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Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

So, um, yeah, after writing about how writing is hard, I go 3 days without posting anything. Self-fulfilling prophecy, perhaps?

I’m going to try to set a goal for myself: post 20 entries in 20 days. That’s 1 post a day. Hopefully I can succeed at doing this and still keep some quality control here. It takes some energy to write something of value.

We’ll see.

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Writing Is Hard

Writing can be a real pain in the cushion.

Take for example my “return” to this blog last month. My total number of posts have been in the single digits. I haven’t contributed a single entry in June and we are halfway through the month. What’s eating me hasn’t been writers’ block or a lack of good ideas. Instead I haven’t possessed the motivation to write about anything for the past 2 weeks.

Bummer.

Which brings me to motivation. The stuff comes in waves. Who knows how or when something can motivate you. Reading a beautiful poem might inspire one to pen his own. An architect might seek inspiration from trade magazines or by strolling through a uniquely-designed neighborhood. In my case, honeybees seeking pollen in flower petals motivated me to pull out my digital camera to capture some close-up shots. I took over 200 pictures (thank you, digital photography) just trying to capture the perfect bee-sucking-pollen-out-of-a-flower shot.

So what motivates us? Objects, events, or words that are of greater quality than our own creations but not so great that we believe they are unattainable. Let’s face it, if I didn’t believe I couldn’t snap a kick-ass photo, I wouldn’t have bothered. Watching Michael Jordan play basketball doesn’t inspire me to dunk hoops because I know I’ll never reach the NBA. But what explains my apparent lack of progress on this blog? I know I can write interesting pieces because I’ve previously done that. Perhaps I haven’t recently come across any intriguing articles either in print or on the Web. My reading has been in historical books lately (War Peace and War, The Idiot’s Guide to World History, A Patriot’s History of the United States) so I haven’t sat down and read a newspaper. My online habits haven’t changed, though; I still find myself perusing HuffPo and The New York Times.

Am I rambling? Yes. This is what you would call a freewrite and completely permissible in the blogosphere. And even if it weren’t I’m president, publisher, and editor-in-chief of this little blog so nyawwww if anyone has a problem with it. And no, I’m not editing it: I don’t have the motivation.

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I’m currently reading The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky. Unlike previous personal development books that I’ve read, this one is penned not by a spiritual leader but by a social psychologist. Blending New Age principles with scientific study, Lyubomirsky shows that up to 40% of our happiness can be controlled by our own thoughts and perceptions.

I’ll post a more-detailed book review in the near future, but one of the most intriguing studies Lyubomirsky and her colleagues discovered is that the more someone wrote about his or her future in a positive light, the happier that person will become. By spending only 20 minutes each day over the course of several weeks you can improve your happiness simply by jotting down your fantasies or dreams.

Having said that, I recommend that all who read this should, as part of one’s daily routine, jot down your ideal future. Your notes could be in a journal, a notepad, or even in a blog (hey look at me!). If we aim at positive well-being and an enlightened mindset, we might just hit it.

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