Lessons Learned – The Silent Experiment

Lessons-Learned_The-Silent-Experiment

I have been suffering from some major writer’s block this week. I’ve spent awhile trying to write a totally bomb post but I just can’t quite find a flow! So I am going to share some lessons learned from this past week, and hopefully some of them can apply to your life too!

Also, if you want to check out my first Lessons Learned post, just click here.

1. Reading=A Must

When I was younger I was an avid reader.  I always had a book in my hand, and would spend hours and hours in the library looking for the next new book that would captivate my attention. As a teen I loved fantasy and mystery stories. As an adult I have really fallen for procedural TV shows, and instead of spending time reading I usually spend free moments watching House, or NCIS.

This makes me sad because the idea of leaving the library with five books for the week is something that gets me excited. So in an effort to read more, I went online and found a few different reading lists, and made my own reading list.  My first two reads are TransAtlantic by Colum McCann and The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. I am currently in the middle of TransAtlantic and am looking forward to building up my repertoire of read books, both the classics and the more recently published.

TransAtlantic-The-Grapes-of-Wrath

 

2. Cluttered House, Cluttered Mind

Does anyone else find that organizing makes you feel good? I have been trying to figure out ways for our home to be more organized. Right now even when it’s cleaned I still feel like it’s not organized and orderly. We have a lot of little things that don’t have a home yet.  Yesterday I bought a shelf from Target and put it in our closet. It is amazing how much that vertical storage space helps! I was able to move things that were taking up space in the living room into a new home in the closet. Having less things hanging out all over the place makes the house so much easier to breath in.

I also moved a wall unit air conditioner that we had in our closet into the living room, covered it with a sheet and we now have a coffee table/auto man.

Knowing that everything has it’s own space, and that we aren’t just pushing things against the wall so they are out of the way feels so good!

Before and After Closet
Before & After

Box-Coffee-Table

 

 3. Eating Veggies

I told Ben that one of my lessons learned for this week was that I needed to eat more veggies. He thought that was strange because I am already in love with them. However, I have been tracking what I have been eating over the past few days and I was surprised by how few vegetables I was actually eating, especially compared to the amount of starch and sugar. So now I am trying to fill up half of my plate with veggies before I put anything else on it so that I can make sure that I’m getting enough.

4. Writing Breakthrough!

For the past few weeks I have been trying to develop a writing schedule. It has been really hard. In the mornings I go to mass and don’t usually begin writing until after I get back and eat breakfast. I find myself getting so distracted that I can’t focus on writing, or blogging, or anything really. I think that a portion of this is just learning better self-control, but I think that there is also some merit to the idea that people are more productive during certain parts of the day. You have to learn what that time is and embrace it. For me that time is 6am. Yay. As hard as it is to actually wake up, I find that I am much more productive and motivated to get work done early in the morning.

I will be trying this theory out during the next week to see how it goes! I am actually really excited, because this morning I was in a groove, and I can’t wait to get back there.

Writing-In-The-Morning

 

5. The Silent Experiment

This post is a child of boredom. It exists mainly is because of this video. Lately, as I mentioned above I have been really struggling with focusing. Everything else is more interesting than the work that I have in front of me.

In my search for more interesting things to do besides working I came across this (yes, I just linked it again) video from Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is all about the value of silence. Now I am not talking about 15 minutes of silence here and there, or 20 minutes in the morning, reading and writing in a journal. I am talking all out silence where there is no music, no reading, no talking, no distractions. This type of silence is hard. It is just you, your emotions, struggles, and feelings and you have to actually think about and face them. No brushing them aside to focus on something that is “more important.”

I of course, while watching this video came up with the brilliant idea that I would time myself for an hour of nothing. Just lay there with my thoughts and with God, and think. I was that bored.

I lasted 32 minutes before checking how long I had been laying there. Only half way done. That’s when I fell asleep for a minute and decided that laying on the floor wasn’t a good idea.

In the video Father says that boredom is a necessary ingredient for creativity. Case in point, when are we the most creative with entertaining ourselves? When we are the most bored.

Experiment Results:

It’s okay when I get caught in an unproductive head space, because sometimes greatness comes from me realizing that I can’t do this alone. As much as I really want to be super funny, and write posts that people enjoy reading, I can’t rely only on myself to get it done. I am way too weak for that.

Sometimes it’s healthy to realize that the burden of creativity is not something that only comes from me. My ideas are formulated in my head, but inspiration comes from without. The thought of having to come up with a blog post that is better than the last is scary. It’s so easy to get caught in the mindset of “How do I top my last post?”.

My big lesson learned for this week is to keep my eyes open, being observant of myself and my surroundings and allowing myself to be moved by those simple moments that I encounter every day. I encourage you to do the same.

Have you ever experienced writer’s block? How do you conquer it to get back to writing?

 

 

8 Comment

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your experiment! It makes me feel like part of a little “tribe” – in a good way! 🙂

    I decided June 17th to take a personal break from most social media (like the stuff that you do when you’re bored.) I still needed to engage with the computer and online forums for my writing job, but I took an “old school” break – till last week – with soical media.

    I read paper books. I wrote for fun with a pen and notebook, and didn’t engage with my immediate online friends at all. I rediscovered my old delight in paper books, and the movement of pen across paper.

    And just as an FYI – every day in July wrote a post. Disengaging from social media when “bored”, caused me to be more engaged with actual writing – that writing filled up the hours (yes, hours!) I’d spend being bored on Facebook, etc.

    I realized I needed to do more disengaging from the mindless stuff, and hold a book more often in my hands. It ups my own writing pace and idea “bank”.

    1. klassickathleen says: Reply

      Oh yay! I’m so happy to hear that!

      I hear you about the hours on Facebook! I would really love to become a stronger writer, so the more time I can spend writing and reading the better! Since September’s almost here maybe I’ll try giving up extra social media for the month, and see how that goes. 😀

  2. Thanks so much for this, I can definitely relate. I really struggle with wanting to improve and make my posts better, and part of that is so I can best serve others and part is when I get all caught up in the social media game – that is when I start to lose my peace. I really feel that God has been teaching me so much, when I get stuck for ideas I often pull back for a bit and God shows me moments in everyday life and I try to write about those. I am learning so much as I go. I am always a bit of a work in progress haha

    1. klassickathleen says: Reply

      Thanks for reading! It has been awesome learning so much in the past month about blogging! It seems from what people are saying that it’s really about finding a way to use social media in a way that it can benefit us, but not let it take over the whole blogging process. Something that I am definitely still working on myself! 🙂

  3. Marie says: Reply

    hate writers block. I just don’t write. I’d rather not write at all than to put something out that is awful. 🙂

    1. klassickathleen says: Reply

      I hear that! Thanks for reading 🙂

  4. Writer’s block can indeed be a problem. Hmmmm … I can’t think of anything else to say … Just got a sudden attack of writer’s block. Sorry!

    God bless.

  5. My writer’s block got so bad I even gave the wrong address for my blog.

    God bless.

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