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12 August 2018

On Inspiration and Dissatisfaction

by Andrew

Right back at it. For just one more moment anyway. Just finished scribbling that last post. Then titled it. How I said in a previous post, that I think of a title first, to remind myself where I intend to take my writing. But sometimes I title the post afterwards, after the writing. Like I just did, "Pissing in the Wind." And then I thought of a topic about which I could write, it popped into my head. Inspiration. So, I'm just recording here, so that I'll remember. And I'll return later to write about it. On how to find inspiration, I suppose. Eventhough I've already touched on the topic before, already, if I can even expand. We'll see. Mais até logo. It's only just 10:00. I got an entire whole rest of the day to pass.

***

Well, tried my hand at painting. And it turned-out shit, of course. The entire process of it is an art, I discovered. Like how to hold the pallet, even, where to place the easel, at what height, how to mix the paints, with what brush? and how much paint to start-out with, to use on the pallet? Where do I put the thinner, and do I use it after every color? And what about the medium, the linseed oil and thinner? How do I even use it? Dip the cleaned brush in it and then dab it in the color you just mixed? Though that wastes paint, mixing a color first with the brush you'll use to paint, and then cleaning it only in order to dip it clean into the medium and then to only dip it right back into the color to paint with.

The actual painting is the easy part. It started-off looking so good. But then it turned into a mess. Shouldn't sketch on the canvas I think. Just paint. It disrupts the flow, trying to follow along the sketch. Should be trying to paint the sketch instead. If that makes sense.

***

Anyway, you can see, that I have no idea what I'm doing, painting. But I'll get it. That was all yesterday. I wrote that above after painting the first painting I attempted. So dissatisfied with it, I attempted another later on in the evening. Which turned-out shit too. But I painted that second one with a different style, with less paint. That first painting I did,—I read about afterwards—I painted like the impressionists. Impasto. Which was—or is—my intention. I'm an impressionist, there's no doubt. I was unaware of this impasto technique, however, till I read about it later, eventhough I immediately began painting like that. Chunks of paint, blobbing brush strokes. And it looked so good at first. But damn oil paint. It takes days to dry. And I ended-up making a mess. So, I painted more normal, that second painting, like less paint, and all spread out. This is how it's going to be though. If I want to paint like the impressionists, all the colors right next to eachother, like looking at your phone through polorized sunglasses, or at the computer on shrooms. I'm going to have to paint in layers. And each layer, I've read, takes at least about 3 days to dry enough in order to add another layer. So these damn paintings are going to be fairly big projects, each. Landscapes, of course, like my preference in photography. And I just love nature anyway, the natural world.

But enough about that. But I noticed something, just writing that above. How I did that second painting because I was so dissatisfied with the first. How I wrote yesterday's blog post because I was so dissatisfied with the one from the day before. How I use dissatisfaction as motivation. Which is maybe shit. Because people say and say and say, "Stop complaining." But dissatisfaction drives me to action. So, no. I'll continue complaing—which, typing now, complaining is only a vocal, visual form of dissatisfaction. Because it's what makes me do. And doing is the important thing, here. I'm sorry if dissatisfaction paralyzes you, or whatever. But it fuels me. I want better, damnit! And so, I'll go and get it. It's inspiring.

But then there's this other little bit I only just realized. Since I am "free" again. I have no obligation to a job. My time is my own, to do as I please. And I've been writing and reading and painting and coding. All activities I enjoy. I'm eating well, active enough, excercise. I feel good. And in performing these pleasurable activities, there's just no time to complain, to be so nasty. Because you are doing exactly what you want, giving that your full attention. So, someone complaining, it's obvious that their life is not in alignment. Else they'd not be complaining.

So, here I am. And I was just to remind myself that I'd said I'd be writing of inspiration. I was going to say, that I've nothing at all to say about it. That inspiration is everywhere. Just look round. What do I know about inspiration? And it's true. Where I find inspiration is where I find inspiration. Anyone else may find inspiration anywhere else.

