The Trouble with GoodReads.

A good book

Don’t get me wrong, I think GoodReads is a really good idea but the trouble is that I discovered it quite late and I don’t know how many books I have read in my life but I do know it’s a lot! And the thought of having to write and post a review for every single one of them is overwhelming! I suppose the sensible thing would be to post a review or two a day on a persistent basis and eventually I might get through them.

But, as is often the case with a big job, it is often not the job itself but the thinking about it that is the worst part. As soon as I think about doing it, I just freeze and then apathy kicks in and consequently I have still barely started. When I go into GoodReads and see the pitifully few reviews I’ve posted I then feel guilty and embarrassed. I then start to think, well no-one will read my reviews anyway.

It’s not the physical part of any task that is most difficult, at least not for me. It is the mental resistance; all the thoughts of ‘it’s too much’ and ‘why should I bother?’, these are the thoughts that lead me into getting nothing done. And unproductive thoughts lead ultimately to an unproductive life.

I’m always reminded of the scene from The Empire Strikes Back where Luke Skywalker is trying to get his plane out of the swamp and he says “It’s too big.” Yoda tells him it’s only too big in his mind. Then Yoda says he must do it again. Luke replies “I’ll try.” And Yoda says what is probably my favourite line from any film ever. “No. Do or don’t do. There is no try.”

The moral of the story is that when we undertake a big task we need to be more like Yoda and less like Luke Skywalker. May the force be with you!

Everybody Else Syndrome

I often suffer from what I call ‘everybody else syndrome’.  What this amounts to is thinking that everybody else is writing every day, everybody else has finished their novels, everybody else’s work is selling.  I’m the only one who sucks, I’m the only one who can’t get her lazy behind into gear, etc. etc.

Its the belief that everybody else in the world is doing fabulously and you’re the only person who isn’t.  I think we’ve all felt like that at times but when you  look at it logically its nonsense.  Everybody struggles with problems.  Its an utter fantasy to imagine you’re the only one who suffers.  And you name a problem and I can guarantee you’re not alone in suffering from it.  You only have to surf the net to see that.

When I was at university I often imagined I was the only one struggling with the work but an hour spent chatting to the other students soon cured me of that idea.  The best way, in my opinion, to rid yourself of ‘everybody else syndrome’ is to talk to other people because it helps to give you back your perspective and realise that as John Donne used to say :No man is an island, Entire of itself.”

This post was inspired by L.S.Engler and as a first(!) I’m including a link to her original post.  I hope I do this right!