What you are reading now took me over four hours to write. Not the article itself, mind you — but just getting to write it at all.
It all began at around eight in the morning, when I had the idea to write an article — not the article that you are reading now, but an entirely different one that may never be written because I have since scrapped the idea, thinking it too silly. I may not even remember what the idea for the article was by the time the day is over.
I nearly began writing it, and then something minor distracted me. Suddenly, it was half an hour later and I hadn’t started, and I suddenly realized that there were other things that needed to be done. As I did these other things, I thought back on my article and got anxious that it was getting later and later, and that I had still not yet written it.
I reflected on the subject that I had considered such a good idea this morning, and decided that I wasn’t going to go with it anymore. As more things came in that needed doing, I tended to those and kept circling around the article in my mind, getting more anxious. I now did not even have a subject, but I knew that I wanted to write because I felt badly for not posting yesterday — after such a lovely weekend, when I came up with at least five good article ideas that I conceived and entirely forgot within an hour of thinking of them. Clearly, my smart phone is not being used wisely.
By the time noon rolled around, it occurred to me that even writing about the subject of this anxiety might help me overcome it — because I know well in my mind that once I start writing, the words flow and the sentences pile one upon another, making for a beautiful waterfall of text that cascades down the page.
The funny thing is that the idea that I had for the article will come back to me in the future — I know that it will, and it will somehow have improved. It will somehow make more sense, almost like putting a confusing poem on the wall, walking away from it, and then coming to realize its meaning after sitting down and enjoying a bowl of overnight oats. At that point in time I will just have to remember to make a note of the idea — if not on my smartphone then perhaps a scrap of paper!