November 9, 2022

Untitled Rambling Nonsense (or, I’m tired but I said I would)

Problem is I waited ‘til 20:45 to even start typing. So you get what you get. As I said on twitter, maybe I’ll trip over a topic in the next 966 words. But I wouldn’t count on it.

I’ve been watching/listening to a lot of Jordan Peterson clips. I’ve wanted to get my shit together and watch his whole “Maps of Meaning” course lecture series, or a couple of them. It’s just fascinating shit. I never did get all the way through the audiobook though. Fuck is it a slog. That’s the kind of thing you need to read in dead tree form. That’s just a bit tough to do while driving.

I find that people who have “a problem” with Jordan Peterson just about always do so on some ideological nitpicky point that they feel gives them permission to throw him out entirely, which is a pretty bitch ass approach. I’m surprised at the level of intelligence deployed in that kind of off-handed dismissal. I swear it reeks of the abdication of thinking.

But I digress.

He talked in one of these little snippets about creativity.

Oh yeah, here it is. I’ve no idea how the fuck WordPress will render this:

It’s worth 8 minutes and 1 second. Or maybe you’re one of those people who’ve dismissed him out of hand, in which case go fuck yourself. I’ll not condescend to intellectual cowardice.

Actually, I should probably write about that. Eh. Goes in the card file for later.


He talks about the stabs they’ve taken at measuring creativity and I noticed that every time it comes up it brings to mind a couple of my really bad Achilles’ heels and I finally started putting two and two together.

It may simply be true that despite all inclination to the contrary, I might just not BE very creative. It sounds strange to me. But go watch that video (I know exactly zero of you did the first time. Don’t worry, I wouldn’t have either.)

The “name all the things this makes you think of” exercise really leads me to very pedestrian lists of things. I’ve tried the experiment myself, even given myself sneaky cheating lead time and I just draw a nominal blank.

I remember an in-school exercise the school psych, whatever the hell he actually was, did when I was little…maybe 9, 10. It was me and, likely coincidentally, my antagonist. The exercise was ostensibly very simple: Write a story. Anything. No grade involved. A few paragraphs.

I sat there, staring at the empty page, anxiety through the roof, absolutely unable to come up with anything at all. And I mean anything AT ALL. The other kid blasted out half a page and left. He gave me what felt like three straight days, sitting in that little wooden chair, before telling me I could go.

A couple minutes ago I was all set to plant my flag in “not particularly creative,” cement it over and just

So I don’t know how to tell, now that I’ve gotten that far, if it’s actually a lack of capacity or a bog standard performance based anxiety. I can solve a problem easily enough. I can work quite well within a framework, out to the very edge of the thing, explore and even push its boundaries. But to come up with something new? I very nearly don’t understand what that means, almost literally.

To get past derivation to creativity. I guess I’ve landed back in this same place about a month and a half after this tangential post:

This is yet another one of those fucking topics that feels like endless drain circling to me. It’s one of the very few topics of inquiry that is not resolved in any direction by merely writing about it, usually my most reliable exit route from a brain tight-loop.

I suppose after all of this horseshit it has to come down to an experiment. I’m clearly doing with my own head what I was complaining yesterday about doing with fiction; trying to map out the whole thing in my skull without offloading anything on to the page, or externalizing it in any way at all.

So I have to figure out what the fuck THAT actually means. How do I run an experiment of I know not what from I know not where?

I don’t fucking know. It’s 11:00 and I’m at 75% of my total committed word count and if it weren’t for the fact that I fucking said I would I’d bail, hit publish then let you all wonder what the hell I’m actually smoking today.

In an attempt to try and wrestle with the problem of getting started on a piece of fiction of whatever stripe, I went out yesterday to Barnes & Noble and treated myself to one of those little bullshit “100 writing prompts” books. But my reaction to that when I flip through it is to immediately get short of breath and start sweating.

Now that can’t be good. But by the same token it can’t be allowed to stand either. So I may just have to take the fucking horse pill and get one of these little hypotheticals done, even if it’s just for the sake of monitoring my own head while I do it to see if I can see what I can see about what the shit goes on in there when I get past the point of actually starting (to say nothing of finishing.)

Today as well, while I was sitting in Smokey listening to the guys talking about the election it occurred to me that it might be fun to take some fairy tales or classic myths and rewrite it set in a fantasy or scifi setting just as an exercise. So I stopped in to Barnes & Noble again (not that I love going there so much, such a shadow of its former self) and picked up a couple nice (looking at least) mythology collections of various kinds.

Anyway I knew this was going to be a ramble. I really have to stop waiting ‘til 9 something to start writing. My brain is, as you can no doubt tell, completely fucking fried.

Oh yay, and tomorrow’s fucking Thursday so I’ll be at Smokey for something moronic like 11 hours.

At least I’ll get ahead of things there.