The . . . Great? . . . Work?

Today was not particularly productive.  I was going to bang out two of my three syllabi today, but that didn’t really happen and probably won’t.  I spent most of the day sitting in my still-empty house reading a paperback and waiting for a guy to come and write some numbers down on the gas meter.

I was supposed to write an article for Rending the Veil magazine, a really excellent online magical journal, but the holidays kind of ate my brain.

Ideas are weird.  I get them in clusters: I’ll get lots of poetry ideas for a week or two, some fiction ideas, some ideas about things I’d like to write about magic — and then nothing.  Or I’ll get three ideas for scholarly research I’d like to do, and then nothing for weeks.  Mostly, I’ve been gearing my mind up to course construction for the upcoming semester, so I wonder if that’s why I’m not so productive writing right now.

It’s also weird how guilty it makes me feel sometimes, as if I should be completely productive in every single field I write in all the time.


5 Responses to “The . . . Great? . . . Work?”

  1. “I get them in clusters: I’ll get lots of poetry ideas for a week or two, some fiction ideas, some ideas about things I’d like to write about magic — and then nothing.”

    Although I can’t agree with the poetry part of what you said – for the rest of it, I am the same way. One day I will be full of ideas, and the next, nothing…

    The worst of it is that it’s usually the times that I really need to get something done that my mind wanders elsewhere.


  2. You should be productive. The “guilt” comes from sitting in between the realms, all enthroned and empowered, and not using you knowledge and wisdom to help others. You’re a talented magician, an excellent writer, and you really should be doing more with your gifts to help others. Fill up the empty times and the guilt will have nothign to attach itself to.

  3. Oh, I have to disagree with you, RO. Not all empty times need and should be filled. Sometimes those projects just need more gestating time. Silence and emptyness have their values, too. Patrick, you are all the things that RO has described-I would just hesitate to use the words “really should” with anyone over the age of 17…

  4. As Teresa of Avila once observed, La paciencia todo lo alcanza, or rather in English, Patience obtains all things. Sometimes the ideas need to come in their own good time. (Usually when you’re missing either paper or pen to write down said ideas, although weirdly enough, paper and pen never seem to go missing at the same time. Ahem…) It’s difficult, working through the silence, but know that good things bloom from introspection, and even from time apparently expended in crashing. The gods, by whatever names you call them, will provide. May the New Year bring you and yours every good blessing the cosmos has to offer!

  5. I didn’t mean there isn’t time for gestation. There’s a difference between that and stagnation. I find myself slipping into non-productivity rather easy. I believe it’s a human trait to tend towards laziness. While Project A is gestating, there’s no reason you can’t be working on Project X, or Project A prime.

    I’m not suggesting every moment has to be busy either. Just that in every moment, what you’re doing should have a purpose, a conscious purpose. Like if you’re doing nothing to recharge your batteries for two days, let it be on purpose and follow through on the plan.

    And when I use “really should,” it means I really think someone *should* do this. It’s advice, and at 34 I haven’t stopped needing to get it. He’s free to take it or leave it.

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