Through the Fog

Returning once again to the safety of the pen with a quote and thought in my head.

“Part of our duty as writers is to do the work of honestly determining what matters to us and to try to write about that.”Julia Cameron, The Right to Write(AF), p. 218

There is an impression there creating neural pathways inside my head as the question then pops up in my head; what do I love to write about and what matters to me? What matters to you?

This blog has meandered through a wide swath of different topics all of which interest, or interested, me at some point during this journey. Julia follows this comment up by noting that when we write about topics that don’t truly matter we know it. I’m not professional enough to sit down at the keyboard and write about things that don’t interest me or that don’t matter yet I can recall posts that felt off.

This photo was taken in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on one of the very first trips that my girlfriend and I took together. I still carry the letter she wrote me after the trip in my notebook. It always gets transferred to the newest one so I can look back on it and read it again. It was mid-to-late afternoon and we were walking back towards our hotel trying to decide what we would do that evening. Or had we just come from the Rockbottom Pub at the top of the hill; no that came later. The fog, having a mind of its own and no set schedule, had drifted since we had climbed this hill and the church stoically did it’s best to fend off the fog as long as possible.

A takeaway that Julia suggests is to come up with a list of at least five things that are currently on our mind or that we think/read about. Reflect on the list and rank according to what inspires you the most. What is the topic that fires you up the most?

Mindfulness, Travel, Books & Beers, Entrepreneurship, Writing, Fitness, Philosophy, and Photography.  Those are what float through my head on a daily basis.

A big list that ebbs and flows with my own energies and thus drives the topics in this blog. Photography and Mindfulness form the bedrock of my interests with Philosophy creeping up, fitness always being a part of my life, and Books & Beers / Entrepreneurship starting to take up more of my interests.  The fact that all of these ideas circulate with various levels of energy is fascinating. As long as we can be honest with ourselves about our own interests the writing will come. The beauty of this process is that the words flow and we get to focus in on the things that are closest to what we care about.

 Takeaways:

  1. If you are like me and struggle sometimes with writing prompts, or have the prompts but fail to connect with the topic, try the list and heat map the list once done by identifying your reaction to each item and what gets you mot passionate.
  2. Remember that even if you go down the path of writing something and look back on it later with disgust, recognize that you created something regardless of those feelings and tomorrow is a new day.

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Through the Fog

  1. I am quite a fan of lists and have many small and bigger papers with thoughts and ideas what I could /would like to write about. Quite often though it takes some time till a general idea “grows” to something more tangible, sometimes you have it at the back of your mind for weeks or even months until a random scene/event/photo or whatever else brings it back and becomes a story (a bit like that old photo with a fog) ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. I agree! Have you ever heard of James Altucher? He has a blog and is a big fan of making lists. One of his ideas that I’ve recently tried out is making a list of 10 ideas every morning. It’s funny how creative our minds can be even if the ideas aren’t very good; the process of coming up with 10 ideas may lead to 9 bad ones but 1 really good one.

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      1. Not yet, I will check it out and try a morning list. Funny enough, I think I tend to have most ideas on those random late evenings, when I know I have an early start next morning and should be focusing on getting a decent night’s sleep. Morning list would be quite a change! ๐Ÿ™‚

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