Practice Before Inspiration

Yesterday, while listening to the Isaac Morehouse podcast with his perennial guest TK Coleman, I had a “coming to Jesus” moment. In this particular podcast they discussed a one of Isaac’s recent blog posts where he takes issue with people “finding themselves” before knowing how to work hard. This discussion was like a punch in the gut because, in many ways, it defined my attitude. I’m that person who has been to Burning Man several times and spent a couple years biking around the country.

In a sense, I have filled my life with distractions instead of working hard towards my goals of becoming a writer. I think there was value to those distractions and my experiences have served many purposes (particularly in helping me process my PTSD), but they haven’t made me a better writer. Before I can become a “good writer”, I must become a “writer”. I haven’t put in the hard work and discipline necessary to reach my goals. Instead, I put the cart in front of the horse… I went looking for inspiration and life hacks and writing secrets instead of putting words on paper. Right now I am like a painter with all the colors and paintbrushes at my disposal, but I don’t even know how to hold the paintbrush correctly. I have ideas, I have experiences, but I need practice.

It is annoying that man cliche’s are correct. My health and fitness improved when I stopped drinking excessive beer, eliminated caloric drinks, started eating a whole-foods plant based diet, exercised regularly, and got plenty of sleep. For most people, life hacks aren’t like computer hacks, they are like hack writers… low quality and ineffective. You need to have the basics down before you can optimize. I’m laying down the basics with my health, but I haven’t started doing that with my writing.

So, were do I go from here?

Well, I need to write more. My blogging has been okay but it hasn’t been pushing me that much. I’ve allowed myself to slack on it or come up with excuses too often. I need this to be a daily thing. I also need to get back to basics, so I am going to try and take a class or two on writing. I also just need to write and read a lot more. I’m not exactly sure what system I can implement that will reach my goals, but maybe I can use something similar to my health routine.

I’m going to keep pushing forward, because I really do love writing and want to be a writer. I’m really thankful that this podcast episode came around when it did. I find it easy to get complacent and ignore the plank in my own eye (while often pointing out the speck in others – Mathew 7:3). It is always beneficial to try and objectively view yourself and figure out if criticism applies to you, in this circumstance it certainly did.  Hell, according to Isaac he often writes blog posts with a specific person in mind so maybe this one was aimed directly to me… probably not though. It is more likely that I am just lucky collateral damage.

Podcast Link: http://isaacmorehouse.com/2016/08/12/90-fwtk-anger-work-crappy-arguments-and-the-supernatural/
Blog Link: https://discoverpraxis.com/dont-try-to-find-yourself-until-you-know-how-to-work/

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Self Reflection – Introduction

The nature of my lifestyle means I have a lot of time to think. 4-6 hours of constant bike riding daily kind of demands it, your mind tends to wander and you can only focus on podcasts for so long before you ignore them outright. I guess most of my adult life I have spent a lot of time thinking about what I believe and why I believe it. The stability of my Christian, conservative, white middle-class view on the world was another tower that fell on 9/11. After that attack I joined the military, saw some of the world, met lots of people, and realized my upbringing was not the “end all, be all” of the good life. In fact, I found it quite wanting.

This penchant for self-analysis and a recent post on the app “Secret”* inspired this upcoming series of blog posts. I think it is important to constantly question what you believe, why you believe it, and how people perceive you. There are many labels that people apply to themselves (myself included) but rarely can a person’s perspective and history be defined by a few grunted syllables. In addition, I think it will be fun to provide a permanent record of what I believe for future me to look back on. It is likely that 5, 10, 15, 20 years from now I will not have the same points of view. I actually hope I don’t, because that means I have likely stopped growing and learning.

So, in no particular order, here are the subjects, roles, and views I plan on exploring in the coming months, both my current views and how I got to them. I hope to get 1-2 out per week but that depends on logistics for my ride.

  • Libertarian Anarchist
  • Pansexual
  • Nudity and Body Positivity
  • Pagan Atheist
  • Transhumanist
  • Sex Positive
  • Open Relationships and My Current Monogamish Relationship
  • Veganism
  • Minimalist
  • BDSM and Kink
  • Drug Use

*Recently someone posted on “Secret” that my life is basically childish, hedonistic, and that I’m afraid of adulthood. I responded on Facebook and it doesn’t need to be rehashed here, but that perception of me did get my brain moving and was part of the catalyst for this series.