Front Page ITU Voices 6 Weeks to Clarity WEEK 5: Create Certainty From Confusion Reply To: WEEK 5: Create Certainty From Confusion

  • Paul McLanathan

    December 2, 2021 at 12:12 pm

    Life Category: Intellectual

    I challenged myself to a brief three week challenge of showing up for work like I am getting paid and/or my success in writing this book depends on it.
    At first it was a struggle just to put in the hours, and I still had schedule deviations that were severe enough to warrant further attention.
    I realized that procrastination is at the root of not just this goal, but all my goals.

    I finished re-listening to phase 2 of Mindset and I realized that the reason my journal practice is so poor as far as bringing clarity to my purpose/direction for my book is that I don’t focus on a single topic or objective. I tend to just write and see what comes out and that isn’t working. I give myself some leeway in understanding that most journaling is self introspective nonsense that shouldn’t be shared with anyone, but if I am using it as a springboard to give structure and direction to the story I hope to tell then I am failing miserably; repeating the same destructive patterns.
    I have been “feeling”, not “thinking”, and because of that I have refused to act, instead using unpreparedness as an excuse to delay the inevitable. I put in a lot of time and energy and in the weirdest way possible (the pandemic) I got the time I deserved to re-prioritize what’s meaningful in my life, and for lack of a better description “get my shit together.”
    Because I did such a poor job with clarity earlier in the year, I am now scrambling to meet my desired deadline to write my first book. It seems on a week to week, or even on a day to day basis I think I haven’t even begun!

    This is a lie. I’ve been building this story my whole life, and I’ve been creating it through nearly a thousand pages of rough draft writing over the last two years.
    Now I need to act, and that means to stop operating with a false growth mindset. I can’t cheat the process, and as much life experience as I have for a novice writer, it simply doesn’t matter. A writer writes, and the only way to do that is to write; consistently and effectively.
    After doing everything possible to write the story of my dreams, I’ve realized I have to write the story of my nightmares before I can move on and develop a growth mindset.
    In order to accomplish this I will have to embarrass myself even further. However, I am keeping in mind that if this story is to be only read by me because I didn’t respect myself or others enough to treat the work with dignity, then so be it, that’s just the way it is and where I am at.

    Step one is to keep going and don’t quit. Say everything as I need it to be said, get it all down in tangible form, and then edit and revise. No more stopping and starting because it’s not perfect. It never will be. It’s supposed to be bad. Anything else would be proof that I am still doing things wrong, still living with a fixed mindset.
    Once I have this first draft I can modify it if I were going to share it with someone else. Even if that means breaking it down to the bare minimum, a generic outline of the scenes and series of events. At least if I do that I can avoid sharing too much and be willing to accept help by sharing too little.
    This realization is just the lightbulb moment I needed to understand what a growth mindset requires and why I am afraid of staring nakedly at my vulnerabilities.

    I am well on target to reach my goal of 20,000 words by December 11th, so I just have to buckle down and stay the course and have faith that all my hard work will pay off, no matter how absurd the path has been that I ultimately decided to choose.
    The way forward now requires that I greet the day with love in my heart, and I will win, I will succeed. I have created certainty from confusion.