I had to wean myself off the pocket notepads I used for more than 20 years. The pocket notepads went in my back pocket and made an outline of themselves like a tin of chewing tobacco. The pocket notepads started when I was a freelance writer/reporter, and how intently I must have looked scribbling, all the salient points, in those township meetings. And as I went on to other jobs I took the notepad with me because there was always something important to write, work or otherwise, and over time, its presence on my butt was a reminder of who I wanted to be every time I got dressed, which was every day.
Maybe I just wanted to leave something behind to prove my point. But going back, going through those notes is no reward for my survivors. The notepads became a staging place for ideas I developed elsewhere, many of them here. So I gave myself the habit of ‘pre-creating,’ and then took those notes to another format to finish them.
And because I’m habitual I do the same with my phone: I type notes with my thumbs in one app and then move them over to WordPress when I’m ready to edit. There’s something psychological about feeling free to fail, or just ideate that’s important.
And like my one-time writer and illustrator neighbor Brom said, he had to put himself into a mindset to write or draw, they were separate things. There was some foreplay to get himself in the mood, I imagined. I started doing that too. I could feel it coming on, as I transitioned from work-mind to creative-mind, it sometimes turned to butterflies in my stomach, if it was good.
And Bowie said something about never playing to the gallery, or, don’t define yourself by what others like or require of you. What a hard thing that is to learn. How often I think something I wrote is better than it is based on the way people react to it, and the reverse is also true. But the reverse is always worse, when you’re proud of what you made but don’t get much in return.
On the rare times I go back and read something I’ve published on my blog it’s a mixture of contentment and disappointment, which is just like my life I guess; it succeeds that much in its realism.
I saw this image below this morning from Chuck Wendig, and it brought me joy and comfort. Perhaps the lesson is, ‘don’t let who you are get confused by the money it makes you.’