I like my little office. Today it is a welcome respit. The fan is on, it is cool and dark in here. I am looking for work, and wishing for return emails. It is independance Day. I should be taking time off. I ran my first competitive 5k this morning. I did so without my earphones and my interuptive runner’s app. A little voice on the app tells me my time, distance, pace, etc..I was ready to bring my iPhone. My wife recomended I didn’t. This got me a little anxious. That is how I train. I have a setlist, a playlist. The first song is Beastie Boys, the second is Coco Montoya, the third is Pearl Jam, the fourth is Bruuuuuce, the fifith is the Ramones……
I had to say that I am glad I didn’t bring them with me. They were not essential. In fact they may have been dangerous distractions. There were about four thousand peopele registered for this race. I started in the 10 minute mile pack, which was pretty packed. The footfalls and chatter were safe for me. I knew where people were. The jockeying and interaction kept me alert I had to stay present. That is honest. I guy like me can have trouble staying present and choose to escape the moment. I could either project to where I would like to be, or dwell on where I had just been. When I am staying present, I can enjoy where I am. I be. When I run, enjoying where I am changes. I try to make that change at about 6 minutes per kilometer, but it is usually just a bit slower, for now.
The drummer at the second turn, Quinn Shaw, was awesome. Way to stay present, brother. I was especially appreciative on the last leg as I passed him the second time. I called out to him to see what his name was. He yelled, “Quinn.” That’s honest. It was a highlight.
I also need to stay present in my writing. You’ll notice I have rotated superheroes as my Gravatar. First it was Thanos (evil Titan most noted for obtaining the Infinity Gauntlet and distinguishing half the life in the universe with a snap of his finger-FYI, that is the monster after the credits in the Avengers.) It has also been The Green Lantern and Batman. So be it. For some projects it means staying current and beating other authors to the topic. If I can’t beat them to the topic and turn in a story first, it has to be a more engaging piece, or I am out a headline.I need to stay present when I write because I can stop typing and start judging. I will judge what I have already written. I will count the words and start editing before the drafting is through. I have really put a dent in my flow before. This type of distraction is dishonest. It does not allow me to be the author I am and delays the arrival of the author I wish to become. It is also dishonest for me to judge it at all. A Distinguished Toastmaster once told me (and yes, it was such an effective speech that I believe he was addressing me personally,) thast if I am speaking from the heart, there is no need for me to judge it. Be honest and you’ll never have to memorize your speech.
Honestly I have a hard time thinking of what I want to write, in total, before I sit down. I prefer to sit with an idea and exercise it, or excorsize it, until it becomes its own story. If I am honest and speak from the heart it will show. I don’t need to stop, at this point in the process and start judging. I also don’t need to project in my writing. I feel the dishonest need to lose patience and sum it all up in one fell swoop. It is dishonest because I have lied to me and to my reader by evading the truth. It also is dishonest because it supposes some grandeur I have not earned. Having something you have not earned is not honest. I have a book in the works which is full of dishonesty. I have not worked on it enough. I lie to myself and say that it is good enough, and that I should edit what I have instead of going forth and continuing to develop the character through experience. I lie when I allow that character to evade issues and conversations which may bring me anxiety. How dare I permit my anxieties to amputate my characters story, or my character himself-metaphorically my character is amputated in the process?
If I stay as current, and more importantly present, as possible, things will work out. They might not work out perfectly, thank goodness. They may work out very poorly, which is an opportunity. They will work out regardless. I couldn’t have gotten to the finish line any faster than I did today. That’s how I ran it. I can make some changes and adjustments for the next race. That one will turn out the same way, the way it is supposed to if I stay present, not search for the finish line. I know where the finish line is, it’s near the sponsor tent, approximately 3.1 miles down a path from where I started. Independence is presence.