How long does it take you from the moment you open your eyes until you start thinking about the lists? You know, the list of things you have to do. The list of things you need to do. The list of things you want to do. It usually goes in that order. Everything is on a list, and no matter how you try, it seems, you can never get to everything on the list you want to do supremely: The wants list. That is why people have bucket lists. They do not want to give up on the things they really want to do before the next big adventure begins on the other side. I wonder if there are lists there too?
I am trying not to be held captive to the lists. It isn't something that I succeed at all the time. Often I catch myself succumbing to the well-entrenched habit. Things are much easier learned, than un-learned. I keep trying to un-learn it, though, because I think it is key to living the dream. If I can learn to live off the list, to take things as they come, to not judge the circumstances that I find constricting, but find the gift in them instead, then I will be happier, healthier, and free. And I feel it is in that state that I feel the greatest joys of creativity can be reached.
As an author, there are many things I place on lists. Writing should be on the top, but sometimes the list pushes it down below other things. Marketing. Editing. Social Networking. Blogging. All things I love to do. And if I focus on the list, I find myself criticizing myself for not succeeding in all of these each day. 'You've neglected your blog, Mr. Eric", my mind chirps in. "Other authors get all of that marketing in, why can't you, Mr. Eric?" "When's the last time you really focused on that WIP for more than thirty minutes at a time, Mr. Eric?" The list can drag you down.
It is when I take my eyes off of the lists, and take all of the joys I have in what I feel called to do as they come, that I feel creatively free. Each moment has pure potentiality. Every second can be a brand new creative birthing. Each interruption to my writing process can be an inspirational adventure, one that can lead to deeper musings and around corners I may have overlooked if I stuck strictly to the list. The list may always be there. But I don't have to follow its whip lashings at my back. Taking a step back to see the pure potentiality in each moment I am given allows me to appreciate all the more the joy it is to create.
I would love your thoughts on this, my quaylings! How do you get away from your lists? Do you find a quiet place to reflect? Do you find solace in nature? Do you try to be nonjudgmental when your writing process is interrupted by the joys of life? They are joys you know. Each moment can be joyous and full of pure potentiality, if you so choose to see it that way.