Previously on Self Distract… I am just after saying to you that nothing comes from nothing. If you don’t do anything then nothing happens and if you don’t show up, you don’t matter. You can call this many things ranging from harsh to obvious but it is also specific and practical. Yet there’s a vague and impractical companion argument which goes thisaway:
If you do anything, something happens.
Now, I may need to underline the vagueness there as I think – possibly I’m fooling myself but give me this – that it looks vague in a kind of all-encompassing way. That it’s vague but actually deep.
The vagueness I’m striving for, though, isn’t even that good and doesn’t even make that much sense.
So yes, if I say that when you write nothing, bugger-all happens, it follows that when you write something, at least perhaps something-all will happen. I’m still sounding as I mean you write X and X is a success. You show up at Y, that very well known networking party, and You are a success.
But what I really mean is this. If you do things, if you write things, if you help other people out, it’s like you stir up something in the air.
If you have no work on, if everything has been rejected and you slump into a paralysis, that’s where you stay. But if you manage to start something new, if you phone someone new or just do anything, then routinely other things start to come in, start to come along. This week, for instance, I took a punt and spent a day pursuing a piece of work I’d really like to do and that evening I got offered a completely unrelated commission.
Only, we’re in territory here that makes me uncomfortable. Saying that if you’re nice and if you keep busy, happiness will follow feels like astrology.
Quick story? I don’t mean to do this quite so automatically but if someone asks what star sign I am, I find I tell them that I am New Romantic. It used to be funny.
Then a friend told me she’s gay and it was clearly a difficult thing for her to say. She wasn’t out yet and I wanted her to know that I was conscious of the trust she was showing me, that I recognise the enormity of coming out but mostly that she needn’t be nervous, that she needn’t think it would change our friendship, that in the best meaning of the phrase, it didn’t matter. So she told me she’s lesbian and I replied that I’m Sagittarius.
We’re no longer such close friends because she’s convinced I’m into astrology.
If you do something and if you help other people, good things happen. I don’t do these somethings and I don’t this helping people in order to cause a karmic domino effect, I do somethings because I can’t resist and I help writers if I can because it’s brilliant to see people achieving what they strive for. And if even one pixel of that is in any way down to you, how can that be anything but fantastic?
This is another time when I’m telling you this because I’m trying to understand it. Talking to you always helps me focus, even if, okay, stop that, it may not seem like I’m terribly coherent. You always seem so nice and then you go giving me that look.
I don’t believe in fate, I don’t believe in karmic dominos, but I do believe that it’s better to do something and that it is always best to go to things. And when you do, I think that phrase about something stirring in the air is right.
Besides, the alternative is to just sit there, stewing in a paralysis, and I’m a freelance writer, I’ve done enough of that for a lifetime.