# Comments

Listening to Seth Godin's podcast - the episode entitled "No such thing (as writer's block)" - it rang many bells.

He states that writer's block is a fabrication, a construct we create in our own minds as an excuse. The real problem is fear, fear of not being perfect.

I've written so many times over the past four years that I just want to escape the need for perfection, to allow myself the freedom to be just okay - or even bad - and let things work out for themselves.

They usually do.

As Seth says, it's not that we don't have enough good ideas but that we don't have enough bad ones. We don't have enough thoughts to commit to the page or, rather, ones that we are willing to give life and permanence to.

I maintain that we are our own inspiration; the more we do the easier it is to do better. We merely have to be willing to take the bad with the good - the former doesn't need to go beyond our own notebooks but we must overcome the fear to open the floodgates or these bad ideas will dam the flow.

It is the same fear that gifts us imposter syndrome - the feeling that we are a fraud, that we are not good enough, and that at any moment someone is going to expose us for what we really are.

It is the same fear that makes me wonder what the hell I'm doing trying to write a book.

I have to overcome that fear and not think of it in this way. I have to approach it as writing a number of different pieces, perhaps expanded blog posts, as to picture the whole is too daunting.


After writing some thoughts in my notebook I glance back a few pages and realise that I had written almost exactly the same thing a couple of weeks ago. I just hadn't remembered.

This is good. It means I'm on the right track.

And as I look through each iteration I see the same words but in different arrangements, ideas expressed in slightly different ways which, when combined, give a greater depth, a better insight.

Each pass adds a little more flesh to bones building something greater than the sum of its parts.

I need to do this more.


The new image mask action in Workflow is pretty cool. I think I'll be using the "Rounded Rectangle" option on any phone screenshots to replicate its curved corners.


The same ship

Reading this piece about the difference in approach to the originality of artworks between Eastern and Western societies I was reminded of the paradox of The Ship of Theseus.

Legend has it that the ship which carried Theseus back to Athens from Crete was preserved and as old planks rotted they were replaced until, eventually the entire ship was constructed of replaced materials.

Is it really the same ship?

In a similar vein we have the more irreverent scene from the sitcom "Only Fools and Horses" when the character "Trigger" has used the same broom for 20 years but it has had 17 new heads and 14 new handles.

Is it really the same broom?

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus argued that something can change but retain its identity when he said that we can never step in the same river twice. Geographically it is the same river, it flows from the same spring to the same sea but it is constantly renewed, fresh water flows through meaning it is never exactly the same.

How is that different to the ship or the broom?

The piece linked above discusses the Ise Grand Shrine located on Japan's Honshu island. The shrine has been at this site for 1300 years but is completely rebuilt every 20 years leading to arguments over its "antiquity." According to Japanese culture it is still the same temple.

This is a common practice in Eastern cultures where the distinction between a copy and the original differs from what is understood in the West. I recommend reading the article to get the full explanation. It's fascinating!

In the West we are obsessed with age, with history and perpetuity. We normally seek to preserve by putting a rope around something and saying "do not touch" rather than rebuilding and replacing. It's as though the notion of age requires a degree of dilapidation.

I can see both sides.

On the one hand, being able to look at something that has existed for hundreds, thousands of years is staggering, simply awe inspiring. And to think that such things could be lost is a travesty.

But I also appreciate how the identity of something can be separate from its physical form and composition, instead being linked more closely to its location and purpose.

How we respond is dependent on our historic and ongoing actions. I wish Eastern practices were more widespread in this regard.

What if Stonehenge had been tended and repaired over the millennia, its stones realigned when they fell or replaced when they cracked? Would we still be amazed, treat it with the same reverence? Or would its apparent "newness" detract from our respect for both it and its creators?

Would it be the same ship?

The same ship