#amwriting Finding the Path

A few days ago I walked across a grassy patch near my house. A silvery dew covered the area and I could see footprints.

When I turned back, I noticed something that startled me.

I thought I had been walking in a straight line, but instead I had wandered back and forth.

It is natural. People who get lost in the woods or in the desert — where there are few landmarks — begin to loop around and walk back to where they started (LiveScience discusses our tendency to circle).

The way to correct the wavering is to focus on an object in the distance, such as a tree, and head for it. I tried it. When I checked my path, it had worked.

As I thought about it more, I realized it was a good metaphor for my life right now. I feel like I’m wandering lost, rather than pushing toward a writing goal.

The problem is I have many, many projects and so my goals are a forest rather than a tree. No wonder I’m getting nowhere.

It’s time to thin the forest. It’s time to focus.

Too bad it is so hard to figure out which ones have the most value or even will bear fruit.

How do you decide which projects are worthwhile? 


  1. Karen

    Usually if I keep procrastinating and never get a project properly underway, it means I’m not really invested in it. It sounds like a great idea, but maybe it really isn’t.

    It sounds like, though, that not investing time isn’t your issue. You’re creative muse is working overtime and not giving you time to think. Maybe setting things down on paper? Pros & cons of each project side by side. Brain dump. And maybe by doing so you’ll get a clearer idea of which project makes the most sense and which you want to really devote your time to.

    Backburnering (is that a word?) a few projects isn’t the end of the world.

  2. Roberta

    You are right. Maybe if I started a working list and jotted down my ideas, it would help clear some of the clutter.

    Writing can be different than other things I plan, though. It’s not like chores or errands. I’ll have a set goal with a deadline to work on one project, but when I pull up the chair to write –pop — the answer to an issue I’ve been having with another project will flood into my head and I’ll end up having to work on that instead. The muse is very fickle, to say the least.

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