Saturday, 1 December 2012


I have a frustration which runs something like this:
  1. The world is full of marvelous wonders--music, language, art, flora and fauna, story, dance, the interplay of thought and emotion, the list is nigh on endless.
  2. I am gripped by an incessant desire to continually create new odes and fugues from the delightful colours and flavours surrounding me (yes, the abstract form of anything you care to name is the sound of a flavoured colour and my brain is a giant hearing, seeing tongue).
  3. Whether by habit, circumstance or disposition (read: laziness, time constraints and Winston) I find that however many things I desire to work on in a day almost that same number of things fail to happen.
  4. The frustration of not bringing to life the splendid notions I had in my head the previous day provokes me into coming up with a further litany of projects and endeavors which I add to the already long list of things-I-would-like-to-do.
  5. This monstrous process continues until, despairing of ever accomplishing anything, I toss out most if not all of the ideas that had fascinated me up to this point and go crawl into a dark cave where I hide until Churchhill comes and takes his beastly dog away.
 The point of listing the various steps in this frustrating cycle (and cycle it is, for I find myself getting into it on a seemingly regular basis) is to see if I can spot a weak point to attack and thereby end the whole rotten thing. Already the plan is working because as I write I notice that if step 3 (which effectively amounts to the obfuscation of my own creative desires and impulses) could be avoided then maybe, maybe, maybe I could make things a little easier on myself.

Of the three components to step 3 (laziness, time constraints, depression) laziness and time constraints feed into each other and thus require a coordinated approach, whereas depression at least partially fed by the whole cycle and thus is probably best helped by breaking said cycle--which is circular and means that laziness and time constraints are probably my best options for dealing with my frustrating situation.

 At this point I (my writing being stream-of-consciousness) will list the answer to dealing with laziness and time constraints without further qualifiers (because that's where I'm now up to in this process and shucks to anyone who can't fill in the blanks and keep up--I'm writing this for me not you anyway):


If I can be disciplined in recording ideas as they come to me, if I can be disciplined in setting aside time in the day to work on even a portion of the things I have want to create, if I can be disciplined in using the time that I set aside, then there's a good chance I can get this thing beat.

Of course, the road between here and there isn't smooth; and the thing I'm hoping to beat in all this is the the very thing that will make it difficult. Discipline requires motivation and motivation (so my studies in pedagogy taught me [yes, that was intentional]) requires sufficient causal roots (both intrinsic and extrinsic) for it to exist and have effect.

What motivates me? Why do I do what I do? What makes me get up, keep on going through the day and into the night?

I dunno.

I have feelings, I have inklings, but to crack this nut I'll need something a bit more solid. I'll get back to this when I have something to show.


P.S. In proof-reading this before I click Publish I am painfully aware that my writing (at 12:45AM) is rather closer to the title of this post than I should like--truly nothing helps clear the air around the topic of obscurement like verbosity--but against the possibility of my later, better, and certainly less sleep-deprived judgement I contend that the artless artistry [now there's a good oxymoron for you] in unintentionally discussing obfuscation in a obfuscating manner is more than worth any pain it might cause the reader. In the tradition of all the best deluded quacks to ever lay claim to "Great Art": 
It's Art--don't question it!


  1. 'twas clear enough from me, and a pattern I well recognized.
    I would suggest focusing first on the discipline of making a good record of the ideas before they pass. Then with the perspective of hindsight you can pick one that still looks promising to actually work on.

  2. I would also enlist the help of people around you to 1) have a regular bit of time each day to work on this and 2) make good use of that time. That is, your wife and housemates and other family (when present) must understand that you may need to be cajoled into sitting down to list and/or reflect on your ideas, and that you are not to be interrupted during this activity unless the house is burning down or the zombie apocalypse has reached your neighborhood. You probably need to set aside a space for doing this out of the mainstream activity of your household, and if you can manage to set a scheduled time for it it'll become a habit you'll be loath to break. Eventually.

  3. A bit late to the party, but I would urge you to: 1) list all the things you might possibly wish to investigate; 2) select a subset of 2-3 to work on, perhaps on a rotating basis, for the next few months. I well know how easy it is to get sidetracked when there are so many things you want to do and, because of human limitations, are not able to do. Definitely enlist the help of family and friends.

    And, if you decide something on your list isn't as exciting as you thought it would be, no shame in dropping it and going on to something else. Also, no shame in doing something for a season, stopping it, then going back a year or so later.


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