I’ve been struggling with writer’s block for the last week. In an attempt to get my juice moving, (see how I avoided the cliche,) I took a walk.
I walked to the kindergarten, which is about a mile from my house. The rectangle surrounding the campus translates to a half-mile. I jogged the half mile, then walked home. All together, about two and a half miles traveled.
On the way, I was clogged. I couldn’t think, I was worrying. I hoped the walk would move my thinking to a more productive mode.
It did. After the jog, my mind was on breathing and nothing else. I didn’t have the wind I needed to feel sorry for myself. Then, when I caught up with my lungs, the juice in my head was diluted and sloshing. Jogging had melted my thinking, and now it was messy milk up there. I could make a metaphor about how settled milk produces all sorts of useful stuff, but I refuse. I leave it to you.
The thought that stuck was on how to break out of a rut. To put it as simply as anyone could ever put anything, it’s hard to do stuff. It’s hard to take a positive action, compared to not taking an action.
Entropy is powerful stuff, especially as you age. The ruts in your brain get deeper, and the slope in the gray matter gets tougher to climb.
But I’ve found one silly way to bust out. Inspired by Scott Adams’ fantastic writing on hot wiring oneself, which can be enjoyed in “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big,” a key among many to jump starting oneself is this: don’t do nuthin.
What does that mean? Here are some examples of how you can not do nuthin.
Instead of losing weight, don’t eat cake. Instead of exercising, don’t sit on the couch unless you walked a mile. Instead of watching YouTube, don’t watch YouTube. Instead of not reading, refuse to avoid your reading.
Yes, it’s dumb. Yes, two negatives equal a positive. But it works! The power of negativity can be harnessed, if you’re enough of a Negative Nancy to avoid not trying.
Soon, I will tell you how I quit smoking by not smoking. One of my most satisfying triumphs in negativity.