Prison Pete

Monday, June 13, 2005
  So much to do, so little time.
It is 5:45 PM on Monday, June 5, and I just got my bi-weekly commissary sheet to fill out. More importantly I got the latest postings from the blog through Thursday June 2, 1:29 PM.

Summer, I owe you one big apology, and am due the grief. I do still talk more than do. While I have started sending specific post, I am not always sure which parts of my letters get posted.

I am making some more changes on my approach to my writing. I was not always aware of the effort that the editor was expanding on my behalf, and even before he told me he wanted to stop doing the blog, I had made some changes in what I sent him.

(We interrupt to mention that as I type this, the radio just started playing "Let's Give Them Something to Talk About." Giving my name and address to those that might want to write to me certainly gives some of you something to talk about.)

I was pleased that the editor realized I could make changes that would reduce the effort he expended on the blog. In my life making promises to do "better" often where more style than substance. I have now taken on the burden of being sure what I send out is ready to go with minimum additional work needed.

It is only in doing this over the last few weeks that I have been overwhelmed with the amount of effort and "work" that is involved in turning out error-reduced work. I will not say error free at this point but that is my goal.

I did type several pages of the letter, the editor even got the first typed page, when I decided that if I am going to begin to cover some of my early years, why not it right. At this point the project would normally die; I become overwhelmed by the size of the task and am paralyzed into inaction.

I have just finished reading a boot "Blood Done Sign My Name" and as I think I mentioned, it is written by a pastor's son. I too am a pastor's son and have dreamed of writing a book. His book was twenty years in the making. I hope to cut down drastically on that time frame.

You will all be the guinea pigs for my rough ideas of what to include in the book, and so I will finally begin to answer some of the more personal questions that have popped up on the blog from time to time and basically been ignored by me as too much work to deal with.

It is precisely the support I have gotten from the readers of this blog that has given me the strength to make changes in the way I "work." Quite simply I am at a point where I have to put up or shut up, and not being one to be quiet, I will make sure the posts are worth the time all of you spend reading them.

Already I am in trouble since I need to complete my commissary sheet, proof and print six pages, and write a letter to the editor. I will stop writing now, do the commissary sheet, and hopefully include a beginning to Prison Pete, the early years.

Can he do it?

7:20 PM - He is back!

Okay the commissary sheet is complete, and I have printed out the three page letter that needs to be mailed today.

I do not know if I made it clear in my posts, but I have never been formally diagnosed with ADD. I do not believe the diagnosis was even available back in the 1960's when I was attending grade school. My report cards from those years are full of comments that point to the fact I could do much better work if I would only pay attention and put in a little more effort.

I was not so much rowdy or a discipline problem, but reacting to the school work with boredom and laziness. One of comments in the past has been about fine motor skills. Here again I was always one to color outside the lines and not be overly concerned about it. At least that is how I remember it now. I am sure many the parent has had a child that is more upset about not being able to get the crayon to stay within the lines; me, I was willing to accept a mediocre result.

It appears to me at this point that even at a young age I was aware that some things came easier to me than others. I was not willing to put in any extra effort when it was called for. I simply accepted that if I could not reach the goal, coloring inside the lines for example, on the first couple attempts then why bother. I accepted a less than optimum results.

While I am sure there where times that I would indeed put in some effort and got a better result than prior to putting in the effort, those times never became ingrained enough to become a rule for me to live by.

Even now with my heightened awareness that I can improve my abilities if I put in some "practice" time, I am still more likely to accept defeat, or not even start a project, rather than accept the possibility of the learning curve as the path that needs to be followed.

What I have found helpful is to be more aware of outside influences that I might latch on to that re-enforce this "do not bother with the effort, you know you will never get to the goal anyhow attitude." It should be pointed out that it may not even be the intent of others to sabotage your efforts; it is how I end up interpreting the information that counts. It is not what you say that counts, it is what I hear. And as any parent knows, those two things are not always one in the same. Life is never that easy.

While my parents have taken some heat in this blog, they have continued to be supportive of me throughout my incarceration. I know they love me dearly, and continue to do what they feel is best for me.

When I mentioned that I was getting some heat from the staff about the amount of newspapers I had, my mom suggested, in one of the letters, that maybe I could cut back on the number of days I get the paper. This would make it easier for me to keep up.

No, I wrote back, I am just going to work harder at reading y basis. One of the other things I am working, No, I wrote back, I am just going to work harder at reading them on a timelier basis. One of the other things I am working on is not being quite as obsessive with the amount of articles I cut out. Again this is a much different approach for me.

I now look at ways that I can change my behavior; to evaluate the goal of the task, see if that needs to be changed, as opposed to being abandoned. What steps within the task can be changed to more closely meet the needs of the goal.

In this case I already have well over 100 articles that I have ripped out of the paper because I think they might be good to write about on the blog. I am still getting the paper seven days a week, so that number is not in any danger of decreasing.

Since the overall goal is to get material to write about, and in all reality I have discovered completing four single spaced type pages a day is a realistic goal. Doing the math, saving ten or more stories from each day's paper, I will always be in a position of accumulating more and more articles than I could possibly use.

Now instead of be quick to tear out an article based on the first few lines, I will read the entire article, thus eliminating one reason to tear it out, so I can read it later. Once I have read the entire article, I then am more likely to decide that yes it was interesting to read, but is not "Blog Worthy".

By being more disciplined at keeping the actual goal in mind, keeping articles to write about, clearly evaluating why I was "clipping" so many articles, I was forced to admit that I was using the option of clipping an article to avoid spending the time to read it at that given moment.

Yes there may be some articles that I will have wished I kept, but that is really what the whole thing is about. I can not control everything in my life, and need to be more realistic about what areas I can control. Failure to let go; another area that contributes to my paralysis of inaction.

As the post on the blank computer keyboard, shows some of us will be lazy if we have the chance, and I am one of those types.

Okay let me proof and print the five pages of post I have typed in so far.

One last task to complete after that is a letter to my editor. Work, work work. Oh well it is now 10:00 PM and I am about to print this last page out. The letter to the editor is going to be a short one.
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