happiness.”
You can’t miss what you have. You can only miss what you lost.
So today, as I furiously take another pass at my novel to meet a personal deadline, I’m going to enjoy the work. Because I will lose today. It’s a fact. One I can’t control.
Today I’m going to work hard, and when I’m done I’m going to hug my wife and kiss her, and snuggle with my puppy who’s growing older, and go practice music that I volunteer to play on Sunday — and I’m going to enjoy all of it — because I need to learn a new habit. I need to learn how to be happy where I am now.
Because a blog may imitate life, but I still have to live it the best way I know how.