“The Enemy Gets a Vote”

… is a popular saying in the military. It means that despite the most thorough planning, all plans must adapt when, sooner or later, the enemy doesn’t behave as anticipated.

The last couple of years, despite my plans and goals, my own enemy didn’t behave as anticipated. My enemy, in this case, is what Stephen Pressfield calls Resistance. Most of my resistance has taken the form of escapism, including but not limited to:

  • Social Media
  • Elections and politics
  • Fiction reading
  • Video games
  • Covid
  • Health issues

The last couple of years, I’ve been more easily distracted and had more difficulty focusing. And while that was often true…I started to lean on that excuse more and more. “I can’t focus tonight,” I’d tell myself as I played another video game, losing myself in the story, economy, or feeling of achievement at completing arbitrary goals. Blissfully, I would build virtual structures without having to concentrate. I was focused, but it was more meditative than productive. Maybe I was healing. Maybe I was procrastinating.

Social media was no more than potato chip dopamine hits. I can’t tell you the number of times I would become aware, looking down at the phone in my hand, wondering, “What the hell was I just working on?” and struggling to find my place again. Many evenings, I’d tell myself I was tired, or dive into the daily house maintenance/reset, and slough through what “needed” to get done.

My writing tasks languished.

The thing was, in all the time I’ve drafted-edited-rewrote-formatted-published since 1995, I’ve gone through lulls and sprints many times. Periodic down time was part of my years-long cycle, but 2020+ was my longest lull by far. And I chastised myself for not doing more when I “should have.”

Through the encouragement of friends and family, and the confidence that writing often quells my anxiety, I have—and will—get rolling again.

But…life happens. Deaths happen. Loss happens. Healing and recovery are slow, slippery, and frustrating. As I move forward, I’ll need to sit with my grief and anxiety without using it as a crutch or excuse. I need to exercise those muscles again.

Despite the enemy getting a vote, I’ll continue to carve out the time and focus to move this forward. Thank you for sticking with me.


A Togahan’s Debt will be released on Sunday November 27, 2022 (ebook form only) but is currently available for preorder at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Order now to be sure you have it on day 1! Also, all Togahan books will remain at $4.99 until January 5, 2023, but then I gotta raise the price to help cover expenses.

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