More think-y than write-y

In the last couple of days, my brain has been absolutely filled with ideas but none of them are finished cooking.

And that makes it really hard to write.

Knowing that all of these cool ideas are simmering makes all of my easily accessible thoughts feel pretty dull and/or makes me feel like I should wait until they are ready before I write.

However, I know better than to fall for that.

Experience has taught me that:

– My current ideas only feel dull in comparison to those simmering ideas because those simmering ideas feel perfect (untested things often do.)

– Waiting until my ideas are ‘ready’ often means that I won’t write at all.

So, here I am writing a post that’s kind of a placeholder but at least it reminds me that any writing I do is helpful in the long term.

Writing for an audience?

I don’t think anyone is reading this blog unless they happen upon it. I’m sure it’s not particularly interesting most of the time.

And I’m not sure I want to make it more interesting.

Obviously, I wouldn’t want to bore a reader on purpose but seeing as I am writing here for my own sake, as a placeholder, as a daily ritual, the reader is not the main focus of this particular type of writing.

If I were to think about potential readers, I would probably post far less frequently because ai would get too tangled up in what to say on any given day.

Instead, I am thinking more of some writing advice I read a long time ago – ‘What do you need them to know?’

I’m concerned with saying what I mean to say as clearly as I can instead of concerning myself with whether the reader likes what I am saying.

I mean, I appreciate anyone who takes the time to read anything I have written but I think it’s important for me, and for any readers, to know the whys and hows of this blog.

I’m writing to keep my gears turning, for the comfort of ritual, to make sure that my brain knows the way to the page.

On some days, the way to the page is clear and I have something specific to say.

On others, I am stumbling forward and I have to find something to say.

The posts here are about the process of thinking and posting much more than about trying to be any good.

I’ll worry about that in other contexts.

Working on a Workshop

I’m teaching a workshop tomorrow afternoon and I am having the same problem that I always do with workshop prep.

I’m trying to cram too much into a short session.

I know this is a common problem when creating workshops. It’s hard to know what to include, what is ‘enough.’ You want people to understand your topic and you want them to feel like they got what they came for but you also don’t want to overwhelm them.

And I think this is exacerbated by my ADHD desire for context.

When I pull a piece of information out of my brain, it never comes alone – it drags a whole net of related ideas with it.

And the word related is covering a lot of territory here.

Related might include other facts relevant to that piece of information but it also might include details of when and where and how I learned that fact, other people who have expressed similar ideas, metaphors and analogies that are connected by a very thin string to the original topic…

You get my point here.

So, not only am I wading through stuff I *know* is useful and relevant and winnowing that down, I am also wading through all kinds of stuff that *may* be relevant and trying to decide if any of it is useful for the topic of the day.

Needless to say that process is a challenge.

I’m up for it but it is still a challenge.

I do have one important guiding principle though.

The heart of my workshop is this idea:

Writing is a tricky business and it’s ok to find it hard but if you can get comfortable with your own process, you’ll get your words on the page.

Making one creative task easier

I started work on a 24 hour Zine this morning.

I knew what I wanted it to be about but I was having trouble starting it.

A small paper booklet of flash fiction
It’s going to be 9 pieces of flash fiction about…you guessed it, ordinary secrets. Image description: a small folded booklet on a wooden table. The booklet has the words “some ordinary secrets a 24 hour flash fiction zine by Christine Hennebury” written on the cover and the blank spaces are filled with horizontal lines and there is a star in each corner.

Finally, after playing around with a few ideas in my head, I realized the problem.

My paper was too big!

I usually make mini-zines and I was trying to work with a regular sized paper just folded in half to make a booklet.

That’s A LOT of space to fill.

So, I cut the page in half and suddenly it seemed a lot easier to work with.

I mean, it makes sense – if you cut any task in half it will make it less daunting, right?

After 10 days of writing…

I am reaching the point where topics are popping up for me, even when this app isn’t open. But even though the writing itself is fairly easy, t I am still finding myself a bit reluctant to write here.

I think it’s mostly because I am not sure what I want this blog to be about. But I also find myself thinking ‘Don’t write that here, that’s a post for your coaching blog.’ Or ‘That topic belongs on Fit is a Feminist Issue.’

I don’t necessarily put those topics in those places but I still don’t put them here either.

(This tells me that I need a ‘container’ for those ideas so I can easily return to them. I’ll have to create a file or something.)

But, for some topics, they are just too big to get into. They’ll take more time than I want to spend at that moment. Or the energy cost will be too high.

A container, metaphorical or otherwise, won’t help with that.

That’s going to require a different solution but I haven’t figured that out yet.

Anyway, the ideas are coming more easily so that’s one hurdle cleared in 10 days.

And once I settle on a topic of the right size and shape, the writing itself is pretty straightforward.

So, I’m going to label this experiment ‘so far, so good’ and carry on.