Breaking Resistance at Barnes & Noble

So…it’s been a while. Remember me?

It’s the afternoon before Thanksgiving. I’ve been off of work since about 1:45 on Friday afternoon, and I’ve accomplished very few of the things that I’d intended to get done this week. I HAVE gotten some personal banking work done, some bills paid, laundry done. I’ve gotten some house-cleaning done, a little reading, and time on Facebook (I won’t say how much). I’ve even gotten a little extra sleep for the last couple of days, and been to the gym a couple of times. But I haven’t yet been back up to the school to work on filing and stuff that I need to get caught up on. And, until this moment, I haven’t worked on my blog.

It took a lot for me to start this blog in the first place. It would never have happened if a friend hadn’t expressed belief that I had a talent for writing. I’ve never been overly confident in my abilities, and it (at least in the past) didn’t take much criticism (or even lack of affirmation) to make me give up trying anything. I’ve had to learn to be my own cheerleader. But I’m clumsy, and feel awkward with pom poms. I AM grateful for a few good friends (I’ve learned to value quality over quantity) who know how to affirm me in ways that make me believe them.

I did have a few hurdles to get over. I have perfectionist tendencies. And my work is NEVER perfect, and rarely good enough to share. I’ve reserved at least 3 blogs before this one. I could never decide on a title that I thought was catchy and ME. I wanted a name that would follow a theme. But I wanted to be able to be random in my writings. This stretched over months and years. I finally settled on Disturbing the Cat, because it was a good metaphor that I had mentioned to some friends to describe my life. THEN I had to decide on a look, a picture to describe it, a bio, yada yada yada. Then I decided to do the only thing that I can count on to work for me…I told some people what I was planning to do, and that I was going to start it before the summer break was up. I even told my friend who had given me the belief in my writing abilities in the first place. Now I had to do it, or risk letting people down.

I reserved the title, and solicited some friends for input on the look. This still took way too long, so I decided on a very simple look that could be changed at a later date. I asked for some pictures of cats that would fit my theme. The winner came from my friend Lance (who is also one of my chief goaders). My friend MaryEllen took the profile pic for the bio, and things were starting to come together. I even bought the domain because I hate to waste money. I figured if I spent a little money, I would have to publish.

My first post was reasonably easy because it just explained the metaphor. However, it took me a while because I had to get it perfect first. Then I accepted the fact that that moment would never come. I had my friend Kathy check it for grammar and readability, and I published. And I am thankful for a few who read it and gave positive feedback.

But that was in August…

It is now November (and barely still that)…

When school began again in August, things just got really busy. Much of my job is spent in front of a computer. I worked an hour from home for the first 3 weeks of school, before transferring to a school in my hometown. I never seemed to be caught up, so it was hard to find time for writing. But when I started my blog, I asked a few friends to provide a little goading; to remind me to write. I need that accountability. And some have been very faithful to do so.

Why am I writing now?

1. I told a friend that I planned on writing during my break from school;

2. One of my solicited goaders gave me permission, via a quote from Joseph Campbell, to “…be reckless when writing. Be as crazy as your conscience allows.” (I’m fighting my perfectionist tendencies.);

3. And Donald Miller called me out. (Actually, Don doesn’t know me from Adam. But he said on his FB page earlier this week, “Hack writers write when they’re in the mood. PROFESSIONAL writers write whether they feel like it or not.”) Of course I can’t consider myself a professional writer (yet), but I’d like to be a serious writer, at least.

So…this is my reintroduction. My name is Bruce, and I am a blogger. Expect me to write more often. My entries may often be short, and seem pretty random. But, hey, I’m just trying to establish a new habit.

Now to show that I aim to conquer my perfectionism, I have written this blog in the course of a few minutes at a table in Barnes & Noble. I have not had anyone look at it for errors (and I am quite sure there are several) and I am launching it out into cyberspace.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! I am grateful for all of you!