The TED blog We Humans published a post about how projects influence personality.
“…personal projects are all about the future — they point us forward, guiding us along routes that might be short and jerky, or long and smooth. By tracing their route, we can map the most intimate of terrains: ourselves. Most thrilling is that we can learn to adjust our trajectories, riding over the rough patches and extending the smooth stretches to make our endeavors more effective. In this way, projects help define us by shaping our capacity for a flourishing life.from the TED Blog ‘We Humans’
I have to think about this idea for a bit.
Since the last post, I’ve been steadily working on the current book’s first draft. It took a long time for the language of it to emerge because I had to get into the minds of sociopaths and psychopaths in order to have characters converse naturally. No, I didn’t play anthropologist at the local prison. I read a lot so I could imagine what’s going through the characters’ minds.
Simultaneously, I’ve also been working with Light Chaser Life on another project, a book about how travel leads to wellness. That project is almost complete, and we’ve sent it to our beta readers, close friends who will be completely honest if it works of if there’s parts of it that suck, and how we could improve it.
And, all this while, I’ve been consuming business books. Lots and lots of them.
There’s two things an independent writer does: write to get better at it, and figure out how to make it a living out of the creative work.
I have been more suited to the pursuit of the former, and less so when it comes to the latter.
And that’s a gap that has engaged me all this time since Bali.
I have never felt more alive.
A blog post that Light Chaser wrote recently about balance between being and doing has been helpful to put into words what I’m going through with all these projects.
Being for me has always been about love. Love for my wife. Love for my writing. Those two things are what give my life meaning, keep me going.
The doing part – I’ve spent a couple of decades ghostwriting for a lot of web work, and it’s always been satisfying as a way to make a living.
What the projects have given me are active ways to blend the two – the being and the doing. It’s satisfying when people read the stuff I’ve created. And so doing for me now is to actually get people to read things I make.
When I published my first book, Superficial, I had this idea that word of mouth would get the book read.
Now I realize it was not a very good launch at all. What I’ve learned is that there are ways that might have made the launch better. It’s not a kick in the pants, this thought. It’s a new thing I’ve learned that might improve future projects.
So yes, projects give us clues to ourselves and the paths we’re on. Sometimes, it’s the way toward completing the projects that show us the ways into that ‘flourishing of life.’