Southern Scotch

Southern Scotch
After the Fall 2016

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Thousand: My Secret Weapon

In November, 2013 I found a 'secret weapon' that has put some old foes in the ground: doubt, fear, insecurity. I promised to tell you about it someday--and now, seven months later, I'll tell you about the weapon that I call The Thousand.

I've already written many times of my fondness for Moleskine notebooks--for my writing and my personal logs.

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But the one Moleskine containing The Thousand stands in a league of its own. It is compact and it has legs: this single 3.5" x 5.5" Moleskine will last me one full year because of the format I've chosen.

The Thousand, I'd decided, would help to keep me on course and reinforce my goals. Each day I would record one thing accomplished on each of three fronts: A for Accounting or career/business concerns...P for Priest or matters of discipline or spirit, diet or exercise, more purity in writing...E for Entertainer or actions taken to reinforce my online presence as a lively presence, also steps taken to accordingly alter my appearance.

As you see, I allowed for flexibility. But my goal was stern and solid: three significant things accomplished--not tasks such as doing the laundry. And if I missed on any one day, I would double up the next: two things on each front.

Believe me, doing this is harder than it sounds. The temptation is always present to put down on any old damned thing instead of breaking new ground. I've missed entries, in seven months, a total of three times--and I regard those as serious dings. But simply becoming aware of the dings and the temptation to nod off has strengthened my resolve.

At year's end, I'll write a full review of The Thousand--where I fell short and where I flew high. Today I can tell you that through the practice of The Thousand I:
--Rallied from the loss of a finished novel, rewriting it completely from an ancient second draft.
--Found a needed part-time job.
--Decided to move to Seattle this fall.
--Made a bold financial move that freed me from the need to work two jobs and paved the way for a cross-country move in greater comfort and style.
--Launched a second blog chronicling the move.
--Completed rewriting the lost novel, with plans to launch it July.
--Began circuit training at the gym to whip myself into West Coast shape.
--Began the months-long process of preparing for the move: trashing junk, clearing a jungle of personal papers, condensing a closet of clothes to a neatly packed steamer trunk.

I swear by The Thousand and urge you to give it a try.

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