You know that overwhelmed feeling, when crafting a “to do” list might as well be writing The Great American Novel? When starting seems to immediately lead to the edge of a bottomless pit of tasks? When getting nothing done becomes the easier option?
I’ve spent the last few months up to my eyeballs in an ever-rising sea of unwritten blog articles. Would you believe I have eight drafts in progress, mostly done? That’s not counting still formless stories swirling around in my head or the book that’s taking shape during Tuesday morning writing sessions. That I haven’t published for myself in months has absolutely nothing to do with a creative shortage. No–there’s a giant pumping flow of ideas and content. Unfortunately, the problem seems to be a clog in the production pipeline. Imagine a thick, rich milkshake and a skinny, flimsy paper straw: frustrating and unproductive.
I miss my blog writing. Something has to give, so I decided to channel Nike and just do it. I’m unclogging by actually finishing a blog post. Why not a list?
Blogs I Haven’t Written (But Really Wanted To)
Interviewing Gilbert Tuhabonye
I got to marry several things I love when Texas Monthly hired me to interview this beloved local running coach for a paid promotion, the Texas Optimism Project. It’s been years since I’ve run with Gilbert’s Wednesday morning group of Gazelles–“the Friendlies”–but he still greets me when we pass on the trail with that joyous grin. I meant to post a more personal article here along with the interview link: “Running Toward Joy with Gilbert Tuhabonye”
Reading and Writing and Books
I started #52booksin52weeks in January (see “Half a Year of Books By May”) and, considering keeping track of my reading is typically an utter fail, had been doing a pretty good job posting about completed books. That is, until I hit No. 50. See, Trevor Noah’s autobiography, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, was my first audio book and it made a huge impression; this one needed a real review, not a couple of quick sentences on Facebook. Do it up right, Leah! (Review is coming soon, I promise–just waiting to get my hands on the print copy to check a few things.) Since that road trip, I’ve also finished No. 51, 52, and most of 53…
In a related vein, I created a whole set of images (well, they need a bit more tweaking) about the method and madness of piling books on my nightstand. How much time did I spend on Canva pulling together this “quick, easy” visual piece? (Answer: too much, considering no one can read it yet.) To be totally honest, this blog was eaten by the “does anyone really care?” demon, who convinced me no one would.
Palo Duro Canyon, Minus the Running
If there’s any topic that overwhelms me, it’s travel writing. My tendency is to get ‘way down in the weeds. Really, no one needs THAT much detail (or that many photos). An unfinished draft of my trip to Japan still waits and that was in MARCH! Don’t even mention London, Paris, and Copenhagen (hmmm; did I ever write up Barcelona?). Oh–and Napa!
So is anyone truly surprised I got lost in the details about revisiting Palo Duro Canyon this August? Experiencing the canyon as a tourist and not as a trail runner focused on racing, which I’ve done twice before, was kind of mind-blowing. Yeah, I’ll finish it (but should I include all the road trip info about Route 66 and New Mexico? Oh, and our side trip to Carlsbad Cavern. Don’t forget photos!). Maybe. #hyperventilating
Vision Boards Work–Really!
In June, I enjoyed the Freelance Austin meeting. Oh, it’s super awesome to just show up and not worry about the speaker (yes, serving as 2017-2018 Programs Chair was great but I’m glad my term has ended). The topic was using vision boards; I took beautiful notes and collected great material. What with those images and tips, the post practically writes itself. Ahem. If only it would.
Life-Changing Hot Stone Massage
That spa treatment wasn’t at all what I expected. Time at Ojo Caliente’s mineral springs was magical, and the hot stone massage may have changed my life. Between healing the hubby’s scarred and swollen knee (he had complete knee replacement surgery in July and I’ll probably write something about that one of these days) and soothing my sore spirit, taking the waters led to some deep thinking. Writing helps me process, and this is, after all, where I sort through all kinds of woo-woo moments. I’m still thinking.
How Tacos Save the World
Every time I leave my fave taco place, Mi Madre’s, after time with my friend, I write this one in my head. Seeing as Courtenay and I have progressed from monthly sessions to all-the-waitresses-know-our-usual-order frequency, I’ve mentally constructed many, many versions of this feel-good piece. While we solve the world’s problems and talk about writing and work, life is good. Oh, there’s nothing a warm breakfast taco, bottomless coffee, and laughter with a friend can’t solve.
And it’s time to wrap this post up and just do it because the last 15 minutes involved scrolling through Dropbox, Instagram, and Facebook, searching for that perfect taco pic I know I took but can’t seem to find, so maybe I should create an image to use, you know, something quick on Canva, say, because for symmetry’s sake. I mean, all the other sections have images, so maybe I should just file this draft and come back later….
Help a Sister Out, Would Ya?
Leave a comment to let me know if you’d like to read one of these.