In part one I introduced you to the Base Case. I then introduced a slightly less abstract example. Today, I’ll continue with these diagrams and tackle the topic that set this series in motion: “writer’s block.”
I’ll lead you through each substitution from Base Case. I’ve listed each the term from Base Case followed by what specifically replaces it (for this situation):
- S1 –> Actor(s)—This time there are two actors: Roybert; Jean Doe
- A1 –> Roybert—Roybert contains all of my idiosyncrasies and habits and—by extension—my identity. Roybert is what makes me me.
- A2 –> Jean Doe—They’re the other actor. They’re the next most consistent actor (after Roybert). Jean Doe is not a real person—despite how much they might resemble any particular individual. Instead, they’re a point of reference: they represent the norm—specifically, my perspective of the norm. Let’s look at a simplified diagram of Jean Doe’s path:
- A2P2 –> here, the trigger condition is writer’s block: the inability to continue writing.
- S2 –> Processing—This contains data and information relevant to the situation. This section warrants its own diagram(s) since it contains the most information and greatest complexity. Zooming in on the contents of this section drastically increases the complexity; I include simplified diagrams of the previous level(s) to help better navigate it. For example Fig. 4 (above) ) depicts the simplest version—the first level. Fig. 5 (below) zooms in once; it’s the second level. The contrast between the two exemplifies why simplified versions matter so much.
- P2 –> Thoughts, feelings and emotions, memories—This is where I’d note what I’ve observed or—in general—learned about normal experiences—i.e. what constitutes Jean Doe’s experiences. Regarding writer’s block, I’ve noticed the following in others:
- frustration—the type that arises from not seeing one’s efforts pay off
- anxiety—the type associated with time pressure. People dislike spending time on something with insufficient payoff; this anxiety overlaps with frustration.
- boredom—distractibility and detachment from writing. People lack the necessary engagement to continue with writing. This disengagement leads to wandering minds and culminates as boredom.
- insecurity and self-doubt—feeling like a failure. The inability to write wears people down. This overlaps with the previous points
NOTE: these points aren't exhaustive, nor will I claim they're objectively true. (E.g. I find the claim "some people aren't creative" spurious…) However, this isn't about what I believe; it's about what I've observed.
We get Fig. 5 when we zoom in one level on Fig. 4. This zoomed-in diagram highlights the interconnectedness between points, and the flexibility of those connections. E.g. boredom links with feelings and emotions. It also links with memory about high school English classes, which links with I can’t write. I’m not the creative type, which links with thoughts. All this connects the three main inputs in PROCESSING.
- P2E2 –>Freeze—ironically, the most common “action” arising from all that processing is… inaction… Uncertain of how to proceed, Jean Doe freezes.
- S3 –> Resolution—the complete outcome incorporating all actors’ perspectives. Right now, we’re focussing on Jean Doe’s perspective though, so let’s move onto E2.
- E2 –> Outcome from Jean Doe’s perspective—Jean Doe’s perspective of the event; their experience. In this case, E2 is no progress.
I hope that clarified Jean Doe’s path in the diagram—at least well enough to follow Roybert’s path, which’ll require (a lot) more explaining…
Next post, we’ll examine Roybert’s path. Thanks for reading!
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!