Last update: 13:18, 20/02/21


Parent: Lessons

  • No: a perfect example of me realising I was going too far, too deep, too introspective under the wrong conditions and trying to fight it
  • Forgetting: thoughts on internalising what we write, have it become part of our conscious reasoning
  • Identity and self: the distinction, external/literal versus internal/nuanced
  • Identities - When speaking of identity we aim to establish the real us, our true selves, but this is at odds with the multiple identities we appear to manifest.
  • Perception and expectation - "What we are never changes. Who we are never stops changing." - Gil Grissom, CSI
  • Defeating the ego
    • Our filters, however, are a part of the "now" us and we must accept them in the present until we strip them away, shed them like dead skin cells and become future instances of us.
    • We are changing, slowly shedding the ego and becoming incrementally different versions of who we are - an ever evolving identity.
  • Journey - We are an ever changing version of ourselves with each instance existing in the now - infinite upgrades.
  • 21 Days Later - habit forming but still hard. Habit defined as "an acquired mode of behaviour that has become nearly or completely involuntary" - not simple, demanding, need to fight to do it
  • Adapt, adjust, acclimatise: "Writing isn't a single habit, it is the result of establishing a number of individual habits and stringing them together to produce a body of work."
  • Allow yourself to be you: was written about social but applies to writing - "We might not be able to discuss the theological influences of the Matrix trilogy with fellow office workers or the finer points of Sartre's notion that man is "condemned to be free" across the dinner table." But writing allows "us to be the version of us we are rarely fortunate enough to be"
  • Facing ourselves - admitting you are at fault: "But then comes the relief, the relief that you have finally been willing to stand in that room and point out the elephant - not only point it out but measure it, draw it and admit to yourself that it has been there all along."
  • The subconscious - "the secret part of you... There's a part of you that's here with me right now and there's another part of you that belongs just to you."
  • Self indulgence
  • As we sow - feedback loops and environment.
    • recognise a loop exists
    • admit to yourself that you are stuck
    • take positive action to remove yourself
    • change your environment to prevent the loop reforming
  • Stupid - compare thoughts here to "morning pages" - same sentiment before I knew what morning pages were:

"I want to reach the stage where I can just get a stream of unconscious thought onto the page, clearing the mind of all detritus until what's left is all the good stuff uncluttered by the flotsam and jetsam of daily life. Most of the time I will fail and fail disastrously but the diamonds in the rough well make it all worth it."

  • Pressure - Giving yourself permission to sometimes be just average, or fine, or OK is wonderful.
  • Inspiration - All too often we wait for the perfectly crafted item, the original thought, rather than demean ourselves by producing something derivative.
  • Pocket Psychology - "We have to be storytellers but also an audience. We have to be authoritative but admit when we know nothing. We have to be outgoing but stay restrained. We must be leaders but know when to follow."
  • Shyness - "we may put on an act or show off in public as a way of overcompensating for shyness - the intention is to appear more outgoing and braver than we are" - writing helps breaks down the wall to our authentic self.
  • Creative Therapy - "I can only liken manic depression to being on drugs - you experience the most incredible highs when it feels like the world truly is your oyster before crashing down to suffer the most intense, terrible lows."
    • Creativity during depression serves different purposes. Yes, it can be used to win false favour - that brief moment of adulation when others say "very good, well done" but it is also, more importantly, a method of self-administered therapy.
  • Inside out - thinking out loud
    • sharing introverted musings can be difficult as we are having to effectively translate our own chaotic thoughts into something more conducive to public consumption
    • exposing our thoughts and processes to an audience initiates an observer effect
    • Whether we are the subjects of that effect, modifying our behaviour (even subconsciously) knowing that we are the ones being observed (the Hawthorne Effect) or because of some alteration in our cognitive bias which causes us to reevaluate our thoughts and ideas, the result is a change in outcome.
  • Stories - We have become victims to stories. We have become lazy and need our endings provided for us. We've got it too easy.
  • The audience - "the regular small crowd ... are there because they like and enjoy it ... As a performer that is all I need."
  • Assumptions - "we cannot look down upon [them] if our obvious is their oblivious."
  • Back on the horse - it's a lot easier to fall out of a habit than to form one.
  • Emergence - Emergence is the way that the complex arises from a multiplicity of the simple.
  • Mutable construct - What is identity?

Identity can be defined as follows:

  • the fact of being who or what a person or thing is, or
  • the characteristics determining who or what a person or thing is

Whilst seeming similar there is, in my opinion, a key difference. Fact is an absolute, it is unquestionable, whereas characteristics can be exhibited but not necessarily be the full picture.

So, is it a combination of what we do, what we say, how we act? Our beliefs and prejudices? Is it external, internal or a combination of the two?

  • A thousand words - "It's funny how writers say they try to paint a picture in the mind but a picture is the last thing they would ever want to resort to. For a writer the challenge is in the word craft, the ability to use language to communicate, to instill ideas, to provoke. Perhaps resorting to imagery is akin to cheating or an admission of failure."

