One topic that I was asked about, was “how do you find the focus to work on a large project, such as Strangers?”
One skill that I try to practice is the ability to stick with things. One personal example: I wanted to be ambidextrous. My right hand is largely dominant, and I had to start from more-or-less the ‘ground floor’ in this endeavor. I started in earnest in late 2013 (after several 'false starts’…there have been a lot of those, for many goals I’ve set out to achieve!), and made it a goal to write one full page a day (which, during this beginning stage, took around twenty minutes). it was very frustrating at first, being both physical uncomfortable, and mentally exhausting. But, I stuck with it, and now that I have put in a few years of practice, I am functionally ambidextrous when it comes to writing and most other physical tasks. So, it gave me practice not only at the skill I wanted to learn, but also at the skill of sticking with things, and evidence that I can present to myself to show that there is a precedent in this regard. I believe that by working on my handwriting, I also was working on every other endeavor which utilized this same underlying skill (persistence), which further motivated me.
I also think about the book Finnegans Wake (this is a novel which has had quite an influence on me). For a long time, I had a hard time with maintaining focus while reading, and will admit a bit sheepishly that there was a ten-year span during which I read perhaps only fifteen books. But, I wanted to read this novel. So, I decided to read it for at least twenty minutes every other day. After the first few sessions, I calculated how much I was reading per day, and realized I could finish this book in just over a month. I made the decision to make time every day, and finished the novel in around a month, just as I had expected. It would have been nearly impossible to sit down and read the entire thing in one sitting, but by breaking it down, it became something that, as long as I decided to work towards, I could not fail. And now, it’s not so hard to make it through long books with much more regular frequency.
Setting goals which you “cannot fail” is something that is also important to talk about – I don’t mean holding yourself to a standard at which failure is not an option, but rather, find ways to frame your goals to make them easier. If my goal is to sit down and finish a piece of writing, I cannot always do so. Sometimes I am just not inspired, or my focus is poor. But, if I make it a goal to sit down and work on a piece of writing for 20 minutes, even if I write a very rough draft of things, I have still moved forward, and have achieved the goal that I set out to do. And if I do still falter on these goals, it’s also important to be forgiving towards myself (something I struggle with exceptionally), because putting myself down is still counter to the work I want to achieve.
But, when it comes to major projects, you also have to really like the work itself, because most major endeavors require hundreds, if not thousands of work. I have likely put over 5,000 hours of work into Strangers thus far, for example; I would not be able to put this amount of time towards something that I really disliked doing. You’ll spend much longer writing a novel than you will spend reading it, so if you dislike the work, the end goal must be that much more important to you. When I work, I do so purely for myself. I am always very happy when others like my work, but I work primarily to communicate with myself, so I am always going to have an intrinsic motivation there. If you find that you always “want to have done” a project (referring to being able to see the end result), but don’t “want to do” a project (referring to the work itself), perhaps it might be helpful to think about how to direct your energies in a way that both pushes you towards your goals, but also gives you a fulfilling or enjoyable experience along the way.
I don’t think that there is anything “special” about me in this regard (except for perhaps some ASD traits which give me a slight advantage in terms of immersion into the interests that are important to me, but that has more than its fair share of setbacks as well). And, I do still falter in terms of diligence, myself – more often than I’d like to admit. There are plenty of days during which I slack off or lose focus, and there are many projects I still have not made the time to work on. It is an ongoing struggle, and there will never be an “end point” in this regard. Nonetheless, I think that if I continue to work hard, eventually I will reach my goals. And if I can do it (seeing some of the things I have had to overcome in my life…years upon years of severe depression, anxiety, trauma), I also think anyone can. It’s a cliche, but it holds true; you walk a journey of a hundred miles step-by-step. You finish a novel page-by-page. There aren’t always shortcuts, and it’s often extremely tedious. But, it is not impossible, just difficult.
Anyway, I hope that it helps a bit. Thank you for reading.
Yo I dead ass ain’t laugh this hard in a min so thank you ,
Biblical speaking the bible never explicitly says masturbation is a sin however in Genesis 38:9-10. Some interpret this passage as saying that “spilling your seed” on the ground is a sin. My nigga condemned Onan not for “spilling his seed” but because Onan refused to fulfill his duty to provide an heir for his brother. God thought Onan was a bitch of a man God ain’t talking bout busting a nut but rather about fulfilling a family duty and being a “man” but we can get into gender roles later but you know how that whole taking things out of context works within Christianity.
But then again in Matthew 5:27-30. Jesus speaks against having lustful thoughts and then says, “If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.” While this can be about masturbation it can also be about a lot of things like theft.
So my suggestion is masturbate with your left hand and don’t spill your seed on the ground.
i feel like you might be the kind of person who would enjoy knowing you gave a little pain with your pleasure so I'm gonna own that i split my lip while reading SSAU cause i got so distracted by my right hand that my left hand dropped my fucking phone on my face.
I’ll have you know I laughed at this so thank you. also… well you are not wrong
“Give it a week you’ll come up another equally insane plan. And then maybe it’ll only be law enforcement that will be in your way.” this was said with feigned disinterest, relief hidden behind every word.
”Oh you would just LOVE that wouldn’t you,” Rowan snapped irritably, wincing as he flexed his right hand. The burns weren’t too bad, nor were the razor thin cuts. They were bleeding, and stung badly, but there would be no overall nerve damage, no loss of mobility. In short, he’d have a nasty mark for a few weeks, but he’d live. “Me getting carted off and spending the rest of my life in some padded white cell, or behind bars, while you get to skip around the city with your stupid girl band and… I don’t know, sprinkle daisies on homeless people, or whatever it is you do. That’s what you really want. What you’ve always wanted. Me out of the way, so you can have the run of things. Well I hope you’re happy. Your little stunt this morning lost me one of my charges, and nearly got me arrested. Are you satisfied?”
Yay, I tried that meme thing where you draw the same picture with all of your hands and feet- It’s amazing, I am left handed and my left foot also worked better than my right foot so this is a beautiful proof for the fact that it’s really about the brain and not only about practice.
(the cat is my favorite because in the first picture it looks surprised, in the second picture it looks concerned, in the third picture it’s very unhappy and in the last one it’s just super pissed.)
I am the left brain. I am a scientist. A mathematician. I love the familiar. I categorize. I am accurate. Linear. Analytical. Strategic. I am pratical. Always in control. A master of words and language. Realistic. I calcolate equations and play with numbers. I am order. I am logic.I know exactly who I am.
I am the right brain. I am creativity. A free spirit. I am passion. Yearning. Sensuality. I am the sound of roaring laughter. I am taste. The feeling of sand beneath bare feet. I am movement. Vivid colors. I am the urge to paint in an empty canvas. I am boundless imagination. Art. Poetry. I sense. I feel. I am everything I wanted to be
You’d think domination in our species would have been decided not by skin color, but by who’s ambidextrous and who isn’t.
My left hand is good for nothing but carrying groceries, and drawing pictures when I want to make myself laugh. The fact that a tiny amount of the population have an entire body part that is 100% more useful for them than for the rest of us is very intimidating to me.