In the span between my last post and this one, aka an eternity, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my work ethic. I don’t have one, at least when it comes to writing this blog. I guess that’s why it has been an eternity…
That isn’t to say that I don’t interact with words. They are my constant companions, as Jane Austen said once, maybe. I edit and respond and record things all day long. I listen to five or six podcasts a week and have half a dozen weekly or bi-weekly email newsletters that I’m very committed to. Rarely is there an hour that I don’t scroll or react or comment.
This all sounds like busy-ness bragging, but my point is that words and ideas literally feel like they are swinging at me from all directions, Miley Cyrus style. These wrecking balls are just that – distractions that are devastating for my creative output, because all I’m doing is consuming or correcting.
They do give me energy, but then I end up channeling that energy and time into others’ content.
It’s scary to put my phone out of arm’s reach and close all my browser tabs to sit down to a blank page. Those grand, oh-so-woke thoughts don’t always flow from my keyboard as well as they did in my head. Those words don’t read like Words. The work doesn’t feel like Work, in the creative sense.
But then I look back at all the words I’ve already put out there—here, at work, elsewhere—and I’m reminded that those words didn’t feel like Words at the time either. They certainly didn’t feel like Work.
They felt like practice. Like a ball I was just trying to get rolling. Or a work ethic I was trying to develop.
That work ethic is the only way to dodge the wrecking balls.