Inquiry is the quintessence of stuck

I don’t want to do the thing!

Today I really, really, really don’t want to do the things I’m supposed to do. I have a Very Responsible Task in front of me, completely with a looming deadline, and my brain has gone into angry-toddler mode, totally refusing to do it or think about it or anything.

I’m in emergency stuck-mode. With all the impatience and anxiety at my back.


I don’t want to do the thing!

But not just that:

I also don’t want to eat the lunch I planned, be at work, sit in this chair, or anything else on the Responsible Work continuum.

Things that would be fun to do instead:

  • Go on a sushi expedition
  • Go on a cookie expedition!
  • Watch that episode of Glee I haven’t seen yet

All my coping mechanisms sound like: tune out the world. Cookies and sushi and tv are all way more exciting than writing this boring letter I have to write today. The letter which should take an hour. And which has so far taken a day and a half. (Ugh.)

In this next hour I am going to practice being okay with this stuck and try to move through it anyway, since there is that nag of a deadline. Havi’s post on the basics of destuckification is so apropos today…

  1. Meet myself where I am. It’s okay to feel stuck about this. It’s very legitimate and very normal and very understandable.
  2. Establish boundaries. This stuck doesn’t really define me. At other times I am a totally un-stuck writer, a writer who’s never even HEARD of stuck. Today is just today.
  3. Safety from the hysterical monsters. It’s okay to fear failure, because it won’t actually happen; there are safeguards in place. And it’s okay to have an imperfect understanding of what I’m supposed to do, and it’s okay to write the shitty first draft. The letter will look fine later because I am really good at editing. So whatever comes out on the page is totally okay and it’s safe to screw up.
  4. Safety for myself. I’m going to trust myself — on a total blind flying leap of faith — that this letter will happen and that I will not put my job and my reputation at risk. I’m taking the time to write this entry so I can remind myself of my safety and of the fact that I have gotten through this kind of stuck before.

There. I’m already feeling a little bit better. I’m also going to bring some play and silliness into this letter to help move around the mental furniture. I’m going to write some outrageous lies and some ridiculous hyperbole and some gobbledygook placeholder sentences like Brag brag brag project brag! and Inquiry is the quintessence of a quantitative qualifier.

And then I’m going to get to the end of the letter, and giggle, and rewrite it into something a little more coherent and normal, and then I will be done. And with legitimacy and safety and pure absurdist play, it will happen by noon. That gives me the next 40 minutes to finish it, and it will happen!

I promise you. I mean, me.


About jesse k.

Writer. Mama. Spy in the house of self-awareness. Occasional crafter, letterpress geek, and academic snob.
This entry was posted in Blah Into A-ha, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Inquiry is the quintessence of stuck

  1. Pingback: Friday check in: Inadequate tea edition | my seed house

  2. Pingback: Saying hi to the secret thought | my seed house

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s