The View

Today my publisher called and told me that the book is doing well. This is good. They’re happy, so I’m happy.
I’m watching Toy Story with my son right now, and for the first time ever he is sitting through it – and is happy doing so. He’s happy, so I’m happy.

But until this afternoon, I hadn’t written all that much since I returned from San Francisco. That made me less than happy. Far less than happy.

It wasn’t that I absolutely had to write. I had some stuff ready to go, and was planning a lot more stuff beyond that. That said, planning isn’t writing. There is nothing wrong with planning – unless you are planning to avoid working the plan itself.

And that’s what I was doing.

Luckily, I found a way out – and it’s a way I often use to get out.

I got out by taking a look at the view in front of me. Everything on my desk sigfinifies something, and my looking at the view I was able to connect with not so much “what” to write, but “why I write in the first place.

When I look at the view, here’s what I see (but don’t necessarily look at) every single time:

  • A bobblehead of The Vision: That visual reminds me of my vision statement, which helps me connect with the deeper reasoning of why I do what I do.
  • A Beat Resistance plaque: This is from the limited edition book Do The Work by Steven Pressfield that I got via Seth Godin’s Domino Project. It forces me to acknowledge the Resistance and to push past it – no matter how long it takes and how difficult that may be.
  • A Green Lantern paperweight, costume ring, and HeroClix figure: These visual touchstones help me tap into the will I need to break free of my funk and start making things happen.
  • A custom Green Lantern ring made by my daughter: My daughter made me a GL ring out of paper that I use not only to help me tap into willpower, but to remind me of one the reasons why I do what I do: to show my kids that you can be whatever you want to be and make a living while doing so.
  • A modified “PRIORITIES” Successories framed print: I took the stock photo out of it and placed one of my children in its place. The saying says, “A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove…but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.” That visual keeps me grounded and reminds me that I need to make things happen not just for me, but for my wife and kids.

All of these things are on my desk in plain view. But beyond those things is a mirror that is embedded into the desk itself, which gives me a look at the thing that ties it all together…me.

Everything comes back to me, and all of those visual reminders bring me back to that. I spend some time surveying the view and that helps me get back into the “write” mindset.

Sometimes the view is all you need to see where you want to be – and why you want to be there.