Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Big Sleep: The Blind Spot

Number of people on this morning's facebook feed complaining about poor sleep: six.

Just a data point! Pit crew and I both slept poorly, too. So, eight. I think it got warm during the night, and it got too warm with all the blankets on. Assuming that everybody had blankets on.

From 43 Folders: Fake Rocks, Salami Commanders, and Just Enough to Start. Which I totally identify with, but in the reverse. I don't have trouble starting creative work, I have trouble starting regular work. So I don't know if all that stuff about fear applies; but anyway it's immaterial, because I agree with his conclusion:

The answer? You do the hard thing. No matter what it takes. You stick with it at the time you’re most tempted to run away.

Like I said in the talk, developing those invaluable tolerances... requires the exercise of some very small muscles. The muscles are super-hard to locate, and once you do find them, they hurt like a bitch to exercise. But, doing that exercise repeatedly will pay you back ten-fold.
Just like for skating, yeah? Here is yet another benefit of play that is work, it helps you understand other kinds of work (work that is work, work that is play). Particularly, I think, if it takes you out of your normal mode, like how skating gets me into my body and out of my brain. It's a false dichotomy, which is the point. Your brain is part of your body; and if you've seen me teach, my brain is very involved with my skating. In fact I have a friend who convincingly argued that we have brains distributed all throughout our bodies, but I digress—
Because that next time you’re in the studio or the library or office or the cafe or the living room or the what-have-you, and you start to feel the fears building barriers, you’ll know what to do. And you’ll know how to do it. Because you’ve done it before.

There’s no trick here, guys. No system. No diagram. No hack. No tips, no webinars, and no Digg-able bulleted lists. It’s simply work.

You sit, you work, you tolerate. Then you do it again.
Just like for writing. It's hard to express how this is something that I know, for writing. Or, I guess I just expressed it. And if we're going with false dichotomies and if my body can inform my brain, I think my right brain can inform my left brain. There was never any other answer except: just do it.
Creative work, summarized: In the time you set aside each day to work your ass off, ignore anything that makes you consider stopping.
Any work, summarized. And pay attention to the bit about "the time you set aside," that's the unsung key to it all.