Saturday, July 26, 2014

Information Overload, Brain Drain & Writers Block

As regular readers of this blog, I'm sure you have noticed that I haven't been publishing much in the way of new articles for the past few months. I regret that. I have actually written several posts, however, after spending considerable time writing and contemplating each article, I just wasn't satisfied that I was delivering thoughts and ideas I felt would be useful for you. So, they sit in my draft file and may surface sometime in the future after I look them over again and possibly edit or rewrite them.

So, What Is My Problem?

I am back at my base camp in West Virginia. I arrived here about 9:30 PM this past Tuesday evening, July 22nd after six weeks of travel. I realized that I just haven't been producing the way I normally do or the way I like to. Since I returned I actually wrote, yet, another article the other day. I wasn't happy with it either.

So, I realize that I'm in some kind of funk, phase or mode that I'm not very pleased with, after all, my life and philosophy are all about living free, yet, I don't seem to be able to write anything about it. Am I actually living free? Is my mind and creativity free? Or, am I trapped in some kind of black hole of my own creation.

I believe I've identified three causes for my writing malaise. The first is “Information Overload” or as some call it, “TMI” or “too much information.” It's basically mental clutter. The second is “Brain Drain.” The third is “Writer's Block.” Let me explore each of these a bit with the intent of helping emerge from my personal state of the literary doldrums and, perhaps, assisting you in climbing out of some kind of personal “black hole” you may be dealing with.

I might also mention that this kind of lethargy or mild despondency may actually be the manifestation of some (hopefully) mild form of depression. I'm not sure what specifically triggers various manifestations of depression, but I know that I have a genetic predisposition. So, while I don't feel particularly depressed, it may have nothing to do with how I'm actually reacting.

Information Overload

Let me first examine the idea of “TMI.” I am, by my very nature and as a 50 year veteran of the recording industry, an information “sponge.” While I was drawn into the recording industry by the music part of the business, I actually spent the vast majority of my life creating thousands of hours of information content. I guess I could almost say my middle name is Information. People often comment to me that I'm a fount of information. This can be very good, but it can also be a curse.

I am a voracious reader (though I really never classified myself as such), but not so much in book form as in articles, blog posts, newsletters and a variety of other forms. There has been so much going on in our country and our world, both recently and currently. My mind seems to never quit grabbing at and attempting to comprehend and order continuous sound bites both aural and printed. I have also shared time with an amazing array of very interesting people over the past six weeks on my just completed trek to New Jersey, Connecticut, New York (state) and Pennsylvania. By the way, if you aren't aware, I find just about everyone amazing and interesting since each person is so unique.

I learned so much on the trek. I took more than a thousand photos. I have about 150 hours (maybe more) of video I've captured with my dash cam. I explored old “stomping grounds” and witnessed the changes. I met, spoke with and learned from the numerous people I interacted with along the way. All this while traveling about 3,300 miles mainly in just one of the four states I visited. My mind may be having some issues with sorting, categorizing and analyzing this “data” to put to some tangible use. So, as I said, TMI!

Brain Drain

What I mean by “Brain Drain” might be considered by some to be numb or “brain dead” (not in the clinical sense, but psychologically and, maybe, emotionally). There is so much going on inside my head that I simply have needed to shut down for a while to take some time to sort, analyze and categorize all the accumulated new data. I need to discern that which is useful and valuable enough to to relate it to you and which is the chaff that I simply need to discard.

There is a blog I read by Randy, titled Mobile Kodgers. Randy seems to have his act together, but he uses pictures to speak thousands of words. He has found his voice. I haven't met Randy, yet, but intend to when I get out west later this year. Another interesting blog is Waterfall Road by TJ Worthington. I've met TJ down in his territory in the mountains of northwestern North Carolina. I was down there this past New Years Eve and passed a brief pleasantry with TJ, but it was at a celebration of one of my closest and longest friend's wedding (on New Year's Eve – that's a way to start a new year). So, I didn't have the opportunity to get aside with TJ and really chat about – well, lots of things. TJ also seems to have his thoughts in order.

So, not only am I dealing with Information Overload, but I've allowed this overload condition to drain my brain, leading to . . .

Writer's Block

I'm sure, if you've been reading my blog for any length of time, being at a loss for words has not been a problem for me. Actually, if anything, I need to get a copy of the AP Style Guide used by journalists and learn how to curb my words to make my posts faster, easier to read and comprehend and more interesting. (Maybe I'll order a copy for my Kindle library after I complete this post.).

Writer's Block is a real psychological problem, first described by a psychoanalyst in 1947. Many, if not all, writers including best selling, award winning authors have suffered the malady at some level at one or more times during their careers. So, while not exactly reassuring, at least I know I'm in good company and I can “recover.” I also read another article that enumerated ten types of writer's block and I can identify with at least four, if not five, of those.

I am going to post this article because it may assist you in overcoming some form of writer's block or even just some other challenge or even procrastination you may be dealing with. I know there are numerous other bloggers and writers who read this blog and, perhaps, you may also be going through some periods when writer's block sets you back a bit.

Ready! Set! Write!

I have a lot of things I want to write about. And, actually, writing this article has been educational and motivating for me. It has helped me focus my attention on the issue and recognize the things that may be blocking my creativity and productivity. So, be ready for some new articles with, what I hope will be, valuable and useful information. It's welled up inside this living free, location independent, nomadic blogger. It's about time, isn't it?

1 comment:

John Abert said...

Trying again to post. The Captcha form disappeared the first time. Looks like it's working this time. Must be a fluke with my iPad again.