I’m still trying to write a book, and I still can’t find my footing. Other (writing) ideas have continued interfering with my writing process; this isn’t news… The repeated derailment leaves me in the awkward situation where I have even more incomplete snippets—fragmented paragraphs that don’t cohere… I’m sick of this. Clearly, simply willing myself to write a book isn’t working out—yet I know writing’s my way forward… So, I’ve changed my strategy: instead of restricting myself to writing a book and fighting my impulses, I’ll give into them. Instead of drowning out my thoughts, I’ll latch onto an intrusive thought and see where it takes me. I.e. I’m just going to start preparing my notes for therapy and hope for success…
Why can’t I write a book?
Well then… At least this time, the thought’s topical… A promise is a promise though, so I’ll roll with it for now… Why can’t I write a book? That’s too vague and complicated to answer directly and productively—so I’ll try breaking it into smaller problems—problems simple enough to answer while building towards answering the broader question.
Aaaand I’ve hit a wall already… Others call this writer’s block, but it isn’t—at least not the way people describe. What do I mean?
Explaining things sentence by sentence will just muck things up; diagrams will solve that (or at least mitigate it)… I’ll start with simpler, generalized diagrams and gradually introduce more complicated, focussed ones:
There. That’s the generalized version—Base Case for diagramming my train(s) of thought. I realize it might seem abstract (it is), but I’ve purposely done this. It’s helpful across so many situations/topics that I believe this most effective. Now, let’s slowly unpack that…
Note how there are two actors: A1 and A2. We can add more (e.g. A3, A4)—if preferred—later, but I only need two for the base case. I could also remove all but one of the actors to isolate and focus on that actor’s path—but I still need two actors for the base case… To understand why, let’s zoom in on the one-actor version. Since I’ve already shown you the generalized diagram, we can substitute less abstract terms to clarify:
There. In addition to focussing on the single-actor thread, I’ve substituted a few terms:
- S1 –> Actor(s)—all actors involved… ideally… In reality, I’d only include relevant actors—though I’d still be mindful of other options.
- A1 –> Me—the only actor in this diagram.
- A1P1 –> Trigger—a stimulus (external or internal) that triggers the processing (S2). Though usually an event, it doesn’t need to be.
- S2 –> Processing—consciously processing available data/information… ideally… In reality, I’d only include relevant data/information—though I’d still be mindful of other options. I’m still looking for a reputable source distinguishing between data and information; I’m open to suggestions (of reputable references for definitions). Remember, I’m looking for a reference to provide rigour—not “one might argue” definitions, “in my opinion” statements, or other garbage of that variety…
- P2 –> Thoughts, feelings, emotions, memories—these generally matter most overall; this could also be further broken down or added to. Also, I’m still looking for a reputable source distinguishing between feelings and emotions; I’m open to suggestions (of reputable references for definitions). Remember, I’m looking for a reference to provide rigour—not “one might argue” definitions, “in my opinion” statements, and other garbage of that variety…
- P1E1 –> My Action—my action resulting from what I’ve processed. This can also be added to (and sometimes further broken down).
- S3 –> Resolution—the overall outcome incorporating all actors’ perspectives
- E1 –> Outcome from my perspective—my perspective of the event; my experience.
Ideally, each substitution would be exhaustive: practically though, only relevant substitutions are included…
In the next part(s), I’ll use a few specific situations to expand on this. I haven’t decided on which yet, but I’m searching for cases that most people would find painfully pedestrian, and for cases that most people would find absurd and unlikely.
As always, I’m open to feedback! See y’all next time!
Thank you for your time,
Roybert S. Henanigans
P.S. 96: I’ve updated my Contact Me page explaining how you can help me if you choose to. This includes a messaging form, my gmail address, my Twitter account, and a donation button to my Ko-Fi page. I’ll update specifics gradually. If there’s one thing I could ask for above all else, I’d ask for two—then I’d use one of those two to say that the best way to help is to share my work with someone.
On a serious note, thank you so much for reading—it truly means the world to me!