Seems like I’m always racing against time--rushing to and past most deadlines. I have no problem with deadlines set by magazine editors. Those are a cinch, and that's business. What about those other deadlines, the ones I set for myself--the ones that actually mean something to me? Those are the ones I miss because of my Opposition: the person that seems to oppose my success, the person I’m in competition with … the person that holds the key to my dreams. That would be ME. I’m the opposition.I can focus like nobody’s business, but too many times, I don’t. I get side-tracked by a paragraph in a how-to book or a chapter in a popular novel, or a great talk show on TV showing me how to spot a liar or a con man. I tell myself it’s research and kill an hour watching, then another and then another.
I have heated disagreements with myself. They usually go like this:Me: I need to attack chapter 14 today. I can edit, add some sensory detail and move on into chapter 15.
Opposition: There was a great article on sensory detail in The Writer last month. You need to read it. You’re extremely weak when it comes to using the senses.Me: You’re right. Let’s see … where is that magazine? There it is.
Opposition: What a great short story contest. The theme is fun. You could revamp your short story on dancing turtles to fit this theme perfectly. You should give it a try.
Me: You're right. That would be fun. Now where is that short story ...?And so it goes. The opposition brings me in contact with things that distract me from my real dreams and goals. Or fills me with discouragement.
Opposition: Sally Jo sold her novel about the woman who was murdered by her great grandson’s daughter. You have a book just like that. You probably could have sold it--if you’d taken the time to finish it. You really don’t have what it takes to finish a novel; you need to try beading. Of course, you probably wouldn’t be too good at that either. You don’t know half as much as you think you do… what makes you think you have talent, anyway?And so it goes with my old pal, Opposition. I just can’t shake her. Share some opposition in your own life--is it procrastination, jealousy, insecurity and doubt? Are you your own worst enemy? Be careful what you tell me. If you have no opposition in your life, then MY old pal will use YOU to get to ME. That’s a promise!