The BIC Problem

Nope, that isn’t misspelled.

I have a problem with BIC. Butt in Chair. I have a big problem putting my butt in the chair to do the work.

It’s as though I reached my big goal of being published and that was enough. It’s not that the stories have gone away or anything, it’s just that the internal pressure is gone. I let off the gas and I’ve had a really hard time pushing back down on the accelerator.

It’s gotten so bad that the fanfiction that I used to update regularly — a once a month date that I managed to make for almost five years, just stopped being written too. It was like I couldn’t stand the thought of opening a word processing program or a blog made me just cringe.

Could it have been depression/stress/diabetes/insert reason here? Sure. Thing is, those answers all feel as though I’m lying to myself. Like I’m blaming something outside for something simpler: I achieved a goal and never set a new one.

Sure I’ve had those nifty goal posts going on, but I never really internalized a large over-arching goal.

I’m doing that today instead:

Old Goal: Be a published author. — CHECK

New Goal: Be able to sustain myself on my book sales. — EEEP I’d better get going!

So, see you on the flip side. Maybe I’ll even be blogging more. Who knows?


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2 responses to “The BIC Problem

  1. Goals. That’s kind of the key word. Things work better for me if I have a goal. I used to just sort of write whatever came to mind, without really thinking about why I was writing it or what it might lead to. That was also how I lived my life — just sort of going through the motions without ever thinking about the bigger pattern.

    Then slowly I shifted into having goals, and it was like the world took on a different focus, as if the kaleidoscope suddenly shifts to another view and this one makes as much sense if not more than the last. I started writing with a purpose — not ‘to get published’ or ‘to make a living’ (although that would be nice) but to get a particular story TOLD, a project finished. This was at the same time as I began having more focused goals in my personal and professional lives, too, and I’m not sure if one led to the other or if it was just a sea change overall, but the goals were both intangible and real; while I wanted to finish a project — like “Codes” — the project MEANT more, somehow, too me. It had stopped being something I messed around with and began being something I had to do, had to because I wanted to.

    It’s hard to explain. But I’m a more driven person now, professionally and personally, and artistically. I feel like I’m working more towards something, something that’s meaningful to me, even if it never sees the light of day and never makes a dollar.

    When I used to be able to jog more (stupid bee stings & heart attacks!) I would pick out the hardest hills to run — up Bascom Hill in Madison, and once through the hills of Oakland — for no better reason than because I wanted to run up them. It was that kind of personal, intense, inner drive. I wasn’t in a race and nobody but me would ever know I’d done it, but I had to do it. That’s how I write, now: Like I’m running up the hardest hill I can find, to prove to myself I can do it even if nobody’s looking.

    • I sort of turned a corner somewhere last month and everything started getting done again.

      I don’t know what flipped the switch, but I’ve suddenly been able to tear through my to-do list and get headed for actual goals again.

      I’ve started actually trying to meet some of the goals I’ve been loosely discussing on the blog for months. I feel energized and I don’t know what iceberg shifted in my head, but it’s actually starting to work.

      I always have written more to get the stories out of my head than to make someone else happy. Even in High School when I had friends who would grab my notebook as I was writing to see what had gotten updated during the slow times in class/ between classes, I was writing for myself and no one else. I think I’ve started to get back in the habit of finishing things because I want them done, not because someone else wants me to do them.

      And that’s really refreshing.

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