Me

Standing In My Own Way

Tracy Emin once called Billy Childish “Stuck” – and he went on to form the Stuckist movement.
I would join the Stuckists, but I fear right now I am a little too stuck, even for them.
I came back from Brit Mums Live feeling quite inspired, but then got bogged down with all my work. That sounds like  I had a lot of work, but in reality I had no more work than usual, and less organisation or discipline than usual.
At the moment I feel like I’m being very disorganised and rubbish which means I’m wasting a lot of time. Although I am very ambitious, both for my work and for this blog, I find I’m struggling to even get the day-to-day things done, let alone do anything to further either cause.
I went to a meeting yesterday entitled “getting out of your own way.”
One of the exercises we did was to make a list of all the things we needed to do, and to just notice how each one makes you feel – whether you feel resistance to them.
I made my list, and realised that all of them make me feel a bit “iffy” like I just want to put them off indefinitely – all of them that is, except for the bookkeeping tasks that are straight forward and – while somewhat boring – simple for me to complete. I am confident I can transpose my client’s bank statement into a spreadsheet, and order the corresponding receipts to go with it.
All of the other items on my list were writing tasks, and when I stopped to think about it, I realised that actually, I’m resisting doing these things because I lack confidence.
With bookkeeping, there’s a right or a wrong – your figures either add up at the end, or they don’t – and if they don’t, you go back methodically through your transactions until you find the missing one.
With writing, it’s more subjective. Thousands of people think The Hobbit is a fantastic piece of literature; thousands more think it’s too long and wordy and boring. Millions of people have enjoyed reading the classics; millions more can’t get past the old fashioned language. It’s all a matter of opinion, and when I write something I can’t put it against a tick sheet to see if it’s any good; I have to give it to my client or post it on my blog or send it to my editor, and hope they like it.
Another exercise we did was to answer the following questions with the first words that came into our heads:
  • I am incredibly…
  • I am a lousy…
  • I have a knack for…
  • I am extremely good at…
  • Most people who really know me think I am…
  • I will never learn to…
  • I am a run of the mill…
  • My life is…
  • My future is…
  • I would rather be…
  • I am far too…
  • My body is…
  • My health is…
The answers I came up with surprised me: I had “I am extremely good at writing” but also “I am a run of the mill writer.”
Which to me suggests I have some sort of weird internal conflict as to whether I’m actually any good at all of this. Which means I probably need to sort that out if I’m going to get anywhere with it!
Now, to figure out how to do that… answers on a postcard (or a comment below!) please!
PS do you fancy trying this exercise? I’d be interested to see what answers you come up with!

Vicky is a mother, a blogger, a podcaster and a social media trainer. She writes about life as a single mother, parenting and lifestyle type things.

1 Comment
  • slouchingtowardsthatcham.com

      REPLY

    It's an interesting contradiction and one which I often feel myself. although in my case I think it's a reflection of my fragile and fluctuating self-confidence. Deep down I know I'm a good writer, but at the same time I just don't know if I'm a good blogger. In those (thankfully rare) moments of weakness where I get obsessed by my distinctly mediocre blog stats, I'll

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