“Step by step and the thing is done.” -Charles Atlas.
Currently, I’m in quite a state of flux, and I’m not quite used to it, so everything feels a little…off. It still, more than two weeks later, hasn’t quite sunk in that tomorrow doesn’t bring a day filled with obligations and work I don’t love. It hasn’t sunk in that I still have all this time to do the things I truly want to do. I don’t have to rushed to get something done because, if I don’t do it now, I have to go to work and won’t have the brain power to do it later. I can take my time, enjoy the process, and, when I’m done with that, I get to continue doing it, rather than fulfill some other boring obligation. It’s complete freedom, and it’s weird, and I’m still not used to it, but I’m getting there, step by step.
Not only does this wonderful reminder from Charles Atlas describe my process in getting used to being a full time writer, but it also describes my writing process in general. Very rarely am I able to focus on one task at a time; I’ve developed a system that allows me to work on a bunch of different things at once, getting them finished step by step. I’m pretty sure this sort of distracted attention wasn’t what Atlas had in mind, but it certainly does highlight the fact that, while I don’t get a lot done in one fell swoop, I do get it finished, step by step, little by little.
I think this quote is a great one for when you’re struggling, when you have those moments where it feels like you can’t get anything done (I’ve been dealing with that a lot these last few days!) or it seems like you’ll never be done (yup, that sounds familiar, too. I’m looking at you, Serpent in a Cage!). It’s in those moments that we really have to push ourselves to at least do something, even if it’s a little bit. Something is better than nothing. Didn’t get your 1000 word count goal? So what? You still got 250, and that’s 250 more than you would have done. Didn’t finish that short story today? Did you at least get a page of it written? There you go, keep that up, and before you know it, it will be finished.
Step by step and the thing is done.
It’s kind of funny, but, when I remind myself of this, it seems I get infused with this renewed energy and my steps go from baby steps to giant steps, but, no matter the size, it’s always a stride toward achieving your goals.