Friday, January 30, 2009

Reaction / Action


Listening to: Chiquitia by ABBA

I was thinking today about how much time I spend in reaction rather than action. In some respects I think such an assessment could provide a good benchmark for how much one is in control of their life. Am I in control of my day or do I allow my day to control me?

My job is has a largely crisis driven aspect to it that I'm not able to really control. I can plan, and I do, but in the end my plans are often reshaped by and taken over by events in spite of my best efforts otherwise. This is highly frustrating, stressful and I imagine gives cause to my reluctance to even attempt to impose any meaningful discipline upon myself after work hours. My evenings and weekends often are thus allowed to unfold upon their own as opposed to attempting to decide what and when and stake out a plan.

There are of course in the post work hours where I will recognize a deadline is upon me for something and will step in out of a combination of the pressure associated with the deadline and some degree of guilt causing me to roll into action.  Not a very smart or fulfilling way to approach life.

This approach is often applied to my writing and the more mundane clerical matters like submitting material to journals. I can honestly say that last year the reduction in submissions I made to journals was at least in part due to such a reactionary work ethic. It's one think to accept the fact that my 9-5 job is going to be impacted in such a way that reaction will always be a factor. Writing on the other hand should not be impacted in the same way. Sure there will be interruptions that come about when an emergency arises, but this should be the exception rather than the rule.

Anyone else experience this kind of problem? What drive you forward in your writing and what road blocks do you build for yourself? 

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