Working deep is the answer for me. To be happy, to feel good about myself, to not feel guilty about sucking up my share of oxygen on the planet. I have to get back to it.~ Steven Pressfield from, https://stevenpressfield.com/2010/02/writing-wednesdays-28-depth-of-work/
I too am drawn to deep work. I wonder if there’s anyone who is not?
But for me, deep work seems to not be enough. I also need deep learning. I need to spend two uninterrupted hours reading something, (perhaps S Ambrose’s Eisenhower, or T Ferris’s Tribe of Mentors,) with stops to copy out quotes, detours to lookup some detail, bookmarking of another author’s work, and so on. My mind is one large pressure-cooker, and I need to regularly vent the pressure, pop the lid and jam new stuff in before sealing it back up again on medium heat.
Roughly a quarter of U.S. adults (27%) say they haven’t read a book in whole or in part in the past year, whether in print, electronic or audio form, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted Jan. 8 to Feb. 7 .https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/09/26/who-doesnt-read-books-in-america/
Interesting article that digs into who exactly is, and isn’t, reading. Want to change your life?
It has to be territorial, not hierarchical. Meaning real success comes from the inside out, not the outside in. Real success is the process, not the product. It’s what we would do if there were nobody else in the world, yet it depends in the end on everyone else in the world. The essential expression of our art is that of a gift. We draw from that which is most ourselves–and then offer that essence to our fellow travelers on this planet, to help them, entertain them, show them they’re not alone … asking nothing in return (well, maybe enough to pay the rent, we hope.)~ Steven Pressfield, from https://stevenpressfield.com/2009/11/writing-wednesdays-15-elements-of-success/
This is a classic that has nothing at all to do specifically with writing. If you are involved in creating anything, you will find this is a great article with a long list of elements of success. (“Elements of Success” is his title.) After you read this, you should run—not walk—and get a copy of his book War of Art; you can thank me later.
The paragraph above really spoke to me. The idea that “success is the process” is something I keep losing hold of. Like a swimmer who keeps forgetting that kicking effectively and continuously is a necessary part of staying afloat and getting there, I keep forgetting that the process is success and I begin to struggle.
I don’t know why we long so for permanence, why the fleeting nature of things so disturbs. With futility, we cling to the old wallet long after it has fallen apart. We visit and revisit the old neighborhood where we grew up, searching for the remembered grove of trees and the little fence. We clutch our old photographs. In our churches and synagogues and mosques, we pray to the everlasting and eternal. Yet, in every nook and cranny, nature screams at the top of her lungs that nothing lasts, that it is all passing away. All that we see around us, including our own bodies, is shifting and evaporating and one day will be gone. Where are the one billion people who lived and breathed in the year 1800, only two short centuries ago?~ Alan Lightman from, The Accidental Universe
It seems obvious to me that apprehending the impermanence of everything is necessary in order to remain sane. Obviously my entire existence is an immeasurably tiny fraction of an instant. Obviously there is no ultimate “point” to all of this. Obviously there is no one true meaning of life.
It removes a lot of baggage and struggle once you realize that reality is in fact the real situation you are in.
…and then you’re free. Free to create, conjure, combine, laugh, love, learn, run, ramble, perable, talk, commiserate, procreate, invent, integrate, mix, mingle and just generally ENJOY LIVING.