i paint i write

Live boldly, laugh and make art

It is time to organize my vitamins and delay finishing – again

Sorting the vitamins instead of finishing my book

Today is Monday, the start of a new week.  Today is the day I was going to finish my book. I have been waiting for this day for months. I said, “As soon as I hand in the paperwork to the local school district, I will finish editing and illustrating my book.” I handed in the paperwork at the end of last week.

Big plans. Big Dreams.

So what did I do this morning after breakfast? I organized my vitamins.

Whenever I get close to finishing, something else comes up that is more important. And sorting vitamins is very important. How can I survive without making sure I am taking the right vitamins?

Then I have to scrub the kitchen floor. Because a clean kitchen floor is also very important.

I really didn’t know why I was stalling until I read my friend Chris Morris’s story, The Myth Of Procrastination, this morning. I took a break from sorting my vitamins to read facebook and  see what my friends had written.

I am procrastinating because I am afraid.

I am afraid to fail. 

There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

The vitamins do not need to be sorted. The kitchen floor can be scrubbed later. I am going to work on my book. One day someone will ask me what I did with my life. I don’t want to say, “I sorted my vitamins and placed them in alphabetical order. Never did finish that book I started, but you would have liked it.”

Shadow dreams. Succeeding in my mind and never risking failure. Who knows, someone might even like my book.

I will try.

 It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.
Theodore Roosevelt


About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • I so needed to read this! Maybe the fact that a few days have passed since it flipped into my inbox is a sign of my deep problem with procrastination? Mmm..don’t answer that. Fear of failure is one issue I struggle with. Also, having limited energy and mental concentration/focus due to chronic health problems has a serious impact of what I can do and when. Yet I am guilty of wasting time on social media, sorting out my huge pile of pills/vitamins, reading books/blog posts and losing track of time etc. This post is the reminder I need to make writing (and completing the TW course) a priority. I do blog regularly but have signally failed to write much else in the last few months. Thanks, Pamela. I owe you 🙂 xx

    • Dear Joy,
      How are you today? Did you write? I hope your day is filled with discipline and your words find their way out of your brain and on to the paper. I tend to spend too much time on social media as well.
      I am glad my admission was helpful to you. Thank you Joy.
      All the best,

      • Yes, a little, Pamela, (nearly lunch time here) as I have just written a Five Minute Friday post. Hope to do more later if energy and inspiration allow! The only social media interaction I have had so far is the linking up and promoting the post. A good start to the day. Hope yours is productive too. I really appreciate the kind thoughts. Blessings 🙂 xx

  • Lorna_Faith

    Thanks Pamela…just what I needed today:-) I’m not finishing …I’m starting. I think my biggest fear is fear of success…which still immobilizes me too often;( Moving forward…I’ll remember what you said “who knows someone might even like my book!” Thanks!

    • Lorna,
      I would love to read your book. Keep going forward; we can’t go backwards.

  • nancy bouwens

    There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
    ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

    Pam- this quote says it all… so often I fear failure.. so I do not do… so in not doing – there is still failure. Thanks for the reminder to keep dreaming !!

    • Hello Nancy,
      Did you feel a little braver today? Did you dream a little? I would love to know what you are working on.

  • Janelle

    Great advice. It’s not vitamins for me, but there’s always something calling me away.

    • Hello Janelle. I am so curious to know what calls you away. Is it an animal? Your son’s donkey? Your garden?
      What do you do to keep yourself from listening?

      • Janelle

        Sometimes it’s mom things or meal making or chores, but those are kind of legitimate. The things that are like your vitamins are more distractions – you know, checking email or fb. This morning I spent an hour organizing the photos on my desktop 🙂

  • kathunsworth

    Pamela thank you, we are all guilty of this one, thank you for making me realise Im not the only one who does this. I now only allow writing time first thing in the morning, no internet connections until I finish writing something, its working for now.

    • You are very welcome. Oh, good idea Kath, to write first. I want to get a program where it blocks the internet until I have written. At least now I turn off my phone, so it doesn’t tell me when I get a message.

  • After the Masters

    I love your writing style! And I love to hear that someone else in the world needs their darkest nooks and corners put in order before tackling “the big one.” Thank you for posting this. You gave me a big smile.

    • Thank you! How fun that we are similar in our approach to “the big one.” What do you like to get in order first?

  • I can find so many IMPORTANT things to do when I am supposed to be working on my book. But my book makes me look at things that are hard. So I find I easily look for important things to do. It was not a good writing day as far as my book but some days I have healing to do, and some days I write. Today was a healing day.

    My fear isn’t failure. It’s success. Maybe because I think something will happen if I succeed. Something not so good.

    Liked your post Pamela.

    • Thank you Anne. I pray tomorrow will be a day of healing. Healing while you write.
      May God Bless your words and bring you success that is good. And may the only bad thing that happens be rain on your flowers. Which is actually a good thing.

      • Love that Pamela. Rain on my flowers. Really nice.

  • Pat Meyers

    Do it afraid!!! I can’t wait to see your book!

  • Christa Sterken

    This made me laugh so that my stomach hurt. Oh, I can relate

    • I am glad my pain and struggle brought you laughter. Your comment brought a smile to my face. Now to get to work on my book.

  • A gal after my own heart. My, my,my can’t we find dozens of things to do instead of completing our goal. They become elusive because we allow them to fly away!

    • I just read a book on The Second World War that was very boring. I will work on my book now. Oh dear.

  • First, thanks for the shout out! Also, I love the way you get right to the point. What do I want to tell people about what I’ve done with my life. Ouch!

    • You are very welcome Chris. I am still sorting vitamins, time to get to work.