Like at least half the American population, I’ve been distressed by current national politics. I went into a deep funk of disbelief back in November; then I became hyper-active, making phone calls and writing letters. After that, I needed a vacation from both work and politics. Now, I’m trying to find a sustainable way to continue to support issues I care about, like civil liberties, social justice, and ethical government.
Jen Hofmann’s Weekly Activism Checklist
Lucky for me, a friend forwarded a link to Jen Hofmann’s Weekly Activism Checklist. It’s been a big help.
As I read it, I realized immediately that the ways to sustain political activism are almost identical to the methods necessary for tackling a long writing project.
The Weekly Checklist
Hofman’s Action Checklist for this week starts with current congressional bills and issues that need immediate attention.
My writing checklist for this week includes a meeting, a phone call and a writing assignment for my long narrative about learning to hunt. This checklist helps maintain forward momentum on a project that will take at least another year to complete while I continue to write, broadcast, teach and talk.
These days, I also create a checklist of the political phone calls I will make:
- Senator Leahy about the Supreme Court nomination;
- Senator Sanders about the Budget and Healthcare;
- Representative Peter Welch about the unresolved conflicts of interest between this president’s private businesses and public office.
The Rule of Three
I’ve written about the Rule of Three before: Choose three manageable and achievable goals each week.
Every week, I limit myself to three projects, and every day I limit myself to three tasks related to those projects. More than that and I’ll just stare out the window and not lay down the words. Same thing with phone calls to politicians. I can make three every week.
Three phone calls won’t change the world quickly, but if I make three phone calls every week, they add up, just as writing three sentences, paragraphs or pages adds up.
Worse, not making phone calls equals silence, as in “everything is okay.”
Everything is not okay. So I make three phone calls each week, minimum; more than that’s gravy.
Take Good Care of Yourself
You can’t write from your heart any more than you can change the world if you don’t take care of yourself. Self care includes measures to maintain your general health, sustain your emotional health and nourish your spiritual health. So do whatever it is that keeps you whole, whether it’s reading a book, sleeping, eating well, fishing, sky-diving, going to church, or some combination thereof.
Persistence and Self-care: They make a difference when it comes to writing book or changing the world.