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Fragments and Anvils

Last week, an anvil flew across the country and found its final resting place on top of my head. It happened after I read a blog post by photographer extraordinaire, Kyle Cassidy in which he wrote about his exciting escapades and the amazing people he works with. Kyle closed his post by telling his readers to do what you love and work really hard at it. As I read this, the clouds parted (briefly, this is Portland after all) and the sun came out long enough for me to watch the anvil land squarely on my head. For the past couple of months I have been writing lists and making plans on how to proceed toward my creative goals but I haven’t made any movement. Sure, micro goals have been crossed off the list and squeaky wheels oiled but I haven’t taken any big chunks out of anything. I’ve mostly just swept up the dust off the floor.

As I rubbed the lump from the anvil, I thought about something my parents hammered into our heads while we were growing up: Work hard; doing the bare minimum will get you nowhere. Accomplished writers and artists talk about getting up early and staying up late while they work on their art. I do neither because I have to get up way too early for work, but what I can do is use my free time wisely when I get home instead of complaining about what my life isn’t.  Waiting for everything to be perfect or just so will not help me meet fabulous people, get married to Neil Gaiman and write the next best self-help book since The Secret. Instead, I have decided, it’s time for me to take my friend Jaymi’s advice and dive head-first into the deep-end and write a crappy first draft on many of the projects that are collecting dust.

I’m grateful for the priority express anvil from Philadelphia and the clear skies that followed.

As I close this blog post, I’d like to know what anvils have hit you on the head recently and how you plan on following through. NOW is the time jump.


About Anna Alexander

I get ideas. I write things. I sometimes follow through with those ideas. I also run long distances and live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband cat who lets us pay the mortgage on his house.

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