Sometimes you need to declutter to move forward. Get rid of stuff. Clean out. Make room.
And sometimes that’s total crap.
Sometimes decluttering is just a really convenient excuse for not doing the things you know you need to do, or rather want to do but are afraid of. I’ve been decluttering for weeks now, months really. And it’s important, it is. But it’s also no substitute for sucking it up and doing the things that scare you, the things that matter.
Instead of doing, I’m getting ready to do. I’m learning. I’m making space.
I’m updating Facebook.
I’m cleaning out my twitter stream.
I’m hiring a graphic designer to make me a logo.
I’m making lists and setting goals and tweaking budgets and catching up on email and look! I’m so organized now! I’m ready to – oh, wait. Let me just take care of this one final loose end…
I still haven’t sent out a single query for a magazine article. Not one.
I’ve purchased a membership to MediaBistro so that I can get examples of queries. I’ve read them. I’ve emailed samples to myself. I’ve made lists of story ideas and possible publications and even half typed one query. I’ve put it on my to-do list, and then I put “write pitch letter” on my to-do list because I thought taking smaller steps would help get me going. That’s why I have the half typed one.
I’ve tried questioning the validity of the goal. I mean, maybe writing articles for print publications isn’t that big of a deal anyway. Maybe the only reason I want that is because of some convoluted notion of legitimacy that is more about societal values than my own. Yeah, that’s it – it’s not even that important to me!
Except that it is. It’s so important that I’m hiding from it.
The other day I thought about getting myself an accountability partner. I’d find one person with a similar goal and we’d make ourselves go through the steps together, like how a gym buddy helps you get your butt out of bed in the morning to workout. But even as I formulated the plan in my head I knew it was just a new scheme for putting steps and distance between me and the actual doing.
The truth is that I’m scared, and so I’m just not pulling the trigger.
I have the time and the resources and the general knowledge necessary. I may even have the skills.
It’s the guts I’m lacking.
I’m also fresh out of excuses.
Are you putting anything important off?