This morning I saw a quotation from Thomas Paine that struck me: “We have it in our power to begin the world over again.” Paine was talking about the American Revolution and the eighteenth century world was changed by it. I do not plan to have such a wide effect, but I do feel that I am on the cusp of changing my life. I may be able to align my day job with my fiction writing more than I had thought, by underpinning my fiction with the research I am expected to pursue in the day job. I will continue to contemplate the tendrils of beginning my world over again.
Late February brought me the dubious gift of bronchitis, which left me exhausted and still coughing. Although I have been able to show up on Facebook and Twitter from time to time, I have been largely absent. While I was ill, I had a reminder of an earlier epiphany. I used to think I had to have the perfect circumstances–quiet room, large block of time–to get anything substantive done. I realized those were excuses to procrastinate. The tipping point of the reminder came in the form of a presentation that I need to do tomorrow. It will be broadcast to a few dozen people nationwide and recorded for perpetuity. I was frozen for weeks every time I tried to work on it, fearing the exposure and fighting impostor syndrome. Yesterday, I wrote the whole forty-five minute presentation in three hours. It’s spring break, with all the campus buildings locked up for the weekend. I couldn’t go to my office to work, so I wrote in the middle of the chaos that is my home, with college basketball emanating from the other room, and interruptions from the pets. But, it got done. The takeaway? Question all “reasons” to see if they are truly excuses.
The main goal for the end of the Round, beyond the contemplation mentioned above, is to complete one more article. I have written about a quarter of it in the past week, so once I’ve done the presentation, I can concentrate on it and get it done. No excuses!
Please go encourage other ROWers, whom you can find here, as well as on Facebook in the ROW80 group and on Twitter at #ROW80.