System: Theme for 2013

Puzzle piece

Without a system, symbolized here as a piece of a jigsaw puzzle, there is no big picture.

Many of the articles I’ve read in the last week concern the writer’s theme or word for 2013. Mine is “system.” While it’s not as inspiring as “Gratitude,”  “Magic,” or “Be HERE Now,” it is what I need added to my life to be able to remember to express gratitude, to do magic and to be here now.

Support systems, filing systems, content management systems, all sorts of activities require systems, a ritual or set of habits put into place so that the person involved does not have to consciously remember to do stuff.

Be Here Now does not mean that the person has not organized some time to take a few moments to ground and center, to take a deep breath or two, and remember that whatever urgent task is beeping for attention,  being calm and un-frustrated is the best way to resolve it. This person has probably put a reminder into the computer to beep at this moment—ironically perhaps—to take a break, or to make a call, or go to a meeting.  It’s unrealistic, and a waste of neural pathways, to try to remember everything that needs to be done. Confucius says, “Short pencil beats long memory.”

What I am building for myself, as I work towards becoming a professional writer, is a system of systems. Sans a significant other who can either pay the bills or keep up the homestead, I am devising a system to keep enough maintenance done so that my house does not collapse on my head—literally or financially.

Spontaneity is fine and wonderful, but it helps to have some structure built that allows room for the spontaneous to happen. I’m working on that structure. Writing blog posts every day for the Ultimate Blog Challenge gives me a bit of structure, a simple and easy daily task to track, one that fits into my overall goal, and so I find some kind of system to track that task. What you would increase, you must measure. That takes a system.

I like the word “system” so much better than the word “discipline” although working the one requires the other. The plan is to build the system in such a way that the discipline to use it will naturally follow. Might as well dream big.

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8 Responses to System: Theme for 2013

  1. Amy says:

    Absolutely love the word “system!”
    It sounds so much less rigid then other words. I am in definite need of some systems in my life.
    Looking forward to reading some of your other posts!

  2. Charlotte Henley Babb says:

    Thanks, Amy. I like “system” better too, as in support system…for me to support myself. 😉
    Drop by any time.

  3. Oh boy do I need systems! It’s a weakness… and yet it’s what I teach on some level… which is poetic I guess. Thank you!!

    • Charlotte Henley Babb says:

      We all need what we teach. That’s why we are learning it, and you can’t teach what you don’t know. So you and I are in just the right place.

  4. Debra Jason says:

    Systems is a great word as we all need systems in place to make our lives/businesses run smoothly. My word for 2013 is nurture – my self, my business, my friends/family/clients.
    Thanks. ~Debra

  5. Beth Camp says:

    Hello, Charlotte. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Love the free spirit shown in your banner — as well as the commitment and discipline revealed with this post. I’ve learned from being involved in ROW80 (A round of words in 80 days) that organizing (i.e., setting goals and deadlines and being accountable — while accepting that some will change) helps me in unintended ways. Like making breakthroughs in my writing. And now UBC comes along to connect me with people who know far more about the business of writing. I’m learning — and maybe I’m better organized. Very nice post. Beth

    • Charlotte Henley Babb says:

      Thank you so much. I agree about the UBC helping me get back into the habit of writing and planning to write every day. There is no breaking of an old habit, only establishing new ones. And so the system develops. At least, that’s the plan.