I forgot what I was going to post about
I had a little bit of a breakdown the other day. I had the intention of posting several times a week, and I couldn’t think of anything to write about. It felt like a writer’s block kinda thing, if I thought of myself as a writer. But I know that in all creative pursuits, it’s best to just keep on keeping on- ok that holds for other pursuits as well, maybe anything with a goal. It’s best to sit down and just write something to keep it going, keep the writing primed in the mind. But I don’t want to just publish anything, even if I don’t have illusions that what I’m putting out is some kind of earth-shattering work of literature; I don’t want to dump any old crap out there. This didn’t really help my sense of frustration. I had to get to the bottom of something…
And in those moments, talking to someone about what’s going on is helpful. Some call this verbal processing, where you figure out what you need to know and do and clarify by conversing. I might say for me at times it’s more of a research expedition, and now is one of those times. I have to fling frustrations at my sweetheart husband’s ears in order to blurt out that
#1 I wrote a list the other day of some topics I needed to cover in writing- online or not, just the stuff I aim to capture specifically about the inattentive experience.
#2 The cat peed on the list.
#3 Sticking to that list isn’t going to keep me writing, it’s stuff to cover, but this blog has several themes I work back and forth from. The themes are getting progressively distilled, but linear writing, as though I started with a book outline and wrote only from there, just dumps all of how I am out the window. I have to have some choices and some spontaneity, especially if I want to get the experience set out there.
#4 I forgot about number 3. That was stopping me. I thought I had to write only from one predetermined list. "Had to" means "decided to." In other words, I forgot that I had not decided that I should only write from my scrawled-out and peed-on list.
#5 I’d already written a post. Yesterday. In my head. I forget what it was about. I forgot that I had it in my head.
#6 Come to think of it, I’ve written a bunch in my head lately. I forgot that this was happening. I forgot what they were about. The cat peed on my brain.
#7 Something else has changed… I am not able to grab the laptop and write stuff down for a few minutes. What’s changed? Apparently it’s not my number or type of ideas, but rather my ability to get them typed up before the disintegrate into the background mental noise again.
So what’s changed?
#1 I feel like I’m more tired, which might be true, but I can’t be more sleep deprived than when my babe was a newborn.
#2 I feel like I’m forgetting more. That is possible but I’m not so sure.
#3 Dearest baby G. is crawling. I can’t sit on the couch and watch him play on the floor anymore. I could for a while. That meant I could grab the laptop and get this: type my ideas. I had simplified systems, emailing myself stuff I needed to remember, for example. And typing blog entries, at least in draft mode, very quickly. Or emailing those ideas to someone. Now, no sooner have I commenced typing that someone has turbo-crawled to the couch, pulled himself to standing, and I find little fingers wiggling all over the keyboard and jaws descending upon the monitor. Laptop closes, hurries back to its currently safe location, with cord tucked behind the cabinet.
I guess it wasn’t writer’s block after all.
There are some downsides to the immediacy of our information culture, but a definite upside is the ability to express an idea in a tiny little precious bit of time available. I guess it’s time to adjust my strategy, though. If parenting is teaching me anything, with emphasis on the present tense because I’m surely no expert, it’s how to find grace in flexibility. Rapid flexibility.