Out of Focus

At the start of the year, I had a list of goals and felt ready to tackle each and every one of them. A lot of them were career-focused, writing, submitting, working on my book besides just timely on-their-own pieces, etc. At first, I did all right. The first two weeks there may have been some bumps, but I was writing and I had my eye on submitting: places, deadlines, and a calendar of events and awareness months to try to get me in the zone and, for once, ahead of things.

January was good; I did a lot of writing. I did an outline for my book, I wrote, both in terms of my manuscript and short pieces. So far, I’ve written a new essay/article each week. It’s perhaps one of the only major career-focused goals I’ve met without fail. But I haven’t been submitting stuff. I haven’t worked on my book in seven weeks. I haven’t been ahead of anything (and I missed out on some major stuff in March). It’s frustrating.

I don’t have anyone to blame but myself. Like, I am trying to figure out what could be causing me to drag my feet, but I just can’t figure it out. Sometimes when your life is a little difficult, stressful, or falling apart, it carries over, but here’s the thing: I’m good. Like my marriage is good. Friendships good. No ill loved ones or deaths, none of my friends are even facing big problems (like the biggest problem right now would be along the lines of their work schedules being a mess) that I could be latching onto. Our house is good. Animals healthy. There is not one aspect of my life that is under fire or I am struggling with. For once, everything is on the up and up. (Though me just saying that… I’m not a superstitious person but I feel like I need to take it back or cross my fingers just so the universe doesn’t blow something up – you know?)

So it’s not that. And I’m not depressed or struggling with my PTSD. I am in a good place emotionally, and a medication has helped me keep my anxiety in check. Which brings me to the next thing – I’m sleeping like I should. Like before, I was getting maybe four to five hours a night, now I get between eight and nine and I have been since January so again – I’m good. Physically, I’m (well I’m not going to say it because the universe… but I’m sure you can finish my statement for me).

I think about the things that might get in my way in a single day: no coffee, no baked goods, no chocolate, no workspace, the house is a mess. And none of these things apply to me since… mid-January perhaps? I went hardcore in terms of cleaning in early January and pick up each day so the house is never a mess. And I’ve never been deprived of coffee (I have kept myself well-stocked and I don’t mind microwaving a latte or mocha I got earlier in the week) or baked goods or chocolate.

So no big stuff has gotten in the way. No small stuff. No direct stuff and no indirect projecting stuff. I’m just not on it. And it’s frustrating because it’s not like someone is going to write my book for me. The more I think about lost opportunities or looming deadlines the more stuck I feel. Which means I get frustrated with myself, which just devolves from there.

I guess I’m not used to “not getting things done” for no reason. Like, I’m totally used to it when there is: family drama, relationship tension, health crap, PTSD unchecked, a funeral, etc. But not this. And it’s frustrating.

I’m not sure why I’m so unfocused and why I can’t seem to get myself in the zone I need to be in. I, of all people, understand that time is precious and there is no time like the present, so why do I seem stuck in wherever-the-hell-this-is?

I’m used to things getting in my way, or people, or unfortunate circumstances or PTSD and years ago, self-sabotage. But I’m past all those things and yet… I really want to send work out. I want to continue to get published. I want to hit different milestones – getting published at certain places, racking up an impressive resume of writing clips. I want to work on my book, get an agent and land a book deal. Then I want to write another. And another after that. I want to do memoir, self-help, fiction and maybe even dabble in poetry. I want my writing to touch someone. I want to make a difference. I don’t need fame, but I want to matter. And I don’t want to stop. I want to be as prolific as I was in college – as relentless and hungry and daring and bold.

Hear that, self? Whatever the holdup is, can you get over it already? Because I’d really like to get to work and I’d be happy to take care of whatever is getting in my way, but all I see is you. So self, get the f**k out of my way and let’s get sh*t done. You don’t take excuses from other people, why would you accept them from yourself?

(I do enjoying swearing, self-reflection and cutting through bullsh*t. It just seems that right now, for whatever reason, that that BS is mostly coming from me.)

Here’s hoping I can figure myself out enough to focus. I feel like now is the time to get things done, to move forward and push ahead. Timing has never been better. I just need to figure out how to show up, focus intact.

-DMW

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