Don’t know about you but I often feel like in my head there is a never ending battle for attention between dopamine-loaded, easily digestible content vs. insatiability to create meaningful things. All seasoned with feelings of “not good enough” and “why adding to the noise”. So I create in chaos but rarely my effects see the daylight. They remain as drafts tangled in this scary jungle of thoughts.
Slowly I’m beginning to tame this chaos with the best tool ever invented – writing.
I believe writing is therapeutic and something we should all practice daily. For me, it helps structure my thinking, see the links between different concepts I’m trying to explore. Depending on what’s your agenda, you could write a journal, you could keep it for your grandchildren (Probably by that time they will just scan those journals with the next gen OCR and automatically upload that to their physical memory so no worries about bad handwriting. You should still write as you experience things, as you know, our memory is plastic and by the time you’re 80 your memories will be like some Pollocks’ vomit.)
You could do the “burn before reading” letter therapy. You know, this concept of writing down your negative emotions towards someone or something, with no intention to send that letter. Or, if you’re looking to bounce ideas and connect with others, you could do like me – write a public blog.
Fun fact: this blog has what I call “The Underblog” – a series of private posts I’ve written and published to myself but I’m not yet ready to publish publicly.
There is something magical about seeing your plans and ideas on paper. Somehow it makes them feel as if legally binding between the conscious and unconscious you. Like if you were scared that devil comes after you pointing signed chirograph up your nose, whenever your focus drifts too far away.
Once you drain these thoughts down the paper a.k.a. your RAM, you can free your mind up. When you can name and visualise your worries, you will see that the devil’s not so black as he is painted. (again with this devil, stop it, me).
Writing trains your skills needed for planning and strategy. I write to-do lists every day on a piece of paper and put a “!” sign next to the urgent / most important things to be done that day. Then I rewrite that list next morning. I analyse if the things which are still not done are worth doing anyway. I add new tasks to that list.
The point is, we all want to be heard and we want to be understood. We want to belong. Public writing can be your bridge to that with a safety net. You put your thoughts out there but you don’t see the immediate reaction of the receiver. You’re still building the bond, shaping it the way you want it. Sharing things on your terms.
Today I escaped anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions — not outside.
— Marcus Aurelius
Writing reflects the way you think and do things.
Before I finish writing one sentence, I already have another one attacking me at the back of my head. Trouble is, the latter thought is often only very loosely connected with the first and when I’m trying to make that connection, a monstrosity comes out of it. It’s so non-linear that how can I possibly expect anyone else to follow. You’re not in my head. And even if you were, you’d get lost in the maze of insurmountable wall of ideas and die out of starvation for sanity.
Whatever I write, I lose others in my way of thinking because I take them too far away from my main thought. I don’t take them by hand in the logic of thinking as I assume they will follow the process and figure it out themselves. So they get lost, and as result, I get lost and demotivate myself because I can’t get any feedback. My ideas just scream in the vacuum never to be explored further.
For me everything is connected. If you throw at me random words like peanut butter and koala I can tell you a story of an body-builder Jack who was just preparing for his competition working out a lot, eating chicken, broccoli, tuna, cottage cheese for dinner and baking his own sugar-free peanut butter cookies (they are high in protein!) watching koalas on YouTube (koalas are the new black of kittens!) while baking.
What’s the point of this story? None.
That sort of imagination is a blessing in disguise. It’s a freaking awesome experience to feel that connection when you’re on the > second level of inception of mental challenge with someone. You don’t need to explain your thinking in extremely simple terms. You just click. (Which may also suggest that both of you are cuckoo).
Whatever is your biggest struggle, something you want to perfect – writing can help with that.
I’m really good with being self-organised but I’m terrible with passing my main message across. I want to stuff other person’s head with my 1001 ideas while they only have space for 1. I want to change that.
My new writing strategy
I need to fight this urge to make things complex, when there is no need for it. It won’t make me sound smarter. If anything, it will make me sound like a miss blowhard who tries to hide her lack of logic behind fancy sounding terms and concepts.
Currently I have 45 post drafts. That means, that each draft probably contains around 5-10 topics I just threw in one like some kind of bigos or ragù. (Damn, this quarantine makes me think of food too much 🙂
I need to bite size them.
Not the I-have-no-attention-span-because-I-am-a-millenial size. Something complex and long enough to filter out the above group while attracting at least equally cuckoo people, but short enough posts for both of us to persevere to the end.
I need to make sure to pass one main concept here. Everything needs to oscillate around this: all my naughty or/and often bad or/and not funny jokes, bragging attempts at taking culture, and so on.
I believe once you perfect writing, you automatically become better at public speaking. That in turn creates a sense of influence which results in what we all crave – the feeling of belonging.
Complexity is my enemy. Any fool can make something complicated. The simplest designs are the hardest to make.
So my question to you is – what remedy would you prescribe me? I want you to help me to stay on track. Will you?