Tag Archives: Writing

What is this blog?

This blog centers on an individuals life.

It is an artists’ gallery, with a multitude of paintings adorning
its walls. In interpreting them you are active.

This individual is wandering in a forest, between two extremes. In this we are united.

With words the artist makes strokes upon the canvass:
a creature of his creativity is created.

Throughout his wanderings, experiences are had – in infinite variety.

What results is placed upon the wall for all to see.
Come in and observe them!

In trying to re-present this variety he repeatedly falls short. Words fail to support him.

“What will they think?” the artist wonders.
In interpretation they are free.

free write

For the next 10 minutes I will write without rest. I have no clue what I have brought on upon myself, nor do I know what will be the results. Into the unknown I leap.

I remember that it was in 8th grade that I learned this exercise. I hated it. Part of me was intreagued by it. It’s unpleasant. As a writer, you’re on eternal search for the “right word.” You look constantly for the perfect note to use in your masterpiece. Free writing destroys that – or attempts to.

It is a terrible treatment. It feels unnatural…forced…contrived. Initially.

After some practice – and that’s a gross understatement – taking this approach, or rather, this exercise becomes second nature. Although not truly free writing, my style of blogging is very similar. The difference: I do not usually force myself to write for a given period of time. Therefore, I am somewhat used to this.

This time, it is slightly different than usual. For this post, I am writing continuously for 10 minutes. Continuously blathering on. Continuously writing nonsense. Continuously writing words. Continuously this, continuously that. Rambling on and on. No end in sight.

I will stop. That is BS. I will try to stop.

As I jot down these rambling words, it is currently 5:20 pm. I have already published 1 blog post today, and have finished another. This is my second free write.

I am absolutely on fire. Creatively, that is. It’s actually annoying…annoying that sometimes I am productive as hell – whatever tha is supposed to mean – while other times it is nearly impossible for me to write.

The words flow

The words flow onwards, like the Amazon snakes its way through the lush rainforest. It flows on. They flow on. They flow on, but not as long. Thankfully!

Before writing this – a good 20 minutes before – I was low. Lows are great, aren’t they? No? Great! You’re sane!

WTF have I been doing?

I admire progressive rock.

The Avant-Garde intrigues me.

Do these two statements seem unrelated? I assure you they are not.

My admiration for these two cultural movements is independent of their “accomplishments.” In fact, they produce quite a bit of garbage.

Their attitude. Their spirt. That is what I appreciate most.

Willingness to “fail”

Playfulness

Rejection of convention

Artistic experimentation

yada yada yada

The spirit of the artist was alive and thrived.

They manifested admirable courage, as well as great folly.

When I started this diabetes blog, I wanted the writing on this blog to embody some aspects of their spirit. Furthermore, it was essential that I be creative in doing so.

Dada artists used the term anti-art.

This was to be my anti-blog.

My focus on diabetes was to be more or less foggy…

I rejected using pictures in most posts for the hell of it…

When I write, I write chiefly for myself…

I eschew editing…

I avoid writing too clearly…

Coherence is secondary…

Organization is overrated …

Having a topic, a myth.

Sound blogging advice was thrown out the window.

Unsound whims were given a chance to speak.

I decide.

To be independent of particular forms, imposed from without – that was my aim.

I seek to learn, not mimic.

Creative tension. Simultaneously, I set out to create a blog that people would read and, in some way, benefit from.

This is the artistic vision I had.

Blurry shapes…that is all that I could see.

————

WTF have I been doing? I have been carrying out my vision.

I have also been adding to it.

I have merely been doing that which I set out to do since day 1.

Since mid-April, I have been doing the same thing differently.

Should you trust your gut?

As I reached forward, I suddenly felt myself being tugged away.

I could not do it. I was unable to press the button.

Eventually I broke free, and yesterday’s post was published.

I did not trust my gut.

—–

“I am responsible for everything … except for my very responsibility, for I am not the foundation of my being. Therefore everything takes place as if I were compelled to be responsible. I am abandoned in the world … in the sense that I find myself suddenly alone and without help, engaged in a world for which I bear the whole responsibility without being able, whatever I do, to tear myself away from this responsibility for an instant.”
~ Jean-Paul Sartre

—–

To be a blogger takes self-assurance. A great deal of it.

