“Man the Problem Solver is only that because He is the Idea Keeper”
On the Shoulders of Giant
This quote comes from his book Zen and the Art of Writing.A book I have had on my shelf for years. I have read the book a few times I decided to read one chapter a day. And this time reading it I finally understood what he was trying convey. My own experiences and time is what I needed to have in order to come to understanding this book.
If you can’t read and write, you can’t think. Your thoughts are dispersed if you don’t know how to read and write. You’ve got to be able to look at your thoughts on paper and discover what a fool you were.”
I like Ideas. But the last three years of what I refer to as the “Abbey Normal Hazy Days” . It seemed that too often people were (and still are) trying to force ideas to conform to their ideology. And myself identifying in political terms as being an agnostic atheist. In other words, I don’t appear in any polling data. Oh well. And so what. I don’t have a tribe these days.
It took me along time in this life for me to recognize the Virtue of Being Curious. And exploring Ideas is a Daily Habit. It is A Stream of Consciousness for me. That has made for myself what I call the Some Assembly Required Mindset.
This is how it tries to function on daily basis. And it became a lesson on dealing with Ebbs and Flows.
Every Morning starts about the same. I am not a morning person. But it was the card I got dealt to play. 5:37 AM and the Snooze Alarm Game. And I swear. Snooze Alarm time and actual time are two total separate constructs. Must take its cues from the timing of microwave ovens and yellow lights. 5:52 Alarm wins.
Drink One Bottle of Water. Get breakfast and lunch set to take to work. Make Coffee. (On the weekend I have been enjoying Black Rifle Coffee ‘Tactisquatch’ Blend)
I don’t turn on the TV first thing. And local morning radio is pretty much repetition and commercials. Luckily,I have an Internet connection. And I tune in to ‘The Wake n Bake’ Morning Show with Clay Pigeon /WFMU. It is unique show because I never know what I will hear next.How do people attempt to wake up by listening to same repetitive music every day? I do tend to be drawn to the Unusual.
A few years ago, I came upon the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. It was a book that was recommended by several people and they are in various fields.
Her first major exercise is the Daily Habit of Morning Pages. Three pages written by hand. Aboutut anything and everything. It is My Choice. During the Abbey Normal days this became a struggle for me. Many days I could only get a half page or nothing. I think it was fallout of time and space seeming not to matter with the mandates. I don’t know what My Switch was. This year so far My Morning Pages are just flowing three pages that seem impossible to doand yet I am making them happen.
My other main take aways from The Artist Way is the Artist Date which lead to my ongoing Instagram Project. And going on Walks.
I put the notebook in my backpack to take to work. And I do my own take on James Altucher’s ‘Becoming an Idea Machine ‘. I try to write at least one page in that notebook. It could be an idea, an observation, a question to ponder, a song title, movie or a book. Whatever. It just has to be something that makes me Curious. Something that I might expand on.
I don’t know where any of this goes but I know I can’t edit a blank page. And my Some Assembly Required Mindset needs a fuel source to go with. I do though take a cue from Julia Cameron about the Morning Pages exercise. DO NOT SHOW THEM TO ANYONE. This will come off as being anti-social. But I no longer talk to anyone about what is in my notebooks or on my notepads. It is not until I hit the button to SEND/PUBLISH/POST that I will have the conversation over what came from my notes. Too often I found that others just want to interject themselves and their ideas. Crazymakers. And hypercritical.
I don’t believe every Idea I have comes out fully formed. And all my notes are for plantings the seeds into my brain for later use. I will keep saying that at best I can hope to be .250 Hitter with my ideas. A Solo Home Run is One Point. But the Bases Fully Loaded makes that Home Run worth 4 Points. I call this The Moneyball Factor.
Plus, My Process is Ugly and Odd as anybody else trying to make art. And anyone telling you their process is perfect. Is Lying. I also like reading about the Artist Process and the actual Process involved I in the making of. I allow my Some Assembly Required Mindset to sift through the books to pull out what may be of help in my own work. Make Notes. Find source material.
Mad Max: Fury Road and the John Wick series were very successful and changed up the Action Movie Genre. However, in the early stages of making these movies those involved in their production had no idea that they would even work. There was a lot of Trial and Error involved. Ideas, Effort and Success are Three Separate Things. I am glad I can find books about that. To do some deep diving. I learn more from story than from textbooks. Tap into their experiences. Learn the parts that don’t get taught.The stuff not in the brochures.
Process is Personal. Process is Weird. Process is Unique to the Person. Have Fun with That .
Plot it out on the Roger Skaer Chart.
Stuck? Remember to refer to Steven Pressfield.And the benefits of having a sandwich break from time to time.
Finally, the various works of Nick Cave. His blog The Red Hand Files. His book written with Sean O’Hogan Faith, Hope and Carnage. And rewatching 20,000 Days. As example of what do you do with an idea and where do you take it.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds –‘We Call Upon the Author ‘