I've badly neglected this blog (and my writing) for the past year with the aim of finally finishing my PhD. Alas, I'm still doing my PhD (writing up now) and should be finished by the end of the summer.
Why then am I writing here - well I had an epiphany on St. Patrick's day weekend, in which I decided that I've spent far too much time waiting to write. . . "I'll wait until I've done my degree, then I'll take time off and write" . . . "I'll wait until I've done my masters, then I'll take time off and write". . . "I'll wait until I've done my PhD, then I'll take time off and write". . .
They say insanity is repeating the same action but expecting a different result each time. I've constantly prioritised other things over what I deem important to me. So I decided that enough was enough, I've been pushing out my dream of writing far too long - doing what was expected of me rather than what I wanted. It seems a small thing, but I decided that every morning, before i turned my email on, before I looked at stats or my literature review, I would sit down and write 500 words. Those 500 words or more would be for me. A small step every day toward my dream.
There is a wonderful quote by Robert Rowland Smith, which really struck a cord with me:
"You don't find happiness by trying to be happy. That would be like trying to overcome your hunger by thinking about eating. Just focus on doing what you love, stopping what you hate, and you might find that happiness is the unexpected result."So since that weekend, I've steadily written 500 words or more a day. I shut up my inner editor, writing an utterly crap rough draft, which will be rewritten again and again and I've never been happier with myself. I still work on my PhD but I am doing this small thing for me, toward my dream and it certainly feels wonderful.
So, if money wasn't an issue, and you had no responsibilities - what do YOU want to do ? The remarkable Alan Watts elaborates below!