I don't get things done nearly as quickly as I used to.
You know, before I had a young child. Or, for that matter, before I had a spouse.
Back in the pre-family days, I could decide to do a project, work my ass off on it like a madwoman in every conceivable minute of spare time, and collapse exhausted but happy at the end of it all.
Getting used to the slower pace that necessarily comes with prioritizing my time differently has been ... well ... slow for me. I would get so damn frustrated. Or think it meant I just couldn't do any projects at all forget it THAT'S IT I QUIT!
But then I made this blog. Really, really, really, very slowly.
And if you're still fighting against the slow, I want to tell you from the other side:
Once you let go of the need for speed, slow can be so sweet.
I don't understand all the ways we got to some sort of preconceived idea of HOW LONG ALL THE THINGS SHOULD TAKE. I don't even know if my preconceived ideas match yours. (How long do you think it should take to write a play? To re-launch an organization? To digitize all your paper and music?)
But I do recognize that those preconceived ideas are there. And that their relentless pressure isn't based on anything real. And that meeting their demands doesn't do a dang thing for my sense of worth or happiness or contribution to the world.
Because really what matters about doing any of our projects from child-nurturing to running a business to creating something new is that we're doing them if we feel called to do them. Not that we're doing them quickly.
After all, you are a writer whether you finish five short stories in one year or one short story in five years. And you will feel like a writer if you are writing consistently. Even just a tiny little bit at a time.
But when someone else gets a project done and it's all shiny and new in the world, the magical thinking part of our brain tends to run over and have a party with the comparing and competing part of our brain. Together, they sneak in the back door of our subconscious and have us thinking everyone else is still doing everything and doing it so fast.
So, over the next few posts, I'm going to talk honestly about the incredible slowness of a whole slew of projects I've done since my daughter was born.
I'll tell you how I do things slowly these days. And how you can, too.