Today I finished reading the memoir Hole in My Life in anticipation of meeting author Jack Gantos at the BYU Books for Young Readers Symposium in July.
In the book, Gantos writes about his experience getting caught smuggling hashish into the U.S. and spending several years in a federal prison. It was there he was able to focus on actually becoming the writer he had imagined himself to be.
"My struggle as a writer was a lot like my life, I figured," he wrote. "I made up rules for myself and broke them and made others until I got it right."
Not that I've dabbled in drug smuggling or anything like that, but I related to Gantos' epiphany. I have tried to figure out how best to go after various aspirations and failed more times than I can remember.
Sometimes I write a to do list. Sometimes I keep it in my head. Sometimes I use a planner. Sometimes I use a calendar on the fridge. Sometimes I leave messages to remind myself on voice mail or send myself an email. Sometimes I ask Jack or Roger to remind me. Sometimes it just falls out of my brain.
Sometimes I get up early to get things done. Sometimes I stay up late. Sometimes I do specific things on specific days. Sometimes I do things in small increments. Sometimes I do things all in one day. Sometimes I don't do them at all.
Sometimes I get things done ahead of time. Sometimes I wait until something becomes an emergency. Sometimes I'm very disciplined even when I don't want to do it. Sometimes I wait until the mood strikes.
Sometimes I work in my office. Sometimes I work in the living room. Sometimes I work in bed. Sometimes I am organized and efficient. Sometimes I am scattered and creative.
Sometimes what I'm doing clicks and I actually achieve something I set out to do. Sometimes my ideas turn to dust and blow away. Often I accomplish something I didn't expect at all.