Thursday, June 16, 2005

Blogger's Block and the BHAG

I keep starting posts that get saved as drafts and never posted. This is my third try. Getting stuck on your own blog? How ridiculous. My mind has been a blank, my fingers have been still, no words. Blogger's block? Paul Simon (the songwriter) says that there is never a time when you have nothing to say, there are merely moments when you are afraid to say it. It is the fear that you have to overcome when you are blocked. Alternatively, you are not ready. That is why you are blocked. Your words are not done cooking. How does one overcome acts of self-censorship? Is it time to send a postcard to postsecret?

On further reflection I wonder if it is that I cannot hold a thought in my head long enough to articulate it. {even to myself, in my head.} Things flit by me barely registering in my peripheral vision. When I was a kid I could concentrate very hard on one thing for long periods of time. I turned my attention to one thing and the whole world melted away. Alas, those days are gone. I hear that the adult attention span is about 15-20 minutes. For me it's about 8. It is unlikely that I can reach my BHAG*(Big Hairy Ass Goal) if I can only concentrate on it for such short bursts of time. Maybe I killed too many brain cells this past weekend and the rewiring in my head is taking a while. I swear to you that I used to be smarter.

*the BHAG I went to KW (now KG)'s wedding. And there I met WA who told me that turning 30 was the best thing that ever happened to him. He had accomplished things. He was clearly not a kid anymore so people took him seriously. He felt that he could focus in on his BHAG (Big Hairy Ass Goal) and know that he possessed the skills necessary to attain it. Plus when he got up and looked in the mirror he could say to himself: "Hey! I look pretty good for a man in his 30's." {Other male friends of mine (the late bloomers, not the jocks) seem to feel similarly. They feel that their teens and twenties were spent at the mercy and whim of the girls they knew but they were finally coming into their own. They had more confidence, more money, more character, and felt that the world was their oyster. As a woman of the same age, I kick myself for not recognizing and taking advantage of that asymmetry of youth. I was so concerned with gender equality and being respected for the content of my character that I did not "leverage" the 15 years of my rosy glowing youth.}

I vacillate from having too many BHAGs to having none at all. JD laughs at me because so far my ridiculous projected life plan over the next couple of years looks like this:

1. finish writing and then defend my thesis
2. alter all of my t-shirts (and some other clothes) to actually fit me
3. record an album with the charming fellas at postcard productions
4. book two or three low key shows to play in town before leaving
5. start a non-profit foundation that funds projects that combine innovation and sustainable living with a particular slant towards applying innovation to improved and sustainable living in developing nations. Because it is not that all the world's problems are insurmountable it is that we require greater imagination and courage in facing them.
6. find gainful employment at home.
7. move home and read an intensive course of philosophy with my dad for 6 months to a year while so employed
8. do 6 months of volunteer work abroad with either an archaeological dig or an endangered species conservancy project.
9. Start a syndicated radio talk show project devoted to science. Sort of a popularization of Nature News with a blend of new breakthroughs, the strange and bizarre, witty banter, science education and "how things work."
10. open a very small store called the poet's corner that sells only poetry.
11. open a philosophy store next door that sells philosophy books and has a staff of philosophy graduates willing to sit with you for an hourly rate to discuss your existential crises, challenge your current world view, and help you better understand your place in the universe.
12. find an actual respectable and reasonable way to live, love, and work.
13. write a book.
14. have a kid

Yeah. And I have blue prints for a unicorn ranch. I know. Clearly, I need to shed my foolery and focus in on item 1. and item 12. in 8 minute increments.


MomVee said...

Cool goals. I love being 34. Every time I parallel park my car downtown without having an anxiety attack (extra points for doing it in one smooth motion) I think about those bumper stickers that say "Grandchildren are so fun I wish I had had them first." I want one that says "My mid-30s are so fun I wish I had had them 20 years ago." Small talk is easier too.

BeckyBumbleFuck said...

*laughing at momvee* Clever girl.

*visably shaking at your post* Oh dear. #1 is huge enough. And #6 isn't easy either, yet just as essential.

Kat E said...

Girl, we are a lot alike. Though instead of a unicorn ranch, I'm working on a butterfly farm/apiary/organic farm type thing (in my head, that is).

ergo said...

Momvee: your goals are way cool too. I am honored to have you join me in my fake meme *bows* I look forward to the end of the Australian surf season when you come to town with your welsh mandolin folk revival project and book signing.

BBFK: C'mon *said in the best Nuzzi style*, you haven't even offered to help me write up the proposal for #9! Those punks at MacMillan totally need to spin out their nature news to a broader audience and the only topic for which they have not spun off a title is "Nature Haircare."

Kat e: The problem with my unicorn ranch is hiring actual virgins to handle the livestock. But this butterfly/apiary/organic farm sounds doable. *are you going to sell those hatch and release at my wedding butterflies?*

searchingforMrDarcy said...

Um, Wow, mine is much shorter.
1. Get job that pays me more money.
2. Get job that I enjoy.
3. Meet someone and possibly have kid.
4. lessen debt (helped by 1) to reasonable level.

misswg said...

I'm honored that my weddng is still remembered! And really, I think it's incredibly impressive to *have* such goals... I'm basically in a day-to-day existence and often feel like I should be planning or thinking about greater things. But, not. So give yourself credit for having the goals at all (and I'm sure you're going to reach many of 'em. Perhaps the unicorn ranch might get put on the back burner.)

ergo said...

Misswg! Your wedding was a delight. I have fond memories of that weekend. The day to day is pretty all consuming. I can't even seem to remember to buy toilet paper. Which comes as a rude shock with each trip to the bathroom.

jonny ragel said...

that's the next two years? wow. very ambitious. do you have any demo's up of your work? your life sounds like it's going to be a mix between mother teresa and courtney love. I can't wait to see how it turns out.

ergo said...

sfmd: Your list and mine have a lot of overlap in the meaningful catagories.

jcrash: Good point. This is probably my next twenty years. I don't have any demos up yet. I can't steel myself for the whole myspace/purevolume/garageband adventure. That's a pretty funny juxtaposition of people there. amusingly enough I took a personality test that said that I have the leadership style of Mother Teresa. =D I love when they flatter me like that.