Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Not so much hmmm as urrrggg!

When trying to learn a new anything, one of the best things to do is practice, practice, practice. I am trying to learn a new (to me) method of divination and am scrambling to come up questions. (I am a big "I'll take life as it comes along kind of person" I couldn't even come up with a question for the palm reader I visited, when I was last in New Orleans.)

I have been frustrated lately about my blogging. It isn't that I don't have things to say, it just seems that I rarely have time to concentrate on crafting my thoughts into well thought out (or at least coherently thought out) statements, sentences, paragraphs. Rather than being a relaxing summer, it has been hectic, with my time both busy and fragmented by the demands of my life. Often, it feels as if, by the time I've hashed out my thoughts, and put them in order, the time for the subject has passed, the conversation has moved on, and any contribution I might have made has been made, and credited to others.

I came up with a series of questions with which to practice my divinations, using one question per day:
What would be the result of my setting aside a specific hour each day to write?
What would be the result of my setting aside a specific time, duration of less than an hour to write?
What would be the result of my setting aside a specific time, duration of more than an hour to write?

The results for each one of these questions were unmitigatedly bleak. For a couple of days, I stayed off the subject when doing my divinations, and the results of those questions were not so dark, nor consistent.

I tried a different tack. "What would be the result of my giving up any attempt to write?" Again, according to the reading, giving up any attempt to write would be, at best, foolish, and at worst, a really really bad idea.

"What would be the result of my continuing to attempt to write?" Middling positive to positive.

Is this to be a lesson in dealing with frustration? Don't give up on something, but do not give it any time, either? Or perhaps there is something else going on, that I haven't quite caught yet?


Patrick said...

I sympathize in nearly every way with this post. Learning a new divination system is a struggle when you're more or less content. And writing always sucks.

One thing I notice is that all your questions have something in common. That might be the thing that's not terribly effective for you. Trying varying what they have in common and explore that angle.

Frater POS said...

I wanted to finely craft my blog too but decided that expressing ideas and sharing what I was doing in general was more important. Over time, my writing has improved somewhat.

Maybe the idea is just to write without being so rigid abou the process or result. Just an idea.

Lavanah said...

Thanks, Patrick. Yes, all those questions have a lot in common. After I got such a negative result from the first one, I thought it might be because setting aside, as if sacred, a specific hour just to write, was setting myself up for failure, just because of the way my life and responsibilities are currently arranged. Hence, the wording of the other questions in the series. The divinations that I've been doing on subjects other than this haven't been consistently grim. I am going to give this topic a break for a little while and try to come up with subjects to ask about.

Lavanah said...

Ahh, Frater POS I think that my issue there is more time, than rigidity regarding the writing itself. If I don't have the time to organize my thoughts, getting them out there is any form is difficult. And it is the time and ability to organize my thoughts (see next blog entry, when I get it written) that has become difficult.

Rufus Opus said...

Considering all the things you have going on, finding time to blog is a major feat unto itself.

I understand (a lot) what you mean about getting your thoughts together. I have 6 or 7 blog posts written that aren't finished because of one distraction or another, all ending mid sentence when my train of thought was broken and I had to dash out the door to break up a bicker-match between kids, or run off to a meeting or something.

I think putting in "attempting to continue to write" might have been why you received the middling to positive result to that last question. As yoda said, there is no try, there is only do or not do.

Maybe try again with something like "What would be the outcome of continuing to write?" I think throwing in the "attempt to" injects a sense of frustration into the question.

Lavanah said...

I was going to comment "Was Yoda ever responsible for a teenager?" He was. But Luke knew how to drive. And, by the time I asked that last question, there certainly was a sense of frustration.

The Scribbler said...

We are obviously a clan frustrated people who aren't nearly as prolific as we think we could be.

"Often, it feels as if, by the time I've hashed out my thoughts, and put them in order, the time for the subject has passed, the conversation has moved on, and any contribution I might have made has been made, and credited to others."

Ouch! I know that feeling so well. There have been times I felt the light bulb of inspiration go on and thought to myself, "That would make an awesome posting on my blog!" The thought would percolate in my subconscious, and I would cook supper, go to work, help my son with his class project, attend family holiday celebrations... and the posting would never get written. And by that time, I was sort of over it. I wasn't really motivated to write it anymore.

I've had times in my life when I could put aside a given hour every morning for writing. What bliss!

With my now-dormant blog Touch of Pansophia, for a while I published weekly, because I realized I'd done that successfully for years with newsletter and newspaper columns. I sometimes consider going back to the discipline of the deadline for my magic blog. Publish every Wednesday, come hell or high water.

Any, I feel for you, too. Writing can be such a bitch.

Jow said...

I have the same problem a lot of the time. Adult life is very cluttered, and some days you cant spare that extra hour a day. But one or two hours a week should be fine if you are doing one detailed post per week.

You also don't have to do one detailed post per week. You can do a few random off the cuff ones too.

Don't be afraid to post what you have on a topic, even if the topic has moved on. It might spark more discussion that might not have happened elsewise.

k. sequoia said...

Wow. Who are you and how did you get in my head? (About the writing thing, and blog posts.)

I like the idea about a deadline self-imposed. Have to try that...