At the end of last year I wrote a blog post that was essentially about how I need to stop procrastinating with my project ideas, stop slacking on this blog, and start doing, doing, doing. My life was this equation: Ideas + (Procrastination x Perfectionism) = (No Sleep x Headaches) + Satisfaction, and my goal was to lessen the procrastination and get some more sleep so that I could be better satisfied with the execution of my ideas and life, without being sick, without headaches, and with full mental clarity and movement. I am writing now as a check-in, to see how I have kept up with the ten things with which I said I would keep up. These are the ten things I said I would commit to:
1. I will keep up with this blog. Before 2012 is over I will write at least one more post. Not good enough? Okay okay, I will write two more!
2. In 2013, I will work on a project that involves doing something every single day of the year.
3. I will work on publishing my thesis. I’ve really been slacking on this one.
4. I will redo my website and my thesis website (and then I can post them here).
5. I will make music.
6. I will make more stuff, from mosaics to infographics, and collages to other modes of fine art (I need to be vague because I’m not sure what this stuff entails, but I have a lot of ideas brewing and I just need to do)!
7. I will sleep more. (Do I really lack the motivation even for that?)
8. In 2013, I will make at least 2 written blog posts per week.
9. I will create a logo for this blog.
10. I will stop buying books in mass quantities when I still have so many books on my bookshelf and floor that I have not read yet. I will not stop myself from buying other books because it’s just so satisfying to obtain a new book, but I will tone that down. I have actually toned it down very much, but getting through the unread books I do have has been an extremely slow process. Here are the books that I own that I plan to read before April (in no particular order):
Out of Place by Edward Said
On Suicide by Jean Améry
Accidental Death of an Anarchist by Dario Fo
There Are No Children Here by Alex Kotlowitz
What is the What by Dave Eggers
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Seeing by Jose Saramago
So, where am I at?
1. Well, I completed that one. Yay! Too bad it was still for last year and not this year.
2. I started working on a social justice image per day and then after a couple weeks I stopped. It’s really hard for someone like me to keep up with something every single day. Procrastination is in every inch of my body. Maybe I should have started small and did some sort of tiny project or drawing once a week?
3. Still slacking on this. Oh, but I think about it all the time!
4. Yeah… still slacking on these, too.
5. I don’t see this happening, but I have been contemplating the purchase of a keyboard for a few months now. Maybe I will make the purchase once I receive my very small tax refund.
6. I did one painting. I also made a letterpress print. I did a couple drawings. I haven’t really done any of the big projects I’ve wanted to though. I haven’t even started them.
7. Sleep more? HAHAHAHA who was I kidding?!
8. 2 written blog posts per week? Clearly I have already failed at that! Okay, I will try to do so; I really will.
9. Obviously I haven’t done this one either, but I do have a few things sketched onto a piece of paper. That’s something, right?
10. Well, I still buy some books even though I haven’t read all the ones I have, but my book buying has drastically decreased and the majority of them are art related (and professionally related), so it’s O.K. Of the books I’ve listed I read Accidental Death of an Anarchist (amazing and hilarious) and Slaughterhouse-Five (another winner by Vonnegut), but I have also read a book that I didn’t list since I was in the mood to read that instead: Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women, and I am currently reading Cities of Salt. I am three books behind my goal, unfortunately, but I hope to pick up the pace.
Some other positives this year despite my procrastination is that I actually made some deadlines. I had a few goals and some projects to work on like submit a paper and some art to a conference, create a logo for someone’s chorus, participate in an exhibition about health and trauma, and submit work to 3 different contests. I made most of these deadlines last minute, but I did it! Usually when it becomes really late and the deadline is right around the corner, I chuck the idea out the window thinking that I probably won’t win or won’t get accepted and it’s really late so why bother. My friends, I have stopped thinking in such a way. I knew that I would be upset with myself if I resigned to procrastination and the failure to meet a deadline. Even though it’s not the most important deadline and one I just set for myself, I should still regard it as important, just like I did my thesis deadline, the deadline to do my taxes, etc.
I have accepted that procrastination and the inability to sleep like a normal human being is just who I am. Instead of trying to change it, I should learn to work around it. It sounds unhealthy, and it probably is, but I am at a loss for what to do. I do, however, lack motivation these days and that is the only thing I can possibly change. Right?
Oh, I’m just a looney toon.