Failure As Lack of Preparation

I felt like telling you what happened to me today.

It’s Thursday, and I I woke up with a bad feeling. I had a fight with my boyfriend during the night, and I was very upset falling asleep. We said some mean things to each other. I had also gone to bed much to late, so I was exhausted. When I’m exhausted I become touchy, and even the most innocent of insults can turn into a big fight.

So, I woke up with this bad feeling. I went to the bathroom. I made my toast and a pot of green tea. I got my computer, and opened it up on my desk as I usually do every Thursday. I drew the curtains, and looked out at another rainy May day in Parisian suburbia.

I wasted my Thursday morning, the holiest of all mornings to me now because I’m off work on this particular day every week. Silly. It didn’t do me any good. I’ve been on Twitter. I’ve read some interesting news on the Guardian website. I’ve listened to Stravinsky, Gustav Holst and Kate Bush on YouTube. I’ve checked my mail. Didn’t get any work done though. The 1000 words I wrote last Thursday are lying beside me on my desk as a reminder of past success (at least some kind of personal success). I have got a long way to go before I finish my story, but working on it feels fantastic.

My Kindle is full of self help books. Some of them are great. The one my therapist told me to read is by far the worst and most provoking one, but even from that book I’m able to draw some kind of lesson. It is (amongst other things) about self discipline and delaying gratification, and although I don’t like the guy much of what he says makes sense. The book is called “The Road Less Traveled”. Most of these books are about creativity, and almost all of them advocate the need for routine.

To find some kind of routine for my writing and singing has been an ongoing project of mine for the last five years. It is important to succeed as I now know that I need to do both some writing and singing to be a healthy person. It is just the way it is. I don’t need to be a success in other peoples eyes, I just need to feel good about myself and about my life.

Today I was reminded, as so many times before, that one cannot stray away from a chosen path if one wants to move forward. In my case this means that

1. I need to go to sleep early
2. The house, and especially my writing space, needs to be ready before I go to bed.
3. The preparations begin the day before. I need to do the necessary on Wednesday to be sure that I don’t sabotage my writing schedule for Thursday. This means no complicated phone calls, no discussion of difficult subjects, no eating of any food that may make me sick, and to make sure I’m able to leave work as early as possible.

It seems mental preparation is as important as the creative act itself. I don’t necessarily mean contemplating what you are about to do as much as putting every piece in it’s most favorable position to be sure that you win when you make that final move towards the act itself self. (I’m not sure that imagery worked so well, but you understand what I mean?)

If I sleep well, get up on time and don’t self sabotage, writing a 1000 words is possible. I’ll make sure I try again next Thursday. And now I haven’t completely wasted my morning, I have at least written a blog post. I’m happier with myself now.

Have a great day!