Impetus

It is often the big events which give new impetus to a project or a lagging goal.

I was busy before the pandemic and now I have a very busy life. So far COVID 19 related lockdown has been a blur of work, babysitting, house cleaning, logistics. I know I am not alone and many people have even more to do than me. I also know some people are going through this lockdown with no work and no children to worry over. I wonder what that’s like??…..But I digress.

Impetus itself is a mid 17th century word from Latin. It comes from impetere ‘assail’, from in- ‘towards’ + petere ‘seek’. This suggests a searching and overcoming of obstacles. Impetus is often an externally generated thing in my life. I wish it was more internally driven.

Start of a new streak. Here’s hoping I have the impetus to keep it going for at least 30 days.

Keep well and happy Monday chimps.

Hyperion update – viva Audible

Dan Simmons’ Sci-Fi novel is a great listen on Audible. So far I have listened to about 8 hours and I have about 12 hours left. That’s 20 hours in total! Sheesh…. I don’t think I would have started the book let alone stuck with it for this long if I was reading an old hard copy. But with Audible and my routine of listening before sleep, I am confident of finishing it.

The ‘Canterbury Tales’ structure of the novel is brilliant. The Priest’s tale was an introduction to the world. The army general’s tale was brilliantly graphic. The Shrike is terrifying. I am in the middle of the Poet’s tale (no. 3) and completely absorbed by the tale. The humour and in particular the linkage with the writing process are absorbing. It makes me want to read the referenced poets like Keats. I want to visit the “City of Poets”. Check out this trail for an idea of the links to old poetry: link

Highly recommended.

Happy Monday chimps.

Developing a concept

The addition of ‘escape the jungle’ to my blog’s main menu is taking shape. I plan to add a few sub menus to cater for all the things in life that help me to escape the jungle – to be less chimp and more rational being. Less anxious and more free.

So far I have art, design, productivity and psychology.

Within these categories I will post my favorite stuff. There will be subcategories too I guess…sport goes somewhere. This is the stuff I love and enjoy. The stuff that makes my life better.

Happy Sunday chimps.

Mourning the death of a newsletter

Actually, there is no mourning – the newsletter didn’t last long enough for me to become attached in any way, shape or form. 3 episodes was more than enough.

So what has happened? Well, in my quest to build a meaningful website I have realised that I do not need to have a newsletter, and that worse still – I do not really have meaningful news to share!

Instead, I ought to work on what I get excited about. I love making podcasts, and I love the idea of ‘escaping the jungle’. This idea was a feature of my newsletters but I have instead brought it into the website under its own page. It’s likely to feature a broad range of things I find helpful. A record of life hacks and interests which help.

As painful as this might be to follow, I am slowly figuring out what I want. It is all in realtime as I develop this blog of mine. “Escaping the jungle” could just as well be called ‘coping with life’. Life is hard, so let’s figure out how to cope with it best. Let’s keep record of what helps.

It’s a little narcissistic to keep on rearranging something to suit you and your readers. It’s also a trait of mine – for example I will often feel a compulsion to rearrange my house. Things could always be better, but there’s a limit. I am going to leave the site like it is for a while, drop the newsletter, and see where it takes me.

Happy Thursday chimps.

Mourning the end of a streak

For a few days I couldn’t write. I don’t believe in writers block, but exhaustion and overload are real and encourage resistance to create.

We are all in the middle of a war. The global pandemic is spreading. As much as it is a war against a terrible disease, it is also an assault on the senses. A drain on our energy if we succumb to the non stop media coverage. It grabs attention. The media distraction is only exacerbated by young children and old grandparents relying on my wife and I to help navigate the family. It has been a load and for three days it squeezed any bandwidth I had for writing right out of my mind.

For me, this is a mini-tragedy (compared to the global mega-tragedy unfolding around us) because I had built up a decent streak of writing every day for over a month.

It is surprisingly hard to start fresh. But once you start, the words do flow. You just need to start.

More creativity to cope with tragedy. I’m back and I will hit a month again.

Happy Tuesday chimps.

Exchange

Most good relationships work on chemistry and personality. But we can also find ourselves dealing with people who are not such a natural fit for us. In this case I find setting up an exchange helps.

If you can find a way to ask for someone’s help in exchange for your help, it will form a sort of beneficial relationship. No chemistry. No humour. Just help.

It won’t be easy flowing laughter or deep discussion necessarily, but it won’t be war.

If you’re struggling with someone, look for an exchange.

Happy Saturday chimps.

Split

It helps a lot if you are confident about the desired outcome. If you know what you want. I’m not sure what the stats are, but I bet that the odds of something happening go way up if you have the end goal clearly emblazoned is your mind.

All of the most important things related to a project – values, culture, status, leadership – they depend on the parameters that are set.

Maybe an example will help me express myself. If you write a novel, and it starts as a tragedy, then slips into a sci-fi, then to a slapstick comedy, and finally reaches a crescendo as a religious historical piece – well that sounds like a confused mess.

Genre and its audience is perhaps where you want to start. It helps to define the values, the culture and the modus operandi.

With that in mind, I have realized my writing on this blog tends to split into different interests. I might write about creativity, African trade, productivity, music, or sci-fi all in the space of a week.

This needs to become a little clearer, and step one in the splitting out of interests is to redesign the site a little. I think this new template is clearer and the menu at the top will help to clarify things.

It’s a work in progress.

For anyone who has reached this far in the post, happy Monday chimps. 😀

Revisiting old posts

The below post didn’t publish properly on Friday, so here it is again. Happy Sunday chimps.

One of the fun (if lightly embarassing) things about having a blog, is that you can look over your old posts. There are stats so you can check out your most popular posts, check them by date, by category and so on.

A few years ago I wrote this post highlighting the fact that I didn’t know who I was writing for. That was in 2017 and unfortunately 3 years later I still don’t really know the answer.

I read that in order to succeed building an audience on the web you need to have the who, the what and the where. The only part of the equation I have really sorted out is the where (this blog). I still don’t know the genre to stick with or who to share it with. Which is a little discouraging.

Happy Friday chimps