So the new book is done and delivered. I’m now going back and forth with the publishing house, and once we agree on the title, I’ll shout it from all four corners of this little acre of cyberspace.
After the book was due, I had two sets of guests. I spent a couple weeks dining in and dining out, laughing it up, arranging and yapping. All that gorgeous guest stuff.
I’m not great at living just anywhere, but I’m great at being a tourist wherever I am. So, we went to the Calgary Stampede, Banff, and Lake Louise like the good tourists we were.
Then the guests left.
I slept and ate weird things for lunch. A myriad of leftovers from the fridge. One can dine well on cold rice, half a peach, hard boiled egg, dribble of juice, brie, crackers, and grapes.
Then the scary thing happened.
I had nothing to do. For months I’ve been obsessed with finishing this book. I was racing to finish, largely because I knew it would ALMOST be complete AROUND when the guests arrived. And when they arrived I’d get no traction on the page.
Each day I would calculate “10 pages a day, 5 days this week, 50 pages…. done June 28” and if I didn’t get 10 pages done each day I’d recalculate, “8 pages a day, 5 days a week, 48 pages… done June 29” and on and on it went until I submitted that manuscript. The contract was still being vetted by the due date so that bought me a week. The mercy of projects sitting on other people’s desks.
The scary thing about having nothing to do…
The mind is blank, like when you realize you are truly 100% lost in the woods, have lost all sense of direction and believe that the best course of action is to curl up and stay quiet.
But, the mind isn’t so interested in having nothing to do, so it forms plans. After a few days of curling up and staying quiet, the list of unfinished business began to pour forth. I have basically abandoned listing my archive of Paris Letters, Travel Letters, and Painted Letters on my shop since… well I’ve been meaning to do it but never got to it. So, listing the archive was a top priority on my list of unfinished business.
It took me a week, but now every letter is up there… except for a few that I just never liked. Go ahead, check it out… five years of Paris Letters in glorious technicolor. I also added some fun digital downloads for all your Paris-inspired scrapbooking needs. I’m a giver.
This was a very big project that haunted me since last September when I started to solidify my new book.
And this morning, the day after the Paris Letters archive is done, the magic of completing unfinished business transpired.
I wrote the full outline of a course I’ve been desperate to create but didn’t know where to start. It was as if “List the Paris Letters archive” was blocking the creativity of the course. Now that the one was done, the other flowed out like, well, like magic.
So if you want to get something done and don’t know how to do it, you may have to turn away from it completely and review your list of unfinished business instead to look for blockers. This may seem counter intuitive but it’s a nice tool in the arsenal titled “Stuck And What To Do About It.”
You might start with writing a list of unfinished business. So often, we don’t write it down and the task just hovers around our head like a black fly. Writing it down is like swatting that fly out of the air and onto the page. Then, when a pocket of space is carved out, you won’t have to wonder what that thing was you wanted to get done. It will be right there, splat on the page. You can devote to done much faster. Then presto… the real work becomes clear.
Now, to get to the rest of my list, which is light in comparison. Big on the list is buying the Rick Steve’s Travel Backpack:
This bag is super light and deceivingly large. Check this out:
This may seem like a small item on my list of unfinished business, but it’s been on my list for months and I’ll need that bag in a few weeks. Yikes!