Sunday, 8 February 2015

When the mind is blank

Today is Sunday and it's been a good one. I've passed the day at a slow pace despite attacking the mountain that is Year 9 Foundation. At the moment I live alone, I'm in a new town where I don't know too many people so I can work without the guilt of taking time away from my family. We all make choices sometimes just so we can feel on top of the week ahead. I think I'm pretty good at the work/home/life balance and I know when I've done enough. There's one obvious sign though...the mind goes blank. I was working on a document and had a bit of a win around how I would organise a project and then I found myself randomly clicking tabs, staring a bit too long at a page without knowing what to do. That's ok if you're looking at a beautiful picture but when it's your google drive list of folders well, you know it's time.

It's time to shut things down and finish up. Tomorrow will happen, I'll face my classes and do my best and it'll be fine, it will even have moments of great joy. I'm sure of that. Then I remembered I hadn't done my post yet for #28daysofwriting. I'm determined to stick with it but when your mind is blank how do we go about turning it back on for that one last thing we need to do? I'm not a writer really, I've not experienced 'writers block' and at the moment all I'm doing is documenting the events of the day, the things that stick out for me and I'm not overly concerning myself if it resonates with others. That's just a bit too much pressure and I might quit if I thought too much about it. I am doing this for me so I will develop a new habit, I'll be connected to others while I'm involved and I'll get clarity around my experiences as I find way way in my new place.

So I think when the mind goes blank perhaps the best thing to do is to write about the writing and hope it's not too much of a waffle. I've had this tiny thought going on in my head since I started this project that my writing and the writing of many of the blogs I've been reading are poles apart. I've noticed that I tend to write about the day to day stuff with some reflection built in and then others write about the big ideas. They just manage to put the words and ideas together so they are poking and prodding me into thinking. I'm being challenged by what they say and the ideas they have. I'm not trying to dump on myself. I'm ok with where I'm at because I know I'm interested in improving and it will happen with effort and with honest reflection but I marvel at what some can do.

I liken it to the difference between numeracy and mathematics. In my mind numeracy is about the every day maths that you need to operate in the world you live in. My numeracy skills help me to buy things and not get ripped off, I can do my banking, I can estimate how far I would have to walk to the local pool and decide whether I should take the car or not and I can do a budget and save for my awesome travels later this year. That's what my writing is like when I compare it to the mathematicians of writing. (I'm sure at least one of you and, probably +Chris Harte is most likely, to create a new word for me that describes the writing mathematician). These guys can explain the big concept that links the ideas together, they take the specific cases and then they generalise to give develop a theory and they can explain the things you can't physically see. They play with ideas and look for patterns and try things and then they let us join in so we can play too. I'm in awe of them and it gives me something to aspire to. It's like I'm on the cusp of relational in a #solotaxonomy kind of a way and the writing mathematicians are at extended abstract.

So when the mind is blank and we still have to rely on it to finish off the day then we fall back on what we know. Form me it's just writing about what happened. Maybe by the end of the 28days I'll have learnt more ways to put my ideas into words so that I can write like a mathematician too.

No comments:

Post a Comment