Empty Spaces

I've noticed something about myself.  I have a problem with empty spaces. This is a rather amusing discovery after having spent the past year working on a far more minimalist lifestyle. Empty rooms, these I like. I like not having things to tend to, clean up and care for. The non-domination of stuff is very freeing. But it doesn't just free up square footage, it also frees up time, possibility and opportunity. These are the empty spaces that can make me freeze.
Take this page. Sometimes I open it up without any idea what words are going to fill the space. Suddenly, all possible thoughts and thought combinations rush to the front of my mind and begin to push, shove and shout over each other just like my kids do in the morning. When they do that I leave the room, when my thoughts do that, lately, I've been leaving the room. Which leaves this blank page...just...sitting...here.
I'm discovering that without a funnel for my focus, I'll just throw thought and effort to the wind in hopes that something of value will eventually spring up.  However, this isn't how I want to be. Just as too narrow a focus is limiting, no focus at all is simply wasteful. It makes no good use of time, space or talent.  I tell people constantly that there are ten thousand great things to take part in in this life, but chances are that less than one percent of those great things were meant for me to throw myself into. As I find myself free to do and engage in more, I also need to be very, very mindful that more doesn't become too much.
I often have that problem when I write. I want to write about everything. I worry about losing people if I don't connect with each post. But the fact is that narrow or scattered, there are people who aren't going to connect, and there are people who may connect for awhile and then drift away when what I have to say is no longer relevant to them.  That's natural. It's the way life works. I have done the same thing on many occasions.
I also am not terribly disciplined about writing down ideas when they come to me to use later. My Hunky and I were talking about blogging the other night; he was bragging...err..telling me about his queue of over fifty half written blogs he has stored away.  I need to develop this discipline so that I am not always sitting down to an overwhelming blank screen.  My unruly thoughts are in for a rude awakening when that happens, like dogs running fast on a short rope.
I used to think that art and talent were things that just happened, randomly choosing a select few to fill up and spill over.  I don't discount the seed of talent and the spark of a gift, but I also know now that those are merely tools, worthless unless I make the effort to pick them up, and use them correctly and often, and for their specific purpose. Inspiration is never going to sweep into an empty space and make anything. I am the one who directs it and uses it to affect change, beauty, and serve a purpose.

1 comment:

Pattie said...

I have a comp book (my "writing notebook") that I keep near the computer, and in an ideal world I would write ideas in it. However, since I've been on a clean-desk kick, the notebook is usually put on the shelf, which means it's not on the desk, ready to be used at any moment...