Monday, April 27, 2009

Grasping At Straws

For the past several weeks, at least, I have been uninspired. Oh, sure, I still come up with the little insights here and there and once in a while I am even compelled to share them with the world. But more often than not, I have not been sufficiently inspired to put down the words and on the occasions where it was forced, the results were not exactly profound. Of course, profundity is best left for others to judge, but inasmuch as I know it when I don’t see it, well, that has been my story.

Until very recently this dis-inspiration has spilled over into my academic writing as well. In fact, it might have been one of my research papers that provoked it all in the first place. Until earlier today, I was grasping at straws trying to find just one strong enough to hold on to. Finally, I have found one that is solid enough… still tenuous, as straws tend to be, but solid enough. It has inspired much more than a flow of words – in this forum and others, it has given me the motivation to pour it on, to read all that boring theory with renewed vigor because now I can see how it all fits into the puzzle. And the best part? It got the words moving again.

Prior to finding this path, everything I did felt futile, as though I knew it was likely not going to be of any use anyway. Although I know that this is never the case – that the work will be profoundly useful sometime, and probably at just the right moment – it is difficult when I knew the time I was using could have been used toward my task at hand. And there’s the irony; it was being used toward that end. It should come as no surprise (but it always does) that this is my way… it’s how I do a great many things, especially where creativity is concerned. Suffice it to say that the floodgates are now open; I am running hard with a distinct direction.

Actually, I have several distinct directions. It seems as though once that mental roadblock was removed, it allowed all my other energies to be focused once again, albeit in very different directions. But each is now much clearer and, though there is a mountain of work to do, I can see the path now and I know where it all leads...

Just over the next hill.

5 comments:

CyberKitten said...

Less of a road block more of a bursting dam by the sounds of it.

Ride that wave man and enjoy the results!

Jennifer Priest Personal Coach said...

Hi Mike,

It has been a while since I visited and thought it was time I did :-)

What you said in this post really struck a chord.

``Prior to finding this path, everything I did felt futile, as though I knew it was likely not going to be of any use anyway. Although I know that this is never the case – that the work will be profoundly useful sometime, and probably at just the right moment – it is difficult when I knew the time I was using could have been used toward my task at hand. And there’s the irony; it was being used toward that end. It should come as no surprise (but it always does) that this is my way… it’s how I do a great many things, especially where creativity is concerned.``

This is a process we go through again and again. A letting go of being in knowing why and allowing it to take place.

It is that logical part of our mind that cannot see the exact steps to the doorway that natters on asking how is this getting us to where we need to be.

Again and again we see with hindsight and yet it is still hard to believe.

Thanks for posting this. Looking forward to hearing about the many directions you are going to be headed in over the next while.

The Zombieslayer said...

Sounds worse than just writer's block. it seems more like you're emotionally pre-occupied with something, or worse - bored.

If I were you, I'd consider heavy exercise. It's a great way to clear up your head. Something that makes you sweat profusely.

Awareness said...

sometimes someone puts grease on the straws....have had more of those moments this year than the previous few since my writing bug resurfaced. I have more drafts sitting with half a thought floating in them..! It's like i get going on something I initially feel a strong pull to write about and then get bogged down in a feeling of it sounding redundant or repetitive.....or it just loses its inspiration.

zombie is right....i believe it happens when too many other thoughts and tasks demand attention....too much spacejunk floating in the head. when i think about it....its exactly when my writing juices start to tank.

Vancouver Voyeur said...

Ditto what CK said. I've always found that roadblocks are actually dams and as soon as the block is removed, the ideas flood me as if having been held back and piling up until I could get to them.