Last night I drafted quite a different post to the one which follows. The original, I decided today, was too much about my personal life and certain recent happenings which brought me an unexpected level of joy.
So I deleted it word by word until all that remained was the the above image, which I have kept here to encapsulate and serve as a reminder of what true happiness is about.
I’ll tell you only that this is a photo of the latest canvas to hang in my study, and that the artist turned eleven years old about a month ago. She spends most of her time working on imaginative portraiture and figurative art but occasionally turns her hand to landscape. This one certainly pleases me.
Moving on, Blog Day 5 was about communication blockage [ Advent (delayed) Blog Day 5: Blockage ] and in a way about the universe and everything. Rather than doing my usual random jump around the numbers, kindly observe that I now transition logically to Blog Day 6 and A Slight Unblocking, an episode which is both mercifully brief and stoically positive in my humble opinion.
As with the Blockage episode, what I have to say is not specifically about writers or writing. It is about the mindset of people like me who enjoy having several balls in the air at a time while lines of communication remain conveniently open, but find it difficult to move on to something new when communications about previous work or correspondence stop or are delayed.
It really only becomes a problem when there are several examples at once of this ‘blockage’ – those times when irrationally it appears that the whole universe is in conflict with your progress in particular. Nonsense I know, but it can feel that way.
In the previous post I think I hinted at the need to find a way to ignore this and force yourself to do new things, trying not to check email and texts every five minutes (in my case I go through phases when the frequency of checking is even more extreme than that). One must learn (I am trying to learn) that this behaviour simply wastes time, interfering with progress and creativity. More importantly, it increases anxiety.
In short no good will come of this habit, and weaning yourself off such behaviour, I can confirm, does yield positive results. I should add that I fully understand from my own experience that being confined to home on one’s own during lockdown tends to make the situation worse, so going out for a walk may assist, especially if you dare to leave your phone behind!
In my own case, just by getting out for a little while, having safe socially-distanced or virtual chats with people I care about, breathing in some fresh air and putting aside concerns about unaccountable communication delays, I have felt less frustrated.
Furthermore, the universe has opened up a little, sending me a couple of lovely pieces of snail Mail which I’ll tell you about in a future post, an email telling me the new publication date of something which had been delayed, a long-awaited email from a travel agent about transfer of a deposit and confirmation that an upsetting personal matter is going to be taken care of.
There are still other matters of importance I haven’t yet heard about but the anxiety I felt a few days ago has been taken down several notches.
So, in my experience it does work. It’s also a good thing to remember the really important things in life like family and other loved ones. I have a wintry landscape image that will continue to remind me of my priorities.
If you don’t have one already, finding an image that focuses the mind in such a way could be a useful starting point.