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Archive for the ‘Stop procrastinating!’ Category

On Pause & Priority

Why my blogging’s on Pause

woman shoots at pc

Reason #1 why I let myself loose in WordPress seven weeks ago was:

I was planning to make a website for my new & small enterprise, using WordPress.

And I tried that.  But I found it hard to put my ideas across to WordPress and turning the whole thing into an acceptable website with a .com address.

So what did I do?  I blogged about personal matters!  Helluva way to procrastinate and have fun while feelin’ guilty. 😉

Change of mind

After an unproductive time of trial and error I came to the conclusion that I wanted a .nl website instead.  I prepared myself for learning WebMatrix, the Microsoft free web development application.  To my horror I could only install it in Spanish (got Windows Spanish).  After lengthy to and fro communication with various forums it appeared that I was unable to get an English version.  That pissed me off no end.

When something is daunting

So there I was, put off by the daunting prospect of having to relearn html, get acquainted with today’s standards, and learning WebMatrix in Spanish.  I spent a while in cerebral deadlock while blogging away happily.

Saved by the acquaintance!

no such thing as a free lunchYou can imagine my elation when an acquaintance offered to make my website, for free!  I would reciprocate somehow, one day, I would insist, because there is no such thing as a free website.  We talked at length about the vision I had for the site.  I then drew an exact copy of what I wanted in MS Word, software I know quite well in a low-level DTP sense.  For the first time I could see exactly how I wanted it.  He urged me to reserve the .nl domain and I decided to park the .com at the same time for a redirect.  He suggested a certain template and mentioned a program he was going to set it up with.  A program I did not know of.  I felt a little uncomfortable for two reasons:

  1. Was there any online support for this program?
  2. Would I be dependent on him for changes and updates? (Absolutely out of the question!)

Nevertheless I looked into the template he had suggested and I sent him a Messenger IM with two questions, a form of communication he had insisted on.  Two days later I got a reply.  That evening one of my cats dragged in a big rat which quite frankly I had already begun to smell! 😉

Take the bull by the horns

You can do it!I am as much fiercely independent as I am helpless.  These frames of mind alternate.  My contact had alluded to my inability to learn html and working with frames.  Hhmm, I think that that, together with the fact that he would take weeks to finish my site (his words), made my fierce independence kick in.

I started looking for templates and found a really good one.  No frames, but it would do in terms of layout.  I reluctantly downloaded WebMatrix once more (the fiftieth time, probably) having decided that I would just have to weather the Spanish storm.  Follow tutorials in English and find the corresponding functions in Spanish.  Time-consuming, but not insurmountable.

Commitment is not a four-letter word

Then a whole string of things happened which caused me to now have a completed home page with the linked pages not far off from completion.

  1. WebMatrix installed in English (don’t ask me why).
  2. I was able to concentrate on the job for ten hours a day, several days in a row;
  3. I bit into difficult issues like a bulldog, not letting go until I found a solution (it’s not easy deciphering someone else’s template in css if you’ve never seen a stylesheet in your life and div and span still seem like hieroglyphics).
  4. I figured out a way to copy a layer of an image and paste it onto an existing background.  I’d never done that before; for some reason a Layer window appeared in my photo editing software while I was fiddling with this issue, making me experiment with it.  A silly little thing, eh, to get so excited about?  Yeah, that’s what you think. 🙂
  5. It lifted my self-esteem to levels where the entire site, including linked pages, seven or so, took more and more shape in my mind.  I even felt a little euphoric.

Boldness has genius, power and magic in it

I really needed to feel bold to tackle the building of my business website.  Instead, for weeks in a row I had felt like a wimp, resulting in an aborted website-building mission causing me to want to abdicate my responsibility.  What did help me in the end was needing to show an exact replica of how I envisaged my website.

All of a sudden the somewhat vague & complicated issue became crystal clear.  I think it also peeved me that he thought I could not learn html (I used it ten years ago to build a simple website), plus I was alarmed by the time it would take him to finish my site as well as the difficulty to communicate with him.

Summing it up

  1. Clarity (visual of my website);
  2. Defiance (what, you think I can’t learn that??!!), and
  3. Independence (you will take how long?!)

spurted me into my very own action!

