Constraints

Zan. November, 2022

3 minutes

I've never been a big believer in New Year's resolutions. To me, they don't offer the right constraints. I've seen people go through that loop year after year with grand intentions of building new habits, shaking old ones. I used to live in an apartment complex with an adjoining gym underneath. For two weeks of the new year the gym was absolutely packed. I had been going to the gym for a while, so it was frustrating having to share the space with that many people. At the same time I was happy that these newbie gym goers were turning over a new leaf. Two weeks later the gym was empty. Back to the regular two or three people I had gotten used to seeing the previous year.

100% attrition. I wonder what went wrong.

It hasn't been a great writing year for me. The only thing that I've produced that I've been proud of is my reflection of a trip to the Philippines[-1]. The desire to produce has been absent from my experience. My fiancé and I are moving across the world soon. I can feel the collective uncertainty being introduced pulling everything off alignment like natural iron deposits tugging on the needle of a compass.

I need a project, structure, a framework which forces me to confront the intangible. To start making sense of the senseless. Writing is the most powerful tool I have to tame the chaos.

The Cosmic Egg - MidJourney V4

As it stands, the environment of my writing is unconstrained. I have seen to be true that constraints are a driver of creativity. The unconstrained project can go anywhere. Therefore, the unconstrained project goes nowhere.

Constrain

  1. compel or force (someone) to follow a particular course of action

Starting with this essay I'm endeavouring to publish one every week for the near future. Let's see if I can sidestep the trap of the New Year's resolution. I'm starting in November after all! I'm a big believer that consistency over long periods of time leads to success and new understanding. I've been able to build lasting habits in other areas of my life. I regularly work out, do yoga, stretch and cook for myself. It's time to bring writing into the fold.

My plan is to explore something that's been on my mind every week without falling back to writing about writing[-1]. Hopefully the social proof combined with having a deadline each week will keep me engaged and on target.


Stuff I've been thinking about

I've recently been reading Life with MD. Seeing the growth in her writing over the last 42 weeks[-1] has inspired me to reach and face my fear of pushing vibes into the void.

Why is Modern Dating so Hard? by Isabel is a fascinating piece that explores our relationship with optionality[-1]. We love to live in the position of imaging all our options and possible futures. We can't have it all. At some point you have to collapse the future to a single path with a decision. Isabel's writing dovetails quite nicely with this @liminalwarmth thread on optionality and intimacy.


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