In part, it takes trusting your instincts.

You must believe in the ideas you have. Faith in your abilities as a writer is essential.

When I write, I trust my gut.

—–

“All human activities are equivalent … and … all are on principle doomed to failure.”
~ Jean-Paul Sartre

—–

Fear can be overcome. People with type 1 diabetes – those who previously feared needles – know this all too well.

Do not let fear be your master!

Do not allow fear to hold you back!

The Purpose of Writing

Expression. To express is the ultimate end of all writing. That’s it. The purpose of writing is that simple.

Distinguish yourself from the crowd! Don’t insist on complicating the uncomplicated!

Expression is the aim. Everything else is secondary. Conventions. Grammar. Choice of words. These are means to an end. Never lose sight of that.

When you write, you are free. Why do you choose to abbrogate your responsibility? Why do you allow Master Form to entice you with his promises of ease?

just write and remember…

Writing is a selfish endeavor. Art is a selfish pursuit. Despite this, they have the power to inspire…uplift…motivate…change.

Writing is a sea of gray, into which selfishness and selflessness melt away.

These are beliefs I hold dear.

Coping with stress: how do you cope?

My baby
My baby

After months of collecting dust, last week I finally decided drop my Yamaha acoustic guitar off at Guitar Center in order to get it restrung/have its truss rod fixed.  I regret not having this done sooner.

My procrastination deprived me of a powerful means of coping with stress. Given my situation, my procrastination could have cost me dearly.

Taking a proactive approach to managing stress is of paramount importance to me. In addition to living with type 1 diabetes, I also have to deal with ADHD and insomnia. All three of these conditions cause a great deal of stress. I’ve always been acutely aware of this, and have, for as long as I can remember, sought more productive ways to deal with it.

Some of the ways that I’ve tried to manage stress include: writing, reading, listening to music, meditation (zazen), playing the guitar, and exercising. All of these have helped me lower my stress levels to an extent. Unfortunately, however, they haven’t always helped me enough – especially when I was a teen.

Given my situation, I’m alway’s open to suggestions on coping with stress. Feel free to share how you cope with stress in the comments section below.

A very windy (winding) road indeed – Why you shouldn’t write titles when low

“A 2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail…” – Wikipedia

Happy New Years Eve!

When I woke up this morning, I had no clue what I was going to write. Looking for inspiration, I took to the internets and searched “new years resolutions” on the Google. (Excuse my excessive use of Bushisms)

The first website I clicked on was Wikipedia (an awkward place to try to find inspiration), and I found the quote that’s at the beginning of this post. This quote served as the first impetus for this post.

Originally, I planned on titling this “will you be among the 12%?” and I was going to touch upon some of the reasons we fail to achieve our goals, and explore some ways in which we might prevent that from happening. (very original)

Now, back to the google search I mentioned earlier.

With a vague idea of what I wanted to write about, I searched “goal setting” in order to find more inspiration. I found what I was looking for…

image

After reading “Why goal setting doesn’t work” by Ray Williams on Psychology Today, I began to question my assumptions about why we fail to fullfill our goals.

My topic had changed, and I began critically analyzing some of my assumptions.

While I was in the middle of writing on my new topic for today, a phrase came to mind: “moving beyond New Years resolutions”. I liked this phrase, so I decided to change my topic once again. (gotta love ADHD)

The intro to this post ends here. 

Like most of my other intro’s on this blog, I began by choosing something random to write about – whatever comes to mind – and proceeded to write about it.

At this point, I could potentially proceed a number of way. I could:

  • turn this into a discussion on decision making in general
  • preach the importance of sticking to one plan of action
  • rant about my inability to stay focused today
  • be a-you-know-what and abruptly end theirs post here
  • etc.

Instead, I’ve decided to try to return to what I originally wanted to do with this post, and, somehow, tie it in with the topic of New Years resolutions.

My attitude is this: if you make it to where you had resolved to go in the beginning, then all of the diversions you take on your life’s path don’t really matter.

