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?

 

 

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