So when last we left René Garcia, he was in the doldrums of his writing career and, I dare say, his life overall. Well folks, I’m glad to say that I am most assuredly through that brief, depressing stint. Hooray! And here we are with another weekly blog. (I’m a little sad that my posts have dwindled down to once a week, but what can you do?)
In any writer’s life — and this probably applies to everyone, actually — you will find yourself stuck in an inspirational rut. Hm. Actually, that should be inspiration rut. An “inspirational rut” would be a rut that inspires you, which — if they even exist outside of being a contradiction in terms — is not what I’m talking about. So there you have it: once in a while you’ll be stuck in an inspiration rut. And rather than deal with the rut directly, often times you’ll do things to distract yourself from the rut, thinking that a rut is some intangible thing that will pass if you just entertain your mind long enough. In my experience, I never get out of ruts by not doing anything about it. What happens is that life’s necessities force me to do something. Maybe that something has absolutely nothing to do with the rut, but it doesn’t matter. Psychologically, I feel productive precisely because I have done something that was necessary to do. You ever clean part of your house or apartment and suddenly find yourself overwhelmed with the desire to keep cleaning until you were too tired or there was nothing left? If yes, typically that’s speed-induced, but sometimes I feel it’s due to the momentum of productivity.
So the Monday after I wrote that last blog post I went grocery shopping. It was one of those necessity trips too; the kind where you look in your refrigerator and all you find are water and expired condiments. The kind of grocery shopping that requires several trips from the trunk of your car to your home. The kind of self-redefining shopping where you say, “You know, this is the perfect opportunity to start eating healthy!” So you buy a bunch of chicken breasts and vegetables and fruit and you promise yourself that you’ll make a protein shake right after your last cigarette. Well, maybe that last one is just me. The point here is that having done this monumental splurge on food — a splurge with purpose — I was suddenly reinvigorated to get more stuff done. So I pass this wisdom onto you.
It’s just like working out. Actually, I was going to wrap it all up here, but I wanted to throw in one more analogy. Ahem. It’s like working out. When you keep doing the same exercises, you’ll eventually plateau as your body adapts to the workout. That’s why it’s good to vary your routine with different movements that work the same muscles, but in different ways. This holds true for motivation. If you’re not inclined to do something, go do something else you need to do and then channel that momentum into the thing you didn’t want to do.
Just keep in mind that the “other thing” you do must also be necessary. Watching TV or playing video games (my distraction of choice) will not provide you with the needed momentum that can only come from accomplishment.