More on the benefits of eating frogs…

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Are you still struggling with eating frogs — that is, tackling those important tasks you like to avoid? So am I! Here’s what I’m doing about it…

I didn’t feel like writing this column today.

Blame it, partly, on summer. When the weather becomes warm and the skies remain blue (a confluence rare as four-leafed clovers, where I live) it’s hard for me to want to do anything other than lie on a deck chair and read a novel.

Blame it also on the natural ebb and flow of writing. I’ve been producing this column for five years now — long enough to know that I go through both rich and fallow periods. There are times when ideas race through my brain, competing in a 100-yard dash to see which will cross the finish line first. And then, when I start to write, the words flow from my fingers like water gushing from a firehose.

But there are also times when I can’t, for the life of me, figure out what write about. And then the writing has to be pulled from me, painful word by painful word — like a series of horrific tooth extractions.

Last week, for example, was the first time in years that I didn’t have my column written and scheduled (something my software lets me do easily) in advance. So, instead of finishing by Sunday morning — my typical “last minute” time — I didn’t wrap up until the morning it was due. Thus, I was unable to actually schedule my column, and had to guiltily hit the “send immediately” button as soon as I’d finished.

I don’t want that to ever happen again but I’m already heading in that direction by writing the first draft of this column on Monday morning.

Even though I’ve been stealthily eating frogs before breakfast every day — a discipline I’ve been able to maintain despite my raging case of the “summers” — I haven’t been able to make writing this column a frog. What’s wrong with me?

I’ve been thinking about eating frogs a lot recently, not just because I now have a daily, personalized frog (we can’t have cats or dogs in our house because of allergies, so I think of it as my pet!) but because my column on frogs drew so many email responses.

One of the most interesting I received came from subscriber Janet. She wrote, “I may have to gear myself up for it and get my mental digestive system prepared, but I do want to try it.”

I replied immediately, urging her to do the opposite. “Don’t ‘gear yourself up’,” I wrote. “Just do it. That’s the whole point of frogs. Eat them without thinking about it.” I crossed my fingers after emailing, hoping I hadn’t been too intemperate. Fortunately, Janet took my advice in the positive spirit in which it was intended and promised to give it a try.

As for me, I am now resolving that if other, bigger frogs get in the way of writing this column in the morning — I’m going to buckle down and write it in the afternoon or evening. I’ll never again leave it until the morning it’s due. Who needs that kind of stress? Surely, not me!

Our worlds are filled with frogs — often more than seven a week. Don’t see them as toast that can only eaten for breakfast. They can also be lunch and dinner — and maybe even tasty little snacks.

The big secret, I believe, is to stop thinking about them. Stop dreading them. Just eat them.

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Finally, let me wrap up with some news on another frog I managed to dispatch last week. At last, I have a new shopping cart on my website. If you have your own website, you’ll know that this was no easy task. (I spent several years hoping the problem would magically fix itself. Alas, no.) Until now, I’ve sold my book only through PayPal which allows credit cards, but which doesn’t make that choice easy for buyers.

But, ta da, those days are behind me. You can now go to my site and get my book simply and seamlessly, choosing either PayPal or your favourite cedit card. If you’re fighting your own case of summer writing blahs, just go to my book page and click on the “Buy Now” button at the bottom.

I am so grateful for having eaten that particular frog, I’m now looking at several frog popsicles for snacks this afternoon.

P.S. I scheduled this column at 3:05 pm on Monday. Yee haw!