Great Exp^H^H^H Distractions

(Side note for those who dodged Usenet subculture: in Early Computer, ^H was how the backspace key “looked” if you turned it into a printable character.)

Not having a template for Being A Poet is bugging me. Template, vision, career path… Map for my days. Yardstick for whether I’m doing needful things or merely lollygagging*. The great capitalist measure of good productivity, fees for service, is not effective for this life of poetry…which leads to a philosophical rabbit-trail on the Utility of Art that I’m not interested in tonight. (Ask me some other time.)

I’m more interested in this scrap of paper (yes, again) I found on a table. That day I was listening to a blogger, Jen Louden, whose work I love, conversing on The Creative Giant Show podcast. It wasn’t the main thread, but she touched on various ways she’s observed women (including herself) derail themselves as they start to wade into the creative work of their hearts.

My scribbled notes:

  • “Oh, it’s overwhelming! Too much!”
  • “I should do more research.”
  • “I need to take a course! That will save me!”
  • collapse in a heap and watch Netflix/read Facebook for a year
  • work on the socially OK stuff—something that will pay, or the j.o.b. just like the job before

If it was my list, I’d add the working-from-home pitfalls of laundry, dishes, and other maintenance. Those are similarly socially OK, and add the immediate gratification of making order. That aside,

Research is generally my seducer…it’s secretly related to ‘collapse in a heap,’ since my go-to avoidance activity is to read books. (Reading’s also my fastest energy-renewal mechanism, which gets confusing.) ‘Take a course’ always sounds fantastic to me, since I love going to school. But I had this one seminar experience—I’m not naming the conference, because it’s not it’s fault—that illustrated Jen’s point about a decade in advance of this podcast. <blush> So right now I’m inoculated.

Mostly? Even though I’ve currently stepped back from being socially OK in my working, I’m feeling unsure that what I’m doing is really acceptable.

Time to read my tshirt again:

black & red tshirt, says "Defy Self-Doubt" ©GSUSA


*Lollygagging, as defined by one of my all-time favorite movies

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