The best laid plans – turning up to do the writing

I sat down earlier this week at mapped out my plan for this post. My mind was clear on what I wanted to cover. In theory, at about 7 o’clock yesterday I should have made it to my desk bright eyed and bushy tailed, raring to go.* Yesterday.

But as it turned out, that didn’t quite work for me. I didn’t make it to my desk at all yesterday. I missed it. All day I was thinking about when I would be able to make it back to my dad’s old office chair and I just didn’t.

I’ve been thinking about why. I wanted to be at my desk. I sort of knew what I was going to be writing about. I just didn’t turn up to get it done.

Is planning for me?

I don’t always take the opportunity to indulge in the luxury of planning. A lot of the time I just sit down, power up the computer and jump straight in. A bit of thought as I go about where I move things around, but no first, second … third drafts.

You may have noticed this. I hope you don’t mind.

I have to admit that I do feel a shade guilty about rushing through. Sometimes.

Other times – for the most part – there’s that rush of adrenalin that comes of writing under pressure. There are days when I just love that.

My plan for this post was all about being tired after a series of deadlines. There was plenty of writing under pressure and this week I was pretty much over it.

Dominos and cards

One of the things I did get done this week was submitting (at last) the assignment for a Cert IV on Project Management I’ve been working on. There’s a (slight) irony that I didn’t manage to complete it on time, I suppose.

Another thing was collecting my form for enrolling in a PhD with its signatures from my proposed supervisors and walking it across to the office that processes the applications. Once I get started I will have to be meticulous with my planning throughout the years it will take me to get to graduation. My life is going to be a delicately wrought schedule.

I am not going to insert an image of a house of cards here.

I am not.

I suspect it is the most appropriate image.

I’ve also had some work done on my house that is going to lead to more work. Seriously. It is how it is: you get one thing fixed and then all the other repairs and improvements on the list-that-never-ends start up a clamouring chorus that will not be ignored.

I had actually been doing well at ignoring the list for quite a while but now I’ve given it a little bit of attention…

I’m not going to insert an image (appropriate though it might be) of a line of dominos.

No, I am not.

Not a line of tiles lined up and waiting to be tipped into a cascade of falling pieces.

Dominos in step sequence from double six to double blank
Step by step

As dominos requires that the double six – the dog tile – begins the game, I guess it is the first in a series of steps.


My notes for this post include plenty of points about drained batteries and emptiness.

I was – I have to admit – exhausted by the end of the week. My flutter-by mind just wanted to find some verdant spot and sit in the sun.

There were moments during the week when I did manage to have a bit of that.

Admittedly, on Tuesday that ‘verdant spot’ was the built environment of Perth Cultural Centre. I took a few minutes to just sit and observe the world passing. I listened to a man playing the marimba at the soundgarden outside the museum. Such complex and beautiful melodies.

When he left, a child took over. The sounds simplified, melody was no longer the thing. I had to head for home but I could have listened for hours.

Stools and a pigeon at the PCC
A favourite spot for world watching

Turning up

The good thing about this week is what it has shown me about myself, where I’m at with books and words and work.

My life is about deadlines. It is how I’m programmed. I’m hard-wired for them – even if that wiring sometimes seems to short out.

I need to turn up in order to get them done. Sometimes I need to walk away to be able to get them done. Taking a break from the desk is ok so long as I go back to the desk. (Caveat: sometimes the desk doesn’t need to be the desk…)

Submitting my project for the Cert IV, taking the walk from Arts to the Graduate Research School, starting the huge project that is ‘the house’ each brought the idea of balance to mind.

Looking down the barrel of a project as big as a PhD means I need to be tracking how I’m going with the deadlines in my life. I’ve been thinking about that – especially how to keep the reading and writing that will be a part of it in balance – has been part of my musing for a while now.

The thing to remember is how much I like it once the words are flowing.

Planning is all well and good but the best thing is the doing. Settling in to get the words down (and then playing, cutting, reshaping) is the best bit.

Turning up is the thing.


*I must find out what animal is the source of that phrase. At some point. Later.

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