This Will Be Hard

No Magic

Sometimes I am excited to begin work on a new task, and sometimes I dread it. This dread can have many sources, but it usually signals the anticipation of hard work.

Sometimes I dread a job because I know I don’t like the work, and sometimes I dread the job because I don’t know how to do the work. I might not want to dig a hole in the backyard, because I don’t like shovelling. I might not want to write, because the muse is elusive and sometimes the words won’t come.

The solution for either problem is simple, but it is also hard. Whenever something needs to be done, I pick a time for the task, and I make one ironclad rule for that time. I can either do the hard work, or I can do nothing. I have a choice, but my options are limited.

I don’t have to write, but my hands must be on the keyboard. I can’t do “research” by opening Feedbin. I can’t tinker with the site’s css or work on the blog engine. I don’t have to write, but I can do nothing but write.

I get anxious staring at that lonely cursor on a blank screen when I think I’ll fail to write anything good. When I need to find magic. That anxiety fades when I know from the outset that it’s okay to sit at the computer with the words not coming. I succeed either way.

No magic required.