When we get blown off course, it’s okay. The real problem is when we decide to not try to get back on course.

Perhaps the reason why only 12% of people succeed at accomplishing their New Years resolution is because 88% of us tend to give up after being blown off course…

This post didn’t proceed as I had originally expected. I still, however, accomplished some of what I set out to do. In addition, I:

  • admitted to not always finding it easy to write, despite my talent;
  • offer a glimpse into my approach to writing these posts;
  • express some ideas that can be used for future posts.
  • didn’t let my ADHD not get in the way of my goals.

Flipping the Birdie to Perfectionism

ADHD is being particularly meddlesome today. I can’t stay focused. As soon as I focus on something, my mind starts to wonder elsewhere. I’m not even able to absorb myself into the act of writing. I’m struggling to write, and it’s not do to a lack of ideas. Rather, there’s an overabundance of them.

I say this to bring to light a fact about blogging: it doesn’t always come easy. Oftentimes, a lot of work goes on “behind the scene’s.” What the reader is left with is a heavily polished product. There is nothing inherently wrong with this. I just don’t want my blog to be like that.

I want to have a blog that takes a more avant-garde approach… yet, I want readers – a lot of them. These two aims can and will clash.

I don’t want to allow any facade’s to be erected. I want my imperfections as a writer to shine through. This contrary to my own perfectionism, my societies unhealthy obsession with perfection, and, sometimes, writing conventions. I do this not as an end in itself, but as a statement.

Perfectionism isn’t good for anybody. For people with type 1 diabetes it’s particularly bad. [distracted by snow] Prior to being distractedly, I did have a complete thought – and I still remember it – but I’m not going to complete it. [briefly distracted by nothing in particular].

I’m not leaving that thought incomplete in order to be an asshole. I’m leaving it incomplete in order to given you a taste of what it’s like to have ADHD. Look on the bright side: you don’t have to deal with a mind that’s so unfocused…so easily distracted.

Anyways…I to get some more coffee and get back to putting finishing touches on the post I’ve been trying to get done. You’ll see that one later.

PS this short post (somehow) took 48 minutes to complete

Why I Write

In the 21st century, the daily grind of life threatens to make us all grow dull. We are torn by a multitude of competing demands: by our innermost desires, by the demands society places upon us, etc. We are over-saturated: by information, by endless noise, by a flurry of activities, etc. We are all, to varying extents, caught up by this deluge, and swept away from our innermost selves. We’re all at imminent risk of losing our bearings.

For some of us, these difficulties are exponentially greater. As a person who happens to have type 1 diabetes and ADHD, this is especially true. Diabetes adds a  unique set of demands – ones that are ever-present – and my ADHD sharpens the all too common tendency to get caught up in and distracted by trivialities. It is all too easy for me to lose sight of what matters most to me. It is all too easy for me to lose sight of who I am at the most fundamental level. Introspective writing is my remedy to this.

In order to write, I need to concentrate. All external things are left at the door, opening up a space for me to delve deep into myself. Deep introspection is now a possibility. I am left alone: my thoughts, feelings, actions, etc. are before me in a way that isn’t possible when distracted. To prepare oneself to write is also to prepare oneself for introspection.

My method of writing helps my introspection in another way: it forces me to be self-honest. For me to write, I have to silence the inner critic, and let my thoughts and feelings flow. Improvement can come latter. Editing comes later. The first step is to simply write. Self-honesty flows from this method. Over-thinking is diminished.

In introspective writing, what lies within becomes manifest.  So long as the fruit of my introspection remains in my head, it quickly becomes rotten; I easily lose sight of the insights that I’ve gained. Introspective writing remedies this. Being made manifest, the fruit of my introspection is available to me in my time of need. When I’ve become lost in the demands of life, and I’m hungry for insight, it is there for me.

These are, for me, the most valuable reasons to write. They aren’t the only reasons I write, but they are the one’s with the greatest cash-value. These benefits permeate the rest of my life. It helps me to both discover and remember who I am, what my priorities are, etc. In a word, introspective writing is the ark that saves me from the deluge.