In his beautiful quote of Goethe, the mountaineer W.H. Murray pointed out to me some 25 years ago that you have to be committed for the ball to really start rolling.  My commitment to make the website finally took concrete form after I designed an image of how I wanted it.  The other two ‘helpers’ were merely emotional motivators.

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back…”

“All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.”


Psycho-Cybernetics book

This is such fun to read!

To have a clear picture of your objective – ideally on paper – is therefore also a great way to stop procrastinating!  When I created the image of the website for my acquaintance I never wondered how this was going to be made (because it wouldn’t be me).

Typical psycho-cybernetics: don’t worry about the ways and means to achieve it, just focus on the goal and believe in its feasibility.  I always loved that stuff.

Thanks to:

  1. WordPress for this wonderful outlet
  2. Microsoft for the (free) web development application (WebMatrix)
  3. ELATED for a free template
  4. The acquaintance for his generous offer
  5. Richard B. for sharing a copy of Commitment loooong before it was on the net
  6. Me, myself, I for being so damn stubborn… at times.

Procrastination – an aspiring author’s biggest enemy?

Raspberry tartLast year around this time, after enjoying a coffee with raspberry-custard tart with my friend Ceri, she asked why I was not continuing with my book.  “What are you doing instead?” she wondered.  The cardinal question.

I wash the dishes.  I walk the dog.  I weed the veggie patch.  I cut away branches along the forest path that annoy me.  I bake scones.  I bake bread.  I cook a lot (hence washing the dishes is oh so essential).  I watch youtube.  I hyperfocus on youtube.  I brush the dog.  I brush the cats.

I did not tell her ALL those things, even though they all kept me away from completing my book, which I desperately wanted to.  Instead, I was stuck in a rut.  Never, ever will I forget (even more so, after what happened to Ceri) what the author Lee Johnson said about a rut in How to escape your comfort zones.

~ The only difference between a rut and a grave
is the depth of the excavation. ~

Ceri, a lovely, understanding woman and soon-to-be-published author of a children’s book exclaimed sympathetically “Oooooh we all do it!  All artists do it.  It’s called skiving!”

Skiving.  A beautiful British word.

She told me what she did to postpone the publication of her book, which out of respect to her I will not repeat here.  She empathised with me, and therefore, sternly, but laughingly, said “Just get on with it!”

“That’s easier said than done,” I protested.

SheBach flower remedy got up, took a piece of paper and wrote ‘Just get on with it!!’ in big letters.  The next day, I outlined her words with a fat marker and stuck it up high above a door where I passed frequently.  That day I looked at her words a few times and thought ‘yeah yeah.’  The day after, I spent hours on the net researching how I could break through my brain fog, just one of many perimenopausal afflictions.  I ordered fish oil capsules, multi-vitamins, and Bach Flower remedies for subliminal support.

Kid you not, by mid September I was full steam ahead into my book and kept it up until January 2nd by which time two dedicated proofreaders had also shared comments which I had worked into the book.  Why did I stop?  Something dawned on me that day.  Something that shook me emotionally so badly that I forgot even how to type. 😉

Tregastel Rocks

Trégastel, Bretagne, France

Back to Ceri.  I had seen an impressive proof copy of her book on a beautiful day on the beach of Trégastel in April.  It was stunning.  Her illustrations reminded me of Dr Seuss books (which pleased her immensely).  At last when I saw her at the end of August she had just ordered the printers to print the book and a book launch in two countries was planned for early October, to which I was invited.

Instead, early October an entirely different event took place, to which I was also invited.  Ceri’s cremation.  After years of struggling with her health, Ceri finally gave up.  The doctors had told her that they could keep her alive, but not cure her.  There were complications.  Although the day that I saw her she looked well and sun bronzed after a beach holiday, she was gravely ill, but hid it.

That’s why today this message to all of you from Ceri, who knew so well that we all procrastinate:

Just get on with it

By no means do I intend to be disrespectful to Ceri and her family, but it is important that I show the readers that this is not a concocted story.  I do not want to put the full link here or show her surname.  It’s in French, because I lived in France then and so did she.  Miss you, friend.

death notice

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