Do what inspires you

I started working on my second book yesterday. Last week I had been thinking about what the main areas of research are for my current research project on men opting out and I realized, as I jotted down a list of bullet points, that it kind of looked like a possible table of contents.

Well I’ve been mulling this over for a few days now and yesterday morning I just felt super inspired. All of a sudden I just knew what my first sentence was going to be. I could barely wait until I got back from driving my kids to school and I needed to write it down before I forgot it. I threw my jacket on the extra chair in my office and I barely had time to sit down at my desk before I started writing.

After my first sentence I hesitated for a second. I haven’t even published my first book yet; I’m still checking the proofs before it can go to print. I’m also working on a paper and a book chapter, both of which have deadlines within the next week or so. I have other papers that need to be written once I have submitted these and I have a bunch of theses to read through and evaluate… And what do I do? I start working on the one thing that I don’t have to get done any time soon. Writing a book based on my men opting out research is in my research plan, but the project doesn’t end until 2019.

But still, this is what I started working on. Because right then, in that instant, I felt inspired and I knew exactly how I wanted to start my book. I knew what story I wanted to tell. So I sat down and produced the first two pages in about half an hour.

When I think about it, this is what I usually do. Despite looming deadlines and long to do lists, if I feel inspired to do something else work-related (especially if it involves writing, because no matter what, I always have things to write), I just put everything else on hold and do that (unless of course it’s a matter of life and death or a student graduating or something because then I will put my inspiration on hold and just get on with it). Because doing what inspires me and really having flow feels so great and gives me so much energy that the inspiration and energy I get from that spills over on to everything else I have to do.

And needless to say, yesterday was one of the most productive days I have had in a long time. I was, and continue to be, so excited about this new book that everything I did yesterday, I did with focus and drive. And it all felt more fun, more meaningful and just easier.

Note to self: when in doubt, do whatever inspires you the most.

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