According to the handy definition that popped up when I verified the spelling of ‘attrition’ via Googling, attrition is the action or process of gradually reducing the strength or effectiveness of someone or something through sustained attack or pressure. Typically, we use this word to refer to a systematic wearing down or waiting out of one person or entity by another. However, I think we can actually pressure ourselves to the point that we give up projects and goals through attrition.
For so many years, I hustled as a book seller, and then I became a freelance writer and everyday depended on me going out and doing the things that needed to be done. I eventually burned out on completing projects that weren’t immediately profitable because I needed to take the roads that would turn out revenue stat. This led to me not writing the things I wanted to write which made it really difficult for me to maintain the things I had to write.
It can happen to anyone. And it usually happens so slowly you don’t realize it is until one day you wake up and you realize your book has been at 20,000 words for seven months or your blog hasn’t been updated for a year…attrition. Neither feeling is good.
My advice? Make time for yourself, and, yes, the thing everyone tells you to do first is the hardest thing you will do on the path to refinding your voice, your joy. The other thing…make it as easy as possible for you to do the things you love.
For me, this meant giving up on the idea that every word has to be profound or that words have to exist at all. If a picture is worth a thousand words, it’s definitely worth several thousand of these keystrokes, and sometimes a good photo….whether I take it on my phone or with my camera encapsulates my day for me better than anything I could say.
I use my phone and my iPad to share photos or jot a quick blog post, or I tweet, or I post something I found enjoyable on Facebook or share something someone else did that was awesome…and some days that is enough for me.