Just Doing It

Photograph of a doodle of a flower. The caption reads, "HAPPY (almost) Spring!!" Doodle credit: Holly, SCR; photographed with permission.
Doodle credit: Holly, SCR; photographed with permission

If I don’t go, I won’t go.

I came up with that mantra recently because I was having trouble making myself go to the gym. Now, once again I have plenty of excuses—after everything that happened last year, 2016 got in one last cruel chuckle in the form of my landlord deciding that after ten years of my tenancy, he wanted to move into my suite, and therefore evict me—and so I had to add “moving, alone” to this month’s task list. Of course I had an amazing amount of help from friends packing and actually moving, but the unpacking and decluttering is something I want and need to do on my own. And so I’m still not finished.

But last Monday I decided that for my physical and mental health, I really needed to get back to the gym. So I did. Even if it meant that I spent a little bit less time cleaning.

Still, something else has niggled at me. I have to finish my revisions.

In the midst of my new chaos, I haven’t been writing, or revising, or anything, really.

But Laura, say well-meaning friends. It’s okay not to be writing. You have too much other crap on your plate.

Honestly? I disagree. Through the entirety of the clustercrush my life has been, writing has kept me sane. Has helped me move forward. What Janet said a few weeks ago is right. This is exactly the time to be creating. Not writing has actually made me a bit anxious to get back to it.

Okay, a lot anxious.

Except, the mess…

If I don’t go, I won’t go.


If I don’t write, I won’t write.

But the mess—

Okay, so I’ve tried to tackle all the unpacking. That led to more cleaning, more unpacking, more “What the hell am I going to do with this?” Yes, Craigslist and I have become excellent friends. Still. Even just clearing a space to write has been stressful, because I’ll start on one thing and that’ll lead to six other things—necessary, yes, but keeping me from my writing goals. At least my new roommate is a godsend. A very patient one.

Is it really the mess keeping you from it? asks my inner critic. Or is that another excuse?

If I don’t write, I won’t write.

Screw it, I’m going to—No, wait, Starbucks is closed at this hour. (Hey, I’m a night owl.)

Then, despite everything, last week I created something new. A Facebook conversation where the fact that I filk songs led to one friend saying I should write a mashup filk of a few different thematic songs and another friend telling me to “Make it so.” And I did. (Will be shared…eventually. There’s a few other things I need to deal with first.)

And just that silly bit of amusing handiwork got my creative juices flowing. Bringing together a bunch of sassy words to fit the rhythm and flow of not just one but two songs, with spoken nods to two others, was exactly what I needed. In fact, when I see those friends in person in a few weeks, I plan to sing it for them.

Here in Vancouver we had what’s sadly becoming a once-a-decade phenomenon: a serious, heavy snowfall that persisted. Twice, even (though like most movies, the sequel wasn’t as strong). Chances that it’ll snow like that a third time are so low, they’re barely worth considering. Our spring is actually beginning.

So I think of the optimistic doodle in my local Starbucks, and it reminds me. This is the time for renewal. For planting the new seeds, and nurturing what we’ve already sown. (Gonna stop there before I go too far with the metaphor, and I invoke the wrath of our resident botanist.)

So tonight, I did the right thing: I cleared off my writing desk, shoved everything else aside (bed? More like convenient shelf!) and made a space for writing. And I feel so much better.

If I don’t write, I won’t write.

You could say I told myself to “Make it so.” And I did. And I am happy.

What have you had to tackle recently? And how did you manage to overcome those obstacles, however overwhelming?


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