What I should do always seems to be battling against what I want to do. Right now, the list of things that I should be doing is growing. It goes something like this, but is most definitely not limited to these very things. (Remember, you can always add cleaning, laundry, running, etc., to this list. This is a non-comprehensive list.)

The list goes like this:

1. Fill out study guide answers to go over on Monday.
2. Update the budget (I’ve been Christmas shopping, y’all.)
3. Read through Chapter 11 of To Kill a Mockingbird (Yes, I have read this book a bazillion times, but I still have to do what I ask students to do.)
4. Write 4,000 word to catch up on NaNoWriMo (I’ve written about 1,500, but allowed myself to get behind by not writing yesterday.)
5. Write lesson plan for project
6. Write at least one student biography for project.
7. Finish purchasing Christmas gifts

Again, let me remind you, this list is non-comprehensive. I started my morning at Arsagas in Fayetteville, but recently relocated to the Barnes and Noble because I felt the need to surround myself by books. Sometimes when I’m writing, it helps if I have books to look at. It reminds me that my dreams are attainable, and that I one day will be able to write for a living.

Whenever I say the word “should,” I can’t help but think of my dear friend Jamie. She is one of the teachers that I was fortunate enough to meet at the Writer’s Academy I attended over the summer. She was wonderful and told me all about “Sugar Free Curse Words” which she and her students come up with every year.

The best one is should. “Don’t should on me,” her students will say when she says that they should do something. And the word should and shit are similar in my mind. I have this list of things that I “should” be doing, but when I talk about them as if I “should” be doing them, they become a chore. The lesson plan and student biographies are yes, a chore. There is no other way to word it. Writing “should” never be a chore. Writing is my passion, it is what keeps me sane, and it makes me feel like I am making a little sense of this world.

That’s just it though. When the things we enjoy doing become something that we “should” do, we lose a little bit of that passion. I’m feeling this particularly as I have made my way past the half-way point of my NaNoWriMo endeavors. 28.038 words in and I’m feeling the pressure and I’m wanting to quit. It’s become something that I “should” do instead of something that I want to do.

Don’t worry, though, my dear readers. As I’m writing this, my attitude is changing, and I am feeling less and less like I am “shoulding” on myself.

Remember, as a holiday week is upon us, that we must change that vocabulary so that everything we do isn’t a “should.” Remember that the things you want to do are what matters and what counts. Change your attitude and you change how you feel about the act. I’m going to go write 2,500 more words, not because I should, but because I want to. Hopefully this attitude adjustment will carry over into that lesson plan that I have to write as well.

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