Tuesday, November 11, 2003


I’m feeling rather stuck today.

Several years ago, when I was made redundant and thinking about setting up with a partner in business consultancy (ha!! fat chance!!!) we went to see several people who had done just that, to get hints, tips, advice, a flavour of what it's like to be out there on your own. One piece of advice in particular sticks in my mind: "Start where the client is". It was meant in a business context, but I reckon it applies just about anywhere involving any kind of relationship. So, with me being the client of my own process, I'll start where I am.

Frozen. Immobile. Paralysed. Unable to have an original thought or string a handful of meaningful words together. Way off centre; barely aware of anything.

One or two people have said some complimentary things about my writing, and when a couple of those are professionals it makes me think. By fluke I've discovered that writing is something I enjoy, something at which I may even have some latent skill (on a good day), but more than anything else it's something I've found I need to do.

And there's the rub, as Hamlet would say. It takes time; I'm learning and I have to work at it. Not just the words, but the ideas behind the words. I've blogged before about clarity; I really do have a problem there. A head full to bursting with notions that haven't made it into words yet. If only they would stay still long enough for me to catch them... But catching is only the start; there's essence to be teased out, garbage to be rejected, dead-ends and winding wrong turns from which to back-track, structures to be built, the whole to be wrapped and presented.

So writing takes time. I have to work at the process. Right now, I'd gladly spend all day every day just thinking and writing, but that isn't an option. I have a job to do that is purely technical, ordinary household and family matters take up most evenings and weekends (and I don't begrudge them - ordinary the tasks may be, but my family means a lot to me). The only truly free time I have is when everyone else is in bed - and by then my thought processes are running even slower.

I'm left then with a jumble of ideas waiting to be thought through, but no time, which is intensely frustrating, especially when there are a number of conversations going on at the moment which really interest me and which I'd like to contribute to.

So that's where I'm at today. Stuck. A logjam of intent.

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