I originally posted this long rambling post in early 2009, right after moving to Providence, RI — as the first post on my original albeit short-lived Devoke the Apocalypse blog. FWIW…
But it’s still magic. And it’s also intention.
Through observation and experimentation, I developed a complex formula to cure writer’s block. For myself.
That’s the thing about formulas. They often don’t apply. Unless you’re talking about a fully controlled lab setting, formulas can be very problematic. I’m not talking about any specific formulas here, but the very idea of a formula. I hesitate to say what I have found to work for me, for fear that someone might try to replicate it without respect for context.
When you set out to do something, you’re starting with a goal. You want to accomplish a certain thing. Now, goals aren’t fixed things either. Our goals may change, and it behooves us to allow for that possibility. But, in the short-term, when you set out to do something, you have a goal.
If it’s something you have done before, then you may have a very clear idea about how to do it. But that doesn’t mean your idea will work every time. For example, the other morning I had a goal of purchasing an adjustable wrench. I had a clear idea about how I would do it. I would bike to the local hardware store. Specifically, I’d pull left out of my driveway, take another left onto Ives, and then a right onto Wickenden. However, after turning left onto Ives, I saw that it was blocked off for street work.
I had an idea about what would work, and it didn’t work.
No matter. I turned onto East Transit and took another route. I was focused on my goal of getting to the hardware store – not on the particular route. I could easily adjust, and didn’t even think twice about it. Common sense. Almost anyone would manage fine in a similar situation.
That’s why it may be useful as a metaphor for achieving more complex goals. You don’t become so fixated on your idea about how to do something (get to the hardware store) that you can’t adjust to new information or changed circumstances (street work on Ives St.). Continue reading