Did Meditation Just Backfire On Me?

It’s 8:22 pm on Monday, and the post that was scheduled to go live today is garbage. I’ve spent more time than I care to admit writing, editing and organizing, only to delete draft after draft.

The only logical solution is to ditch the whole thing and not publish anything.

But today is Monday, and on Mondays (and Thursdays) I must publish a new post.

You see, I have two “musts” that am fiercely protective of:

  1. I must write every day. Because daily writing, over time, becomes a habit and produces better writing.  The writing doesn’t have to be blog-worthy. Sometimes it’s horrible. I just have to write.
  2. I must publish a post every Monday & Thursday. It doesn’t matter if I am in Ketchikan Alaska, have no childcare or, as today would have it, am feeling uninspired.

Why? Because I believe there is a big difference between saying you “should” do something and you “must” do something. The former, in self talk speak, gives you an out, where the latter, while scarier sounding, is a commitment to doing the work. Because I struggle so much with motivation, this commitment to consistency is the best way I know how to produce good work.

Should vs must

Let me take a step back and tell you about my day.

I attempted to write a behind the scenes look at Hackerella. It was inspired by comments I frequently hear from family, friends and readers who express interest in making changes in their lives, but lack the time, energy or know how to do it. I proceeded to describe the process of starting something new in the face of uncertainty; how I kept the idea of this blog in the back of my head for more than a year, fearing that I wouldn’t be able to pull it off. I hoped that my story and struggles would offer a sliver of inspiration.

But some stories fall flat, and I know better than to force something that is not there. So I scrapped the whole thing.

Here’s the ironic part.

They say that meditation gives you an edge. It increases creativity and helps create new ideas, insights and solutions. I, on the other hand, despite having spent the past three weeks in diligent practice watching the noise and chaos that occupy my mind, muddled my way through the day, failing to put coherent thoughts together. And when faced with a blank page and a desperate need for a fresh idea, my mind came up with one giant basket of nothing.

How very interesting indeed.

I can’t help but wonder if the two are related. My hunch is no, but I still want to understand:

  1. Was this lapse in creativity a fluke?
  2. Did I simply fail to recognize from the get go that the initial idea was a poor one?
  3. Did I try to cram too many ideas and points into one post?
  4. Is my twice weekly posting schedule (on top of guest posts, promotion, maintenance and life in general) too aggressive to maintain?
  5. How on earth was I able to spend the day (according to my Rescue Time Productivity Dashboard), at an unprecedented 91% productivity level?

Whatever the case, something broke along the way. I recognized it (albeit many hours later), accepted it and fixed it.

And now, I am going to bed.

Oh wait, I have to meditate first.

Maya Angelou Quote

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