I haven’t written in a while and thought it would be a fun exercise to walk through an explanation of why. It could be called “writer’s block”, but, to me, that suggests I don’t have anything to write about or that the words just aren’t “flowing.”
In actuality, there is much more to it, and it is actually the opposite. Rather than having no ability to come up with words, I’m actually overwhelmed by the number of things I want to write about. I have a number of different articles in mind and can’t seem to prioritize them. And there are reasons why each one seems to come to the front of my attention and then quickly gets pushed back. Here is a sample of what I’m working on and why it hasn’t come out yet.
The moral imperative of human-centric lighting: an article discussing new LED lighting technology that can improve the health of people ‘trapped’ inside of nursing homes, prisons, schools, and psychiatric hospitals. This is an amazing technology which helps regulate circadian rhythms which get particularly out of wack for people indoors 24/7. And, I believe, it is a moral issue since people in nursing homes, prisons, schools, and psychiatric hospitals generally don’t choose to be there: they are forced. And if they are forced to be there against their will, it may also be the responsibility of their captors to provide them with a healthy environment. This has popped up to the forefront of my attention because I’ve been speaking about the issue at a few different events (like the CABA Forum last month!). The folks at MadInAmerica.com have also asked me to submit it. I guess it’s fallen by the wayside because I want it to be perfect and I want to cater it to the psychiatric folks for MadInAmerica.com but also, if I’m going to take the time to write it, make sure it caters to the broader audience of schools, nursing homes, and prisons. Coming soon….
What is crazy? – Another requested article from the crew at MadInAmerica.com. I had sent them my article on the peer-to-peer revolution and when they learned about my comedy performances as Flim Jannery where I discuss some of my experiences, they asked me to write something about my personal experience with the psychiatric system. This is something I’ve wanted to write about for a long while. The holdback here, is I’ve had a number of such experiences and I can’t figure out if this should be a series of articles covering each experience or if It should be a single article focusing on my induction into the system. The goal really is not just to point out the defectiveness of our psychiatric system but to give some insights into what goes through the mind of someone who is being perceived as crazy. I’ve never really been given the opportunity to explain this… mainly because nobody ever asks… and also because it generates some level of shame to only reveal portions of the story without getting to tell the entire story at once. And it’s a conversation that very rarely comes up but generally comes up and I feel an immense amount of judgment. Again – it feels like an article that I’ll only write once, so I want it to be perfect. And can’t fully figure out if this is a priority over the lighting one.
Seven dirty words you can’t say on LinkedIn – This article has a great title. Nice and click-baity. I originally planned on releasing this when my comedy album released. Some sort of a ‘fuck you’ to the system as I get to show off my more ‘real’ self which is not quite acceptable in the entrepreneurial/professional world. Part of that is my own insecurity and anxiety of course. Having grown up in a setting where my appearance and public image was supposed to be kept clean and also being an entrepreneur where you are perpetually ‘selling’ yourself – it’s hard to just be you. So I thought it made sense to link this with my comedy album. Then I decided to create EntrepreneursAnonymous.net – a peer support group for entrepreneurs. Basically an online chat room for people to meet up and talk about real issues: loss, debt, loneliness, feeling fake, family problems, relationship issues, self esteem, depression, etc. I spent about a month getting that built properly, and now it has a decent minimum viable product, so I could write this one up (finally). But is it a priority? I’m not sure – but I still gotta figure out if I should put “shit, piss, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits” at the start or end of that article. PS – I found out that my blog gets blocked in school systems because if foul language…. Wtf?
Peer-to-peer revolution: Summary. I did an 8 part series on the peer-to-peer revolution and never did a summary article. Some of those posts hit over 2,000 words! Yet I never did a closing article to summarize everything I learned from the experience. And I kept thinking of new examples and learning more things that I wanted to add. And – is it a priority to go back and finish that or is it better to move the hell on to something new?! I originally started writing this blog to practice writing and figure out what topics I enjoy writing about and what topics I find worth my time and maybe see patterns in my writing that could eventually lead to writing a book or more public speaking. The peer-to-peer revolution seems on path for that, but I also realize I’m wordy as hell – and my 2,000 word articles could probably be summarized in 200 words which would barely be a chapter of a book. So should I bring the topic to a closer with a summary or leave it open? Not sure!
Why physics is more important than any other subject you’ll ever learn – This one was inspired by a recent trip to Joshua Tree where I fate brought me to the Institute of Mentalphysics. Which I have been referring to as the Mental Institute of Physics. Note: this is not actually a psychiatric hospital, it’s a gorgeous retreat center. You must visit. It reminded me how important this subject is and how it was the reason I formally got into teaching. I’ve always wanted to teach, but it was my passion for spreading my knowledge of physics that drove me to spending a lot of time on it. And that, of course, has led to the creation of Open Source High and promoting peer-to-peer teaching and what I call “peerschooling.” That will be the first time that word has ever been published… this is a moment of greatness. As for physics – it is almost like a religion to me. And it has brought a great amount of faith in the Universe and positivity and excitement and curiosity that I feel needs to be shared with more people. And I can’t figure out if such an article needs to actually teach physics or simply convey what I’ve gotten out of physics – that would maybe excite more people than feeling like they’re in a physics lesson. But maybe that’s the perfect way to teach a physics lesson!! This one isn’t as high up on my to-do list as some of these other articles, but it’s on the drawing table.
These seem to be the main things on my mind at the moment that I can’t quite prioritize. But at least there is a preview of things to come. It’s pretty interesting, because ‘writer’s block’ in stand-up comedy can quickly be overcome by just showing up at an open mic and putting your name on the list. You are guaranteed to say SOMETHING if you get put up on stage. But it’s also not published and permanent-feeling like something on the internet. There is this feeling that you can keep reworking it. And while not many people actually read my blog, it does have a feeling of ‘permanence’ in the sense that you don’t want to write an article about the same thing twice, so you want to give the topic the attention it deserves and get it right the first time. In reality – I could pull it down, change it, re-word it, whatever I want in the future. But – such is the style of an artist.
And I cannot go without mentioning – I’ve been busy as hell! Been hustling my web development business to try and pay bills while also spending all my expendable time and income getting Open Source High up and running. Been very time-consuming and I try to reduce the distractions as it is very easy to get distracted. Hell, last week was LED Light Fair in San Diego, the biggest lighting show of the year! How could I not attend that? And two weeks ago I got the chance to visit 3 different schools in Southern California to present the Open Source High project to film students… and we just had our largest contest ever last month… and this week announced a contest… getting ready for possibly a big series of 12 summer contests… and working on a big ass grant and possibly a crowdfunding campaign…. Add in stand-up comedy… while still fitting in a little bit of adventuring around California. Promise – there will be some full articles to come….