When Too Much Planning Is Just Too Much

“This time, it’ll be it. Just one more. I just need enough of these to know I’ll have enough to write down all my ideas.”

This was the thought going through my head as I approached the register at Staples, holding on tightly to two writing tablets. Debating whether to return then and find a way to convince myself that I didn’t need another pad. It was just a waste of money.

These weren’t regular writing tabs… with lined-paper back-to-back. These were the project planning type of tablets. You know, the ones with the tasks column and project bar on top.

The kinds you get when you have tons of real projects to get done.

I didn’t turn back. But instead paid, tucked my pads in my bag and walked out of the store, convinced that these would do the trick. These would open up the floodgates of ideas I knew I had stored away somewhere. These two notepads would join my other three (that I got in recent months) to take part in the ideas-frenzy I was sure to come.

Five notebooks that will be scribbled to the seams with ideas… because that’s the plan.

Never mind that I’ve only filled up 1 page thus far.

I’m afraid. And it’s easy for me to pinpoint what I’m scared of – the bullshit ideas. The ideas I’ll start writing and never get to do anything with, but yet the reminder that I actually thought of it forever sketched with a blue pen in the notebook.

Instead, I imagined my notebook to be like Galileo or Picasso’s… with ideas that will sometime in the future change the world. People can look back and say – “Wow, she knew about a car before there even was a car.”

Problem is that my ideas as more grounded, basic and not quite technologically advanced. I’m thinking more along the lines of how I could save the small businesses in my #NYC neighborhood. Or what is the solution to getting more Latino writers published.

I’ll start writing real things in it eventually. I know. Maybe once I got one or two bullshit ideas – like the great, Dominican-American-right-after-Junot-Diaz novel – that I can actually tackle, it’ll take away the pressure of trying to build the next coffee maker app, rocket shoes or lung-chip that lets you breathe underwater.

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