I do a lot of writing for different clients on a range of topics. The work seems to go in cycles depending on what I feel like focusing on and what is happening in the outside world at the time. For the last few weeks I have been writing a whole lot about horse racing because we are in the midst of the Triple Crown season. The articles I am now writing are mostly analysis of particular horses and how they might perform — complete speculation, in other words. Each article combines research and the combination of diverse ideas from "experts´ with some of my own ideas and wild theories.
As I have been writing a large number of articles, I have found the same pattern repeat itself more than once. I will pull together a bunch of research and start formulating my own ideas, but then my head will start being my own worst enemy. I will convince myself that there is a daunting amount of work to do, so I will find new ways to stall. In fact, I am often impressed by my own ability to stall. Then I´ll set out to start writing down a couple of notes about the article, while at the same time planning in my mind a schedule that I will follow to get the article done — notes tonight, draft first thing in the morning, edit and send off by lunch.
Without fail, the same thing happens when I start the note making process. A point turns into a sentence which turns into another sentence until I have a paragraph and then another. Soon, the whole article is written, there is little editing to do and I am done, half a day or more before my mental schedule dictated completion.
From this comes a realization that is easy to come to, but which I have struggled to consistently implement. Instead of just thinking about what I have to do and planning myself into submission, freaking myself out by the perceived and inaccurate magnitude of the task, I should just freaking do it. When I sit down and just write the article, it gets written. That stretches beyond this process into the rest of life, too. Taxes, bill payments, doctor´s visits, housework, a dreaded phone call — it´s all not nearly as bad as we let ourselves think it will be and it will be over before we notice if we just get going. Sometimes we just have to be firm with ourselves, tell our inner voice to shut up, and just get to work. We´ll thanks ourselves for it later.