  • Authenticity - "We all strive for meaning, for purpose, for that sense of understanding that helps to better frame our place in the order of things. In doing this we seek to find fixed reference points on which we can tie our thread as we navigate life's labyrinth. If we can establish grounding points, and ground rules, then we begin to establish more certainty about ourselves. Part of what we are is held in our relationships with the people, places and things around us - we base a part of ourselves on our environment and seek to stabilise it. When others are shown as inauthentic this disrupts our sense of order, causes us to reevaluate our environment and, consequently, part of ourselves."

  • Forgetting - "It's almost as though I am trying to adopt the product of my subconscious as though it was an external influence. It seems strange to think that I am seeking to internalise something that has already come from the inside."

  • Questions, always questions - "Our individuality is a contradiction: it defines us, gives us our place, but can also distort and isolate us if we persist in chasing it down ever more restrictive corridors, hoping that we might eventually find the centre of the maze."

  • Meaning - There is only one truth: our own truth. There is only one meaning: that which we choose to take.

  • Creative -

We get hung up on the idea of being creative. We convince ourselves that being creative means that we must produce amazing art or poetry or literature. Creative is simply defined as:

relating to or involving the use of the imagination or original ideas to create something

Imagination - check, ideas - of course, create - well duh! But look at that last word: something.

It is the very act of creation that is important, the willingness to start even if there is no end in sight. Nine times out of ten this may be a false start - second bang, the gun goes off again and we are pulled back to the beginning.

Fortunately for us we will not be disqualified and can have as many false starts as we need, as many as it takes to get it right and get over the finish line.

We just have to start. We just have to create.

  • Roots - We need to find our roots.

"I'm not talking about talking a pilgrimage to the lands of our forefathers, I'm talking about digging deep within ourselves, possibly deeper than we'd like or than we feel we have the tools to, and finding that thing which keeps us going, that thing which makes us survive. That thing which makes us us."

  • Composite identity - A big part of realising who you are is realising who you are not. Or perhaps recognising that who you once were is no longer relevant.
    • "identity importance" and/vs "identity salience"
  • Stepping back - Admitting that things need to change is not a failure it is a strength, to have the courage to rip it up and start again it something we need to have more often.

  • Co-creation -

    Our stories do not happen in isolation.

    I am part of yours just as you are part of mine.

    Our realities are woven together into "life's rich tapestry" and, like it or not, our fates are ultimately entwined.

  • The observer effect - Kurt Vonnegut: "write to please one person" - I've always maintained that person is me. But when we invoke others "do we have them in mind during the creation process and are we tailoring what we say to please their ears?"
    • The irony is that by even considering this, by acknowledging the existence of the observer, the effect has already occurred.
  • Return to centre

    I can't help but feel that there should be more to this, that I should be building up to something, sensing a bigger picture to the individual pieces of this jigsaw that I slowly create day by day.

    But I only ever seem to be shuffling the pieces around, searching for the edges and corners, places to start.

    Is that sea or sky? Is that a face? How do they fit together? I wish I had the box so I had the finished picture to guide me.

  • Properly - "Exercising the right not to walk" - Dalton, Dead Poets Society

  • Rediscovery - "I find things that I had completely forgotten, things that must have been written during moments of flow with little conscious regard of their creation ... It's quite a strange sensation reading them and thinking "was that really me?" Rediscovering those diamonds in the rough."

  • Patterns -

    With hindsight we might indeed see that certain events - whilst seemingly isolated and irrelevant at the time - may have, in the long run, influenced later decisions and actions. We might also, however, look to find, and ascribe, extraneous meaning when none, in fact, existed. We might try to build a rationale for our actions and their outcomes to fit our goals, beliefs or agendas.

    Everything happens for a reason...

    But that reason isn't always connected or, even, that which we might expect.

  • So what happens now? - "We cannot always write manuscripts worthy of the bard or make philosophical points to challenge the world's greatest minds but we can always write something - just keep the process going, keep the wheels in motion and allow the mind to work ... Each day strengthens the mental muscles, each paragraph serves to enhance the style. Each single word performs the most vital task it could ever be entrusted with: to keep the writer moving, to keep them going forward - to keep them writing."

  • A New Perspective - We crave endings, even though they scare us, we need to know how it all turns out. But we are just as afraid of the infinite, of the effort required to keep going indefinitely ... Why should endings scare us so? Because they indicate change, a transition from one thing to the next and we all know how much we hate change.

  • Lies - "Pain you have inflicted lies heavier than that which you have endured."

  • Hiding to be seen - "Just as internet trolls hide behind their keyboards so can introverts."

  • Crave and slave - "We cannot all change the world but we can all change our world."

  • We tell our stories - (From 'Her') "The past is just a story we tell ourselves "

  • Ideas man - "We might sometimes write for ourselves but I think, in a strange way, that becomes the attraction. There is an inherent honesty which intrigues us and allows us to identify with the individual behind the words rather than have them hidden behind the trappings of best practice."

# The wisdom of age - "...we should never have writer's block, should never be stuck for something to say. If only we told our own stories." - Look at whole of this post.

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