I’m feeling self-indulgent today. I very very rarely post about things that aren’t linked to literature in some way… But today I am. So please excuse my indulgence, I hope you get something out of this post despite its lack of literary references and insightful links.

I’ve been really feeling the pressure lately. I’ve committed myself to all these things that make me happy – but committment requires a follow-up.

I’ve committed myself to being a writer and poet. I’ve been published multiple times in the last few months, and made my way through to the Australian Poetry Slam finals for Victoria. It’s all quite overwhelming, and it feels like the universe has just clicked into place for me… Lucky me, it’s all working!
…The only thing about that is that the pressure to follow up with something better is building.  I’ve been approached about writing for other publications, people are asking me what’s next. I’m excited about where it goes but I’ve been unable to write lately, because I want everything to be good, to be the next piece I make into something I’m proud of and try to get out there, especially now that I’ve got my name out, I want to impress people. And so my pen’s run dry. I’m scared of stuffing it up – how do I keep being good, how do I get better?

I’ve also committed myself to losing weight and being healthy. In just over 4 weeks I’ve lost 4.5kg, and I’m starting to see it. And I’m feeling good about it, healthy food choices are starting to come naturally to me. This is all great, but I’m feeling pressure here too. My weight loss is starting to slow down after the first “easy” (not really easy) kilos have come off, I need to work harder. My goal weight seems so far away, sometimes it’s overwhelming. I have about 15kg to go before I’m anywhere near a “healthy weight”.

I’m currently going through my fifth or sixth bout of tonsilitis for the season, taking steroids this time because antibiotics just won’t do anything any more. I’m all sniffly, and the weather outside is looking like it wants to get me down… But despite all this, I feel pretty good about myself today.

Why? Because in the last few days, I feel like I’ve discovered the key. The big novelty-sized cliche key. The key to overcoming all this building pressure and dread at making things happen long-term.

“Step by step.” That’s all it is. I have no great story ideas in my head because I’m freaking out. But if I make myself sit down and write each day, eventually something comes – I’d forgotten that this was how I work anyway. I’d been spooked and lost touch with the way my brain works. If I sit down and work, eventually something comes.

And on the other hand – “bite by bite”. We had friends over the other night for a creativity love-fest, and there was cider and pizza involved. (For those cider-drinkers out there keen on losing weight – MERCURY DRY! 50cals a bottle. Other ciders are over 100cals. It’s a revelation). I could beat myself up over eating pizza with the boys. But instead I’ve stuck with the idea that it all happens incrementally. I ate pizza, fine. I don’t have to follow it up with an unhealthy meal or drink. I tackle the next bite sensibly.

I guess both these ideas (step by step and bite by bite) are just about making what happens MY responsibility. It’s not that the universe has smiled kindly down upon me – it’s that I worked mighty hard and good things happened. To continue the good things happening, continue working mighty hard. Simple, no? But that’s my realization.

Apologies again for such a diary-entry type post. I’m feeling really good today, and I thought that was worth sharing. I hope you get something from this post.