But, that little tract above, I didn't even realize as I was writing. That's inspiration! Dissatisfaction. Mixed with a desire to get better, dissatisfaction is motivation. If you can spot the flaws, you're inspired to change them, to make them better, look at that. How it all works-out.

Which maybe seems a bit manufactured. And maybe it is. Because this morning, I was sitting here thinking about what to write, remembering that I was to be writing of inspiration. And all I remember, I had such a good idea. But the tea was boiling. Then I had to pee. And then I probably sat back down and rolled through Twitter a bit. Then I started-up with a bit of coding, then. And I completely forgot the idea about inspiration I'd thought of to write about. But maybe it was exactly that, about dissatisfaction. And all day it sat marinating in the back of my mind. So, when I sat to write, there it was, unconsciusly already all formed. Which is cool, if that's indeed the case. But, who knows?

I was just reminded too, just mentioning above coding. What I did for the day, I'm very proud of myself. That I got a Mastodon instance running on my minimmill.com VPS. I was stuck where I'd last left-off. No idea how to proceed. So, I left it alone, there, for a couple days, my little Mastodon project. Tried to forget about it completely. And then for whatever reason I sat back down yesterday to work on it. And it took me maybe only 30 minutes to finish compiling it and have it up-and-running. The solution was so simple, on which I'd spent hours the couple days before, I just couldn't figure-it-out. How that's a little truth, for myself anyway, that the solution is usually simpler than we think, if we just remove ourselves from the problem for a bit. Which it always seems to work. How you have to put your writing away in a drawer or something and forget about it completely. And then you pick it up again and edit. Which kind of relates. Like my idea for inspiration and dissatisfaction. Which, hell, it all kind of relates.

I wrote in my Twitter drafts yesterday, that what I do—in regards to my tweets, writing them—is uncover a simple, little truth that applies to me, and then I generalize it—so, just first-person plural, then, or else second-person—to apply to everyone. Because if me, then others. How I think we're all more alike than we're aware, influenced by the atmosphere alike more than we think, that invisible vein of truth in the air, the bug highway, the jet stream into which spiders jump and float on over to London from Pittsburgh, perhaps, over-night express. Peek-a-boo.

So, now I have all this confidence, coding. "Baby steps." And I'm thinking of building a little payment processor with Stripe, with PHP and Apache, on one of my empty domains I'm not using. And then too, I was digging back into the work I'd done for this site, in order to get it so that I can completely configure it by web browser alone. Instead of needing a computer always, it'd be so much more convenient. How I'm a lot farther along than I'd thought, though still have lots remaining to do still. That I might jump on that. See what I can do. I'll re-build the site on a new VPS, I suppose, in order to keep it up during construction. It may take awhile. Weeks. Because I'm positive I'll get stuck on something, get annoyed and upset and all that, walk away completely for days, just to stop stressing, and so on and on till it's finally finished. How it goes. But it's a fairly big project. And since I'm building the payment processor too, I really need to get a product together, here, to sell. So, maybe my writing here won't be so frequent as I was boasting about the other day. We'll see. I've nothing much else to do anyway. If I can fit it all in.

This productivity is exhilarating though. If I can keep it up, get momentum swinging my way, watch-out for opportunity jumping out the weeds somewhere. This is exactly why the 9-to-5 has to go. With a job, I write maybe a blog post half this size in a day. Maybe. And that's it. Nevermind coding. Nevermind reading. I'm too pooped-out to. But it's only doing a bit of these things each, each day, or else the freedom to at least, that gives fulfillment. One at a time like that with a job, you feel anxiety, because you want to be doing so much more. Just, you have no time. You can't. But because I was indeed caught in that 9-to-5 life, I'm doing all I can now in order to not squander my time, doing all I can to never have to return, it's all very motivating, the disgust I have for it.


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