It’s the Steps, Baby

Photo by Randall Honold on Unsplash

The other evening I was a little annoyed.

I had planned to clean my apartment (including the dishes), answer all my emails, balance my checkbook, finish one of the novels I’m reading, finish writing my current novel, write ten more novels, run a marathon, climb Mount Everest, be the first human on Mars, win the Hugo, Nebula, Pulitzer, and Nobel Peace Prizes, create peace on Earth, and then settle down to a nice two-finger glass of Glenkinchie with one ice cube, preferably round.

Needless to say, I didn’t quite get all of that done.

But before I started belittling myself for being a failure and crying over the items still on my list that laughed at me like I had accidentally gone to school without putting pants on, I looked back at my day and realized that I had indeed gotten a few things done.

They weren’t epic, earth-shattering leaps of progress. But they were progress. And they mattered.

I had cleaned my office, including the ever expanding pile of mail and papers that grows like a mutant, radioactive fungi whenever I turn my back. I had gotten some reading and research done, including some marketing research. I had also worked with the cover designer who will be designing the new cover for Headless using the new artwork I recently commissioned (which will be revealed soon).

So I cracked open a beer, made dinner in time for my wife to get home, and we enjoyed a funny TV show (American Vandal — hilarious, yet totally sucks you in with the mystery. Who painted the dicks?! I have to know!) while we ate.

I had made some baby steps toward my life goals. And that was good. I can’t accomplish all my goals in an afternoon, as much as I sometimes think I can. As the old, beaten-to-death yet completely true adage says, it takes one step at a time.

I am getting there. And you will too.

Are you like me? Thinking you can conquer the world in an afternoon and still have time to spare? Then are inevitably disappointed?

Or are you already a step by step, tortoise-wins-the-race kind of person? If so, share your tips!

6 responses to “It’s the Steps, Baby”

  1. First, let me say thank you for this post. It made me smile right of the bat. I know this feeling well, waking up with it every morning, rip roaring and ready to conquer my day and the world. I can fully relate. Needless to say, by the time the clock hits 10:00 pm I accept my defeat, curl up with a drink and a television program and try to rally my ambitions for the next day. Little by little I am getting to where I want to be. Thanks again for the great post and the smile. You’ll get there too.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for this post! I had a similar day yesterday. I had planned to tackle all the things. Instead I spent a couple of hours in fruitless searches online.
    But then I realized: I did get some stuff done! I did my taxes!
    So there’s that. Sometimes I feel like we get stuff done, but not necessarily what we planned to do. Maybe the stack of mail and papers that “grows like a mutant…” (love that line, btw) was more important.
    Great post, thanks again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Glad you liked it. Ack, taxes! Yes, those necessary evils (like taxes and dishes) seem to always get in the way of creating, but they are important. So feel good about that! I often get stuck googling things as well, and suddenly my writing time is gone. Sometimes it’s important research, other times not so much. I am still trying to find the balance of getting my writing in yet leaving time for those “other” responsibilities. I’ll post when I figure it out! 🙂


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