Day 157 – 2,024 Words/Day Process Log – All or Nothing Thinking

All or nothing thinking intentionally limits my options for achieving my goals. It’s a mindset I have to continually guard against. I can thank my garden for helping me with that. I used to think that I had to grow everything from seed. Now, growing plants from seed is something that I enjoy. I love seeing the process of a tiny seed becoming a monster plant by the end of the summer season.

Also, growing from seed gives you more options than what you can find at the local big box garden center. I’ve grown yellow cucumbers from seed and white eggplant. These are varieties that can only typically be found at a specialty grocery store or farmer’s market at a high markup.

I like the variety and I’ll admit that it was partly the cool factor for me.

But lately, I’ve embraced that not everything needs to be grown from seed. Some seeds are simply too fussy for me right now. (I’m talking about lavender.) Other times I’ve waited too late in the season to start my garden.

For example, members of the nightshade family – tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant – can take 90 days to go from seed to picking a tomato to slice for your hamburger off the grill. That means, you would have had to think about growing that tomato months before actually getting the benefit of the fruit.

So, now I’m mixing things up. I’ll buy some plants such as herbs, and I’ll still start from seed my old faithful crops – cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and corn. For those that I’m buying, I can see if it’s a crop that I want to try to grow next year. For example, I bought an oregano plant. I also started some from seed. If I don’t end up using a lot of oregano, though, it might not be worth buying a plant next year. I’ll be able to tell that better from a plant and I can leave starting oregano from seed as an experiment.

That’s another point – mixing origination methods takes the pressure off. If I absolutely need tomato plants, I can pick one up and get a jumpstart.

It’s something I have to keep in mind when it comes to writing. Starting off, I’m doing everything and I’m enjoying it. In the future, though, I might hand off some of the things I’m doing now manually like covers and keeping my website up to date.

I also don’t have to totally go from day job to full-time fiction writer in one swoop. There are ways to mix those two vocations.

Like, testing different strategies for going to the theatre. On paper it makes sense to stay overnight in Atlanta on Saturday and then see a matinee on Sunday afternoon. In practice, however, it’s not so simple.

I’m thinking of actually staying 2 nights in town. That way, I’ll be able to see 2 shows – a matinee and evening show on both Saturday and Sunday. The downside will be driving back home during rush hour Atlanta traffic Monday morning… or maybe not.

My job has flexible hours. With my supervisor’s permission, I could log in an hour and a half after my normal tour of duty and make the time up 30 minutes at a time through the week, including working later that day. That would work.

That brings me to another point about all or nothing – using all resources when traveling which means, for me, a travel account and also points that I’ve earned from my travel card and staying at the same chain of hotels to build up status.

All or nothing thinking is a trap. And it’s one I’ve fallen into one too many times.

Keep moving forward. Keep getting better.

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About Irette Y Patterson

Irette Y Patterson is a writer of fantasy, science fiction, and romance. She has been published in FIYAH, Strange Horizons, Translunar Travelers Lounge and on the website of The Saturday Evening Post. When not writing, you can find her digging around in her garden or catching the latest musical in the theater.
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