Sunday, December 12, 2010

Very Personal Ads, #1

Havi Brooks, who created the website and accompanying life curriculum at The Fluent Self, is a professional destuckification consultant. Her business partner is a duck named Selma.

Seriously, what's not to love about that?

I've been peering at The Fluent Self periodically for over a year, but only recently am I getting frustrated enough with my own obstacles that I'm ready to start actually experimenting with Brooks' strategies. One of them is asking for the things you want. No, no, not in the Prayer of Jabez "Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz" way. Things that can't simply be solved by money at the outset. Things like figuring out a way to accomplish something, or finding a collaborator, or just getting over obstacles of the self. Or asking for the perfect house to find you, which was apparently the impetus behind the first Very Personal Ad. Brooks writes that she needed "to make a regular practice of trying to feel okay asking for stuff. Even when the asking thing feels weird and conflicted."

I think I should experiment with the same thing. Seanan McGuire writes letters to the Great Pumpkin, that serve a similar purpose. I might try something like that, but I think I'll start without limiting myself to one addressee.

And for now, I'll start small, or at least, start short:

1. I have this bizarre habit of having a realization that clears up something I've been working on (most often in a dissertation-related context), and then having a strong instinct to get up and do something else, rather than following through. It's almost like I'm trying to prevent myself from actually taking full possession of the idea, once I've found it. Was that me, sneering at Emerson and his awareness of intellectual property a couple of days ago? Well, if I was sneering, then it was because I've been exhibiting the polar opposite tendency -- to refuse to even attempt ownership of the idea.

I'm getting better at not allowing myself to do this; at making sure that I get the clarity of the revelation down on paper -- most of the time. But I would really, really, really like to start aggressively taking possession of my own ideas and working with them, rather than running away from them.

And that's it for this week, in terms of VPAs. I'll look back at this one and write a new one next Sunday.

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