My collection of notes has been growing recently. Sometimes you just cannot sit down and write when an idea shows up. During those moments restraint is required and the diligence to take a few notes. Later on when the time is right you have to take those notes and turn them into something delightful. A journey of prose that takes shape and communicates something. Every little bit of the day could end up being a part of a written passage. Some of it is much more exciting than other parts. It’s utterly indulgent to sit and just write down every detail.
A useful repository of stored wisdom
Rain is falling outside this morning. It is a welcome bit of weather to a very dry year. Opining about the weather is probably not the best start to this writing sesion. It is a start however and I’ll take it for what it is worth. A few words as a starter to get the process of typing going. Sometimes a little nudge in the right direction is all the writing process needs. I’m still logging notes and other observations in Google Keep. That has worked out well enough. The key piece in taking notes is grabbing something useful and packaging it for later use.
Without the possibility of using it again the notes themselves are probably not going to be Without the possibility of using it again the notes themselves are probably not going to be revisited. Certainly I have a few notebooks that are full of long forgotten notes that will never be revisited. Some of my college notebooks are now a couple of decades old and have not been revisited at all or even really glanced at casually. They have simply been moved from bookshelf to bookshelf over the years. At this point, they are more of a visual reminder of something from the past and not a useful repository of stored wisdom. Over the course of so many years and so many notes a lot of nuggets of truth and a ton of false starts reside in those notebooks.
Today I’m hopeful it will be one of those days where things happen and things get done with a single minded purpose focused on pushing things forward. Moving in the direction of a perfect possible future. This month in general is starting off with a lot of possibilities. That is what happens when you look at the open space in front of you and think about what can be done with the time you have. Certainly the work will need to be put in to help drive things forward.
All those notes and ideas
Some of my notes over in Google Keep have suggestions for where to take my writing this morning. Throughout the day I capture a few notes now and again that are aimed at sparking a writing adventure at a later date. They are just little nuggets of ideas, but they are rarely drawn out into a full sketch of what could be produced. A long time ago (over twenty years), I used to have a proper idea notebook where I would sketch out ideas before putting them down on paper. For better or worse that idea notebook went everywhere with me and all sorts of things were jotted down for later. At this very moment, I think that notebook is sitting in a pile of retired and slowly aging notebooks in my office. Actually at this very moment they are sitting behind me in the bottom drawer of a cabinet. It could be a somewhat frightening exercise to grab that idea notebook and review it now with the power of twenty more years of life’s lessons, wisdom, and hindsight. Some of those nuggets of an idea that were taken down by hand on page might be interesting. I’m going to venture to guess that a good number of those ideas are about the nature of normativity and the contempt the social animal has for the social fabric. The rest of them are about the opposition the thinker would have to have to that as a juxtaposition or opposite reflection.
Right now I’m resisting the urge to turn my chair around and start to dig into the ideas of the past. That resistance is allowing me to begin to really think and write with my Google Doc window taking up the whole screen. My chair is comfortably positioned and I’m in a good place to write for about 30 more minutes, but we will see how it goes. Being interrupted in the middle of my writing projects always is so disruptive. When you really focus and get into the moment where your full capacity of thought and emotion is targeted at the act of writing something happens. You let everything else sort of fade away and the moment is yours to take in any direction you want to go one keystroke at a time. Sometimes my thoughts even wonder in the middle of typing as the act of entering actual keystrokes is much slower than my ability to sort of create out loud from the inner voice of narration. I hope that sort of captures it in a nutshell. At the point of meditation taking hold you can feel a sort of zero space where nothing is pulling or pushing you in any direction. In that moment is where I like to allow my thoughts to form around what will get put onto the page. That is the space where I attempt to do my deepest thinking. This is a very different effort from the tactical process of problem solving.
This post was almost titled, “a history of notes and ideas.” However, the current title of the post won out today. It seemed like the right way to go in the moment. Something in the background took me out of my writing flow for just a second and my thoughts scattered. Recovering from that moment of chaos in a stream of creativity takes a lot of energy and focus. Part of this daily writing project is the commitment to sitting down and filling up a page of prose in one writing session from start to finish. Starting the day off with a solid 500+ word writing session is really a good way to open up the day to more possible paths forward. In some ways it helps me focus my thoughts and really refine where my energy and focus are going to be placed. Generally anything that is really on my mind during this time will proceed to the forefront of my thoughts and receive attention. Inherent within that previous statement is probably the nexus of why this exercise is valuable. All of the content that is outputted is probably less important to me at the moment than the clarity and focus that are achieved through the process of writing.