Thursday, December 12, 2013

Day 276 Trying and doing

In some of the editing I've been doing the last few weeks, I'm seeing a lot of use of the expression "tried to." He tried to hug her. She tried to phone him. And in each of these cases the character succeeded. But that's not what "tried to" means. In fact, it means just the opposite. I tried to call you but you weren't home. I tried to see you but the door was locked. Effort happens but success does not.

After I'd been bingeing on caramels for about two weeks, I started trying to stop. Mostly I thought about stopping. I thought not buying any more. I'd make a plan to not buy any more. And then I'd buy some more and eat them all. I was trying, I really was. The problem was that I was not doing, I was just trying.

Trying to be abstinent doesn't work. Being abstinent does. Trying to work less doesn't change much. Working less can change a lot. Now I've stopped trying to stop, and I've just stopped.

Where is trying not getting you what you want?

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