Mush! Mush!

by Suw on April 29, 2005

My head has turned to mush today. 12.35pm and I've done fuck all. Oh, wait, I printed out some stuff for my new bank manager, whom I have to educate regarding this whole blogging thing. The last one told me, and I quote, “I don't understand what you're doing, and I don't see how you can possibly be successful”. And he wondered why I complained about him. Tosswit.
The last few weeks have been so intense what with one thing and another, much of it I feel i can't blog about because it's either work-related and I don't want to steal my own thunder by prematurely announcing cool shit, or because to blog about it would be to invade someone else's privacy.
I feel a bit like I've put up the blogging barriers recently. Strong self-censorship has meant I've ended up running through most potential blog posts in my head only to discard them as not suitable, but when I do find a topic that I could write about, I either don't find the time, or am too tired to write anything cogent at all. Today is a case in point. I opened up Ecto, started a blog post for Strange, only to sit there for half an hour staring at the screen as if somehow the words were going to magically write themselves. I just couldn't think of a single intelligent thing to say. It's not that I'm not having thoughts worth sharing, but somehow I can't get the fuckers out of my head.
I remember when I started this blog, it's very first incarnation over on BlogSpot, it was because I wanted to improve my writing skills. I think that, whilst one always has room for improvement, my writing skills have improved a lot over the last three years. Then it (accidentally) became an agent for change in my career. Blogging about stuff that interested me lead to me writing about that stuff for money. I hived off Strange, and that became my professional blog (oh, before you make assumptions, I don't earn a penny directly off Strange – all my earnings come tangentially).
So now what's ChocnVodka all about? Me expressing myself in a public space, but that expression has been hobbled by the fact that I've ended up trying to manage your perceptions of me by being so much more selective about what I write. Isn't that just bullshit? Isn't blogging supposed to be about honesty and transparency and authenticity? Warts and all?
Robert Scoble says on his blog somewhere (and I can't be arsed to find the link. Learn to live with it.) that if you're a company blogger and your life is not going too well, don't blog, because it will come through in your writing. I've been applying that advice to this blog, which is a bit daft seeings as this blog was supposed to be the place where I write about my personal life.
Oh, I don't even know where this rant is going. I'm back on the acupuncture at the moment, primarily treating stress and what I shall now call disbalance – a feeling akin to that felt by a ballerina, en point, doing a spin whilst attempting not to fall off a rollercoaster – and a really painful neck. Some days are great – some really positive stuff is happening for me at the moment, stuff I feel wary of blogging about in case I jinx it. Some days, like today, I want to crawl under a rock and stay there until someone comes to get me and tell me it's all ok. But it's not like I can say 'life is shit', because life is actually going ok, thank you kindly.
I think I just need a holiday, but I guess a pointless rant is going to have to suffice.
UPDATE: Tip for extracting oneself from vague and formless funk: go for a walk. I just walked up through the woods to the lake and and on my back I saw a heron sitting on someone's house, which made me think: how do you know there's not a heron on your roof right now? If you were inside, you'd never know it had come and gone, but yet there, merely feet away, was one of nature's most majestic birds. There are undoubtedly herons on my roof right now, and I mustn't let the fact that I can't see them make me forget they are there.

Anonymous April 29, 2005 at 2:20 pm

Some days the muse flows. Somedays it doesn't. If it doesn't, trying to force it will only produce rubbish. Conscious thought is only 1/10th of the creative process. 9/10ths of it is your unconscious bubbling away. The old addage that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy has a lot of truth in it.
Conscious creation on a timetable is very difficult and attempting to force it can actually worsen things to the point of writer's block. It's similar in performing and recording – “stage fright” or “red light fever” – the stress on you to perform causes you to lock up. If you were relaxed, you wouldn't have the problem. In this way, the conscious mind often gets in the way of creation.
One of the best methods I used to solve problems/think up a cartoon/general creativity was to go away and do something else which is repetitive and mechanical, such as cycling, mowing the lawn or a long walk, as you've found. It distracts your conscious mind enough from the immediate problems you're going through just enough for your unconscious mind to start coming through with results.

Anonymous April 29, 2005 at 2:25 pm

Yeah, you're right. Some days you can write, some days you can't. And today is a definite 'can't' day. I don't feel so yucky as i did earlier, but my brain is still not functioning on any sort of creative level. So I am giving up for the day. Plenty of time tomorrow, after all.

Anonymous April 29, 2005 at 4:14 pm

“There are undoubtedly herons on my roof right now, and I mustn't let the fact that I can't see them make me forget they are there.”
What a wonderful metaphor for an optimistic life.

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