Back onboard the keyboard

Way back in October, which seems both like yesterday and like two years ago, I left myself a trail of breadcrumbs in this very blog. This helped me to feel like I wouldn't lose track of everything and myself while I was immersed in new baby-ness, and gives me a way to gently find my way back into my work. This is especially important when work is self-motivated, self-defined, and self-structured.

My second son was born mid-November, and I've been working again since the beginning of the year, gradually building things up. As we speak I am sitting in a coffeeshop with my baby in his stroller; I've got a window to do this while he naps. The window is there; the hints are there about what I wanted to work on. So I wanted to talk about a possible sticking point for getting started. It would be really easy for me to hesitate to write a post because I want it to be the right post. That would mean restarting on some coherent or consistent theme; explaining my absence; knowing what would come next; knowing that I will be able to post at regular intervals from here on out. In short, it would be super easy for me to delay writing because I want to plan everything about how I am going to write now and in the near future.

I think planning is a good idea, and I would love for this blog to be more streamlined or focused or goal-driven at some point. I would love to make sure I knew all the topics I had covered and that I would address a list of others. But planning is an activity distinct from the actual writing here. It is not always the easiest task for me, and more importantly, it is something that could totally stop me dead in my tracks. I think it is a relative of perfectionism: I can't say anything until I know that it is the thing I wanted to say at the time I wanted to say it on the blog. It may also be antithetical to the blog platform. Sometimes blogs work because they are spontaneous and conversational, rather than well-rehearsed and edited. Yet more to the point is that it is easy to stop ourselves from getting into motion by thinking about whether it is the right way to move.

I guess that's my own version of "just do it." It isn't about willpower and going for it in the sense it might be for others, where it is about pushing oneself forward, keeping all eyes on the destination. For me it is, as always (or usually), about letting go of thinking about the process and the destination, and starting to type.