To Do or Not To Do?

Sometimes I make the mistake of putting writing on my To-Do list.

Let me enter here and just say that I’m an organization nut, so my to-do list is actually a spreadsheet, color-coded with groups and deadlines and a column just to tell me that I’m late on stuff.  It is a thing to be feared.

I started doing this just as a method to make sure that I make time for writing – sometimes busy schedules can take away from the things we love the most if we don’t keep them under control.  But what’s really ended up happening is that I have started to think about this book as a task to be checked off.

Inspiration, zap.

Apparently, there is no faster way for me to lose my excitement about writing than to stick it on a chart between working out and doing the laundry.  Huh.

And really, writing is a totally different thing.  I don’t like doing laundry, but I do like clean clothes in my closet.  I hate working out, but I really love feeling fit and being thin (well, thin-ish.  The mid-section is the bane of my existence… just sayin’).

Many of the things I do during the course of the day are not done because I enjoy the actual task, but because I appreciate the benefit I get from having completed that task.

But writing is different.  I love writing.  Even when it’s not going particularly well, I love putting words on the page, spending time with them and, every now and then, getting to see them really come to life.  And it doesn’t fit the mold of the other tasks, either.  So far, there really is no concrete benefit from my writing.  I don’t make money at it.  I’m not published.

I love it for the sake of itself.  I started the blog as a way to share my words and hopefully get other people interested in them, too.  But for years I’ve done this only for myself and loved it just as much.

But somehow, by putting writing on this list and letting it hobnob and hang out with the not-so-fun tasks that sometimes just have to be done in order to be effectively running my life, it started to take on more of a “have-to” characteristic.  I’ve allowed it to fall in with bad companions, and it has picked up their habits.

It’s coming off the list now.  Writing, whether it’s a story, a blog post, or even just my own thoughts for myself, is truly a gift.  Something that moves me and excites me, and something that not everyone has the privilege of being able to do well.  (This idea has been coming home to me more, recently.)

I get to do this.  I need to remember that and not let myself get bogged down in the list.

Do you ever schedule something for yourself that you like to do?  Have you ever found that taking the bloom off of it?

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