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Avoidance


This morning I wake to the sound of birds outside the window. When the alarm went off at 5:30, I shut it off and rolled over, remembering this will be the last day I'll get to sleep in for a while. I had plans to get up and try to get some things done before my extended time off from work expired. But then, when have I ever managed my time well?

So at 8 AM, I eased out of bed and got the coffee started, while looking out at the creek through the kitchen window to see if the water had cleared up any since the hard rain muddied it two days ago. The weather is mild today for January, and I would really like to try out a few new bass flies I tied this week when I should've been getting my punch list taken care of, checking off things left undone due to conflicts with my work schedule and family matters.

When the coffee finished, I took out my journal, and filled a few pages with random thoughts, most incomplete and some downright nonsensical, until I had nothing else to bring to the page. I've had a lot on my mind lately, and I have found that if I want to avoid writing enough, there are plenty of things to do in it's stead, things like: watching You Tube videos, reading dozens of articles in magazines or on the internet, or scrolling through Facebook or Instagram. 

Lately, I have discovered that if the urge to write becomes too overbearing, I can simply pick up my guitar and try to learn a song that I'd been humming, but didn't know the chords to. 

There is plenty to do when the one thing you should be doing is right there in front of you, begging for your time and attention.

So, I get up and put some clothes on and head outside. I walk the path leading  down to the swamp to take a look around. I haven't heard or seen any ducks in a couple of weeks since my neighbor and his buddies opened season on them a couple weeks back. The only signs of life out here this morning are a few squirrels and a crow that keeps flying over and checking me out.

I sit down on one of the fallen snag trees and I start to realize exactly what I am doing, just sitting out here in the swamp. The thing that I do best: avoiding what I need to be doing, which for me, is sitting my ass in a chair and writing until the work is done.

Steven Pressfield calls it Resistance, and I know all too well what it can do to your creative output. Resistance is a sinister force, and it can take on many forms, and it's different for each person. The resistance I struggle with varies from day to day, depending on what mood I am in, and what's going on in my life at the time.

The deceptive thing for me is all the guilt that it brings with it, especially when I sit down to write and it feels like the world is coming apart around me. I start to feel the burden on myself to close my laptop, put my notebook aside, and try to fix everything that needs to be fixed, then maybe, just maybe, return to the page at a later time. It never fails that I can't seem to find the time for the rest of the day to finish what I've started. Procrastination is my worst enemy. Always has been.

I gather up my thoughts and head back to the house. Maybe I'll make myself another cup of coffee, maybe not. But I will do my best to fight off all the things that try to keep me from doing what I was born to do. 

It all starts with a ink blot on a blank page. It couldn't be that difficult, could it? 


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