Thoughts from the Kitchen (#5 – Bad Obligations)

Writers are, or at least should be, familiar with deadlines. Even those which might be self-imposed. In general, I consider this a good practice (as I would, seeing as I’m doing it right now), but I have created a situation for myself which is leaving a rather bitter taste, and I’d like to talk about that.

As I’ve discussed before, I chalk up goals for every new quarter of the year. One of my present goals is to “write an installment for the Puppet Kitchen every other week.” However, I should have known this wouldn’t work, because that’s not how I operate.  The purpose of this specific goal was not about writing in specific time frames, but instead to ensure there would be material available in those intervals, through delayed publication.

On the one hand, this is something I should know how to do.  To successfully pre-generate all of those items would suggest an ability to perform forward thinking and put my nose to the grindstone.  While this is my final article for the quarter, I’m writing it half way through July.

The reason this is a bad thing is because I gain immense satisfaction from completing these goals, so in order to gather some momentum and check off a few of them, I first aim for the lowest hanging fruit.  In doing so, I sacrifice quality for speed.  This is my sixth post of the last three months, and if you look at those which immediately precede it, you may notice a lack of…I don’t know, life? Enthusiasm?

They drip with the essence of obligation.  I see those things and I can only read between the lines, to see what I was thinking at the time of their conception, and you know what they say?  “Go! Go! Go!” and “Only one more article after this one!”  Each of them are rushed to death, and devoid of personality.  No pictures, no unique formatting. Yet, I do not feel bad for having done this, because it means my quaint little “completion” bar is going to be sitting at 100% long before this article drops, and I’ll be able to move on to my other goals uninhibited.

But that’s pointless.  That does no good for my readers, nor myself.  I am fulfilling an empty obligation and damning my integrity as a writer in exchange for a little dopamine hit.  So, next quarter, I’m not going to include any goals related to my blog.  If I want to write something, or share something, I will do so.  Not because a marker board with a shiny 50% bar says I should, but because I want to or find it interesting.

To do anything else is a waste of your time, and mine.

(Here. So this post breaks the cycle, I’ll include a gif from my favorite new anime. You’re welcome, I guess.)