Inspire Me

I received a comment on my last YouTube video which alerted me to a startling fact: at the time of commenting, it had been 72 days since I posted my last video. During that time, I can say that I was busy with my new job. I can say that I was working on several other projects. I can lie.

Here is the truth of the matter, spelt out simply and clearly: I have been uninspired to create stories.

Except…

Let’s rewind. 72 days ago, I put up a video about starting a new job. I had good intentions of creating some “directed” content. That was a word I used in the video. At least, according to the comment. I haven’t watched back on the video to be sure, but I trust that the commenter was quoting me verbatim. She’s a friend, after all, and she found it funny that I hadn’t yet put up any of the videos I thought I might. And, I suppose, it is funny.

Except for the circumstances of my Content-Free Lifestyle, my lack of follow-up is humorous, and the circumstances are too much of a private affair to talk about online.

July was meant to see a CraicCon video show up. I was also supposed to write a fair amount. I had good intentions. I always have good intentions. Follow-through is a problem sometimes. I said I can lie, and I guess that might suggest that I wasn’t busy with my new job, or working on anything. Well, that’s not accurate. I was busy with work, largely trying to get used to it while other things were happening in my life. And I was working on other projects; I’ve been doing a bit of research for a book, writing some reviews for Comix Ireland, and I had a blast at Dublin Comic Con. I even released a new paperback for the September Geek Mart.

And I started planning some comics.

And there’s the except again… no follow-through.

grey selfie

Follow Me Follow Through?

I want to say that I’ll work harder. I think what I really mean is that I want someone to make me work on something.

I am good with deadlines. I have always been good with deadlines. And I think that’s my issue, right now: I have none. Not really. I do well with NaNoWriMo because it has a deadline. I do well with essays and assignments, because they have deadlines.

So, I need deadlines. More importantly, I need people to call me out on my deadlines.

But this isn’t school, and my deadlines aren’t for my employer. So my options are limited. I can recruit a bunch of people to demand stuff from me. I can find myself an accountability partner, who suffers from the same problems in follow-through. Or I can do it myself, because I’m supposed to be a responsible adult, and I’m usually quite good at it.

Because I did work these past few days. I worked before the Geek Mart in September, too. Now I just need to make sure that I do more of it – and that’s the problem I always stumble over. How to keep on working.

stepping forward selfie

Solutions

Inspiration is difficult. You literally cannot make it up. But I can do some things to help myself with it. (This is one of those blog posts that’s going to be extremely beneficial to me, that maybe will help somebody else.)

1. I can remove things that block my access to my work materials. My laptop is often under some papers that need to be moved. The floor where I would stand to record a video is filled with bags of things, mostly magazines, too, but that’s not as big an issue as the laptop. I literally cannot work with the laptop to begin with.

2. I can set myself daily challenges, and create a weekly schedule. Remember the days of weekly flash fiction stories? Remember the months of daily blogging? I even remember the days of writing down ideas every day. Which is the big inspiration point…

3. I can force myself to come up with ideas. A trick I picked up in Tim Ferriss’s podcast was to write down ten ideas every day. No excuses. Not all good ideas. I did it for a few weeks, meaning I came up with a lot of ideas. At least three of them were decent. I can pick that up again. I literally have the notebook buried. (Note to self: stop creating psychological barriers to working by creating literal barriers to things I work with.) Which leads me to my final point in the Grand Scheme to Inspire Me

4. I can write every day. Even just a little. I have books to work on. I have actual days off that I spend poorly. Like a diet that always starts on Monday, I’m going to start this on the first Monday to occur – which just so happens to start in fifty-three minutes as I write this sentence, and which will be well underway by the time I hit “publish” on this post. I can write instead of doing unproductive activities for the sake of beautiful nostalgia. (Spoiler alert: I’m back to being obsessed with Digimon, because if anything I’ve read about my generation is true, it’s that we’re the nostalgia generation.)

One Week

I have a three-day work-week. That’s four days off completely to work, and two evenings – after a comics event this coming week – with which to plan, and develop momentum. I’ll use the next week to work up to something bigger. It’s all I can do, make a start at creating again.

You can track my progress on social media, if you’re interested. Shout encouragement/abuse, if you like. In the meantime, I’ll be trying to make myself busy.

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About Paul Carroll

Paul Carroll is a writer, born, raised and still living in Dublin. By day he's a student and bookseller, by night he writes fiction and uses social media.
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