Action is the Antidote to Despair

Yesterday, I spent a good part of the morning feeling overwhelmed that there is so much I want to do (in writing, in life) and I seem to have so little time to do it. As though time decided to pick on me by picking up its speed. Objectively, I realize that this is a futile worry, because time does not exist and therefore can not move. Still, I was getting down on myself for not being where I want to, in regards to my writing goals.

What is one way to alleviate the despair of a feeling? Write it all down in the form of to do lists! Putting all my half-baked ideas on the same page next to checkboxes, in case I get around to doing them. Write Query. Draft Article. Follow Up with Editor. Finish Book. SellĀ  100,000 copies. Retire by 30. Just the fact of doing something makes me feel better. The action items may get crossed off, the order may change, more tasks may be added. Inevitably, the list itself will get crumpled up and tossed in the recycling bin with the other scraps and used post-its. But the brooding gave way to writing, which has always forecasted action in my life. I decided just to do one thing that would actually move me towards my writing goals – so I wrote a query for an article I’ve been thinking about for a while. As I worked on it, my energy was high, time flew by, and when I was finished I felt great. I crossed it off my list, satisfied.

The best part is, after I started working on it, I got an invitation to speak in North Carolina in January, a confirmation for my speaking gig in February, and an email from a colleague who wanted to read some of my writing. I am taking all of these as winks from the Universe – signs – that I was doing the right thing.

Today, I am grateful for the choice to take action in the face of despair.

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