Sometimes A Change Of Perspective Is All You Need

So, I mentioned previously how I’ve been trying to get my 4-year-old book finished. Not my 4-year-old’s book. I don’t have kids. Children are the spawn of Satan.

Anyway… glad we cleared that up… so anyway…

Recap: 4 years ago I started a book; 4 years later it still isn’t done. And finishing it has been my goal for every summer for the past 4 years.  This summer is really like: “Get it done or I’m burning it!” I mean, I’m sick of looking at this now!

So, let me skip back to January briefly: I had 20 chapters of hot mess and no motivation.

Beginning of February: I knew it was too bloated so I hacked off 8 chapters. I felt motivated!

But then… it was still 12 chapters of hot mess so I lost motivation again.

Last week I was feeling ready to throw it out the window.

But, along comes this guy I know – Successful Guy (TM). I mean, he wins at life and makes me feel like a massive loser. But I like to hang out with him to try to sponge off whatever good vibes he’s got going on.

So, I went on this long rant to him about my book and in one word (or two…) he gave what was ultimately the simplest and best advice ever but for some reason I hadn’t thought of it: “Sub-headings” he said matter-of-factly over the rim of his cappuccino.

Sub-headings! Why the F didn’t I think of that?! Man, I was so motivated after talking to him (and I’m usually about as motivated as Grumpy Cat), I immediately went to the library and printed off one-third of my book…

The idea is I’m just gonna tackle it as 3 sections, I’m gonna spread it all over my floor and get out highlighters and colored pens and get my sub-headings in, and bullet points, and wrestle this tiger!

I’ve already started on the first third and – wow! – suddenly things are coming together! And all it took was a change of perspective. Where previously each chapter was some big, untameable beast, they’re now contained into neat, happy little sub-sections. And it’s had the added benefit of improving the readability and design of my book (I’m also adding some pictures, which helps too!).  I had previously started to hate it ‘cause it was just a big black and white lump but the hate is fading now it’s starting to look like something concise.

I’m not usually good at advice but there’s some: if you have some project you’ve been fiddling with for x years: change your perspective, think of how you can look at it in a new way than before – ask people for advice. It’s funny how just talking to people sometimes can clue you into something when you can’t see the woods for the trees.

Now all I wish is that I could just write and create all day and didn’t have to go do boring grown-up stuff!

 

Trying to Finish My Stupid Book

I’ve been writing this stupid book for the past four years and every year I tell myself it’ll be done for my birthday in summer (that year). Four years later, it’s still not done and I’m super-p*ssed with myself. Of course, I’m very busy with my life now because I’m doing teacher training but I wasn’t particularly busy 2 years ago and don’t understand why I didn’t get my act together and finish it then. I mean, it should have only taken a year for Christ’s sake! Gah, why do I  suck at everything?!

Now, because my schedule is so crazy, I struggle to find time to work on it. But, I really, really want it to be done before my birthday because I don’t want to go another year saying….”next summer…” and I would feel like the biggest loser ever! But I’ve only got a few months to finish it – how da fuq!?

One of my wishes for my 30s was to write a book every year. I’m behind with that schedule but if I could get this book out before my 32nd birthday then……… if I write 2 in my 32nd year…….. (Lol, like if I suddenly get a rocket up my ass!) then…..I can catch up, right?!

Anyone got a rocket I can borrow?

Goals have become important to me in my 30s because I had loads of goals in my 20s that I never achieved and I ended up just procrastinating my 20s away – Damn! Damn! Damn! – I wasted the best years of my life, what an ass!

So this is why it’s so important for me to get the book done before my birthday. And, no, it’s not about selling copies or getting accolades or whatever. Besides, I write non-fiction, which everyone hates so it’s not about popularity either. It’s about personal achievement, self-fulfilment… I just want to have a nice stack of books that I wrote and I can show them off to…. erm… my cat. Sagan would be seriously impressed (if he lives long enough to see this happen…).

But I’m still not as motivated as I need to be. I don’t know where some people find the time to do 500 things at once! Even when I try, I’m just not a quick worker! One guy I know does so many things with his time and I wish I could observe him to see how he fits it all in. He must just throw everything together. But he must! Because: how da fuq?! Maybe that’s what I need to do…. How do you do that? The irony is my work often looks thrown together anyway even though I spend a thousand hours on it, so I guess I should try it.I probably need to change my whole approach and attitude but I have no idea how to do that…

 

Open Letter to a Married Female Friend

Dear Stacey,

I hate you. Oh, by the way, I also hate your husband, Todd. I hate you both. Do you know why I hate you both, Stacey? Because you’re so f***ing perfect. Even your damn names are perfect! Todd & Stacey. Stacey & Todd. Wtf?! You and your perfect husband with your perfect jobs and your perfect lives and your perfect car in your perfect garage in your perfect house with it’s perfect “matching colors” kitchen with your perfect “His & Hers” coffee mugs to fill with freshly ground organic coffee from your perfect coffee machine and then sit on your perfect deck in your perfect garden and say “Hi” to your perfect neighbors in your perfect neighborhood. How is this even real?!

Stacey, people like you are supposed to only exist in fictional stories. In fact, it’s like you just stepped right out of a Fairytale and came to life. How do things like this happen, Stacey? What cosmic occurrence lead to the string of events that lead to people like you and Todd existing? Why did every single thing in your life go so wonderfully, perfectly right, Stacey?

Why?!

Do you know what “worry” is, Stacey? No, you don’t. Do you know what “bills” are? Of course you don’t! Your perfect, rich, successful husband deals with all the bills so you never have to worry your pretty little head about it. You’re only stressed because you have so many champagne luncheons to go to and parties to throw and invites to send and how will you ever have the time to fit in your horse-riding and Pilates classes?  That’s like your idea of Defcon 5, isn’t it, Stacey? You can’t even fathom real problems!

I can only dream of your life, Stacey. Well, actually, no, that’s not quite true because I’m your friend so I have to watch you live your wonderfully, smooth and glossy, picture-perfect life while I sit on the other side of the fence with my broken life and broken teeth and broken heart, hoping I’ll be able to find some broken man and afford a broken shack in Crimesville sometime before I die of malnourishment or murder.

I hate you, Stacey. Because you have choices. You’ve always had choices, from the moment you were born. Who do I want to be friends with? What toys do I want for Christmas? What clothes shall I wear? Do I want a brown pony or a white pony? Where do I want to study? Which car do I want daddy to buy me for my 17th birthday? Who do I want to date? Where do I want to live? Who do I want to marry? You got to CHOOSE all these things, Stacey! You didn’t have to work for anything, you didn’t have to fight for anything, you didn’t have to settle for second best – or third, or fourth – you didn’t have to accept acceptable or deal with endless disappointment and rejection.

Ever.

You don’t even know what disappointment and rejection are. You’d have to look them up in the dictionary. You don’t know what it’s like to go without something, to long for something you can never, ever have. Every single thing just worked out so hot damn wonderfully for you, didn’t it, Stacey? Why?! What makes you so deserving of a wonderful life? And worst of all, because you were born into it, you don’t even comprehend how fantastic it is! You sit there and complain that your cinnamon spiced chai latte isn’t “chai” enough. Wtf, Stacey?!

F*** you, Stacey!

P.S. See you next weekend.

Love,

Your friend, Aliquo.