That Little Engine Inside
I’m discovering, over the last year or so, how my personal drive works. I no longer have outside forces–teachers, school institutions–pulling my productivity. I no longer have someone else assigning me various due dates and deadlines.
I’m discovering how strong my ambition is all over again. The personal conclusion that I get average grades came years ago: I work just as hard as the A or B student, but sometimes it amounts to B or C work. That took my parents awhile to realize as well. They were often pushing me to get better than C work because of The American Tradition of the children being more successful and more talented than their parents. Now I’m trying to evaluate how much of that shlump was my poor personal drive and how much of it was the disability.
Sometimes, I have to re-invent those outside forces. Right now, I’m looking for a job because I want the money to buy finishing touches to our apartment. I could probably just buy them with the money I’ve got in my bank accounts, but I’m specifically telling myself that I can’t buy this or that until I’ve got a job.
This is really funny because I remember mom giving me pep talks when I didn’t want to do my homework. She gave a motivation suggestion: tell yourself that you can’t read a book or watch your favorite show until you finish your homework. It never worked for me. This could be different; I don’t have the money to buy this extra stuff until I’ve got a cash flow.
But I’ve got this writing project. It’s stalled right now because all I can concentrate on is getting a job and keeping the house clean and the hubbin fed. But when I do have a job and maybe a more set schedule, I’ll set more realistic goals for myself. The first one I set was to read through and take notes on a particular book full of facts about trees. I finished that in the middle of last year. The second goal I set for myself was to copy and consolidate all of the worldbuilding notes I’ve made to myself down to Word document. I got about three-quarters finished when I stopped for some reason. Maybe I just ran out of drive. Maybe I dumped that project to start packing instead.
I haven’t picked it up again. I wonder if my personal drive has fizzled in the writing department or whether it can only focus on one big task at a time, like finding a job or moving or unpacking. Whatever it is, I remembered the notes project goal I made for myself for the first time since October or so. The least I can do is finish that.