Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Planning for Randomness


I have railed against my past jobs many a time here. Those complaints hold true for the reasons given.  My last job was the product of the singly clearest, and deliberate plan, I had. Yet it lead to me being bored and frustrated. That failure has continued to dig into my confidence.  At the beginning of my unemployment and periodically since this has cause doubt. While it is reassuring to know I can produce a logical and technically successful plan it's failure to provide satisfaction is disheartening. So despite the technical success of the plan serious doubts about my ability to produce a better one have developed.  In the end I am left with the question of how do I get from here to there, without a clear notion of what either point is.

The from here to there question has proven tough to answer.  That the There in this question is uncertain and this is a good thing.  The Here is uncertain and this has created stress.  It is more of a language problem than a lack of skills or education on my end. To clarify the mishmash of things I have done while trying to do geology into a resume that gets interviews for jobs far removed from it is not a easy task.  However, I have a new plan, and thankfully it is not too much of a plan.

In the last post Advanced Well Being, I bring up the trouble that I do too much solo, and my good health suffers for that. It is similar with work.  Being insulated from risk has also insulated me from opportunity.  Which is why I am throwing my lot in with Temp Agencies.  My work needs a random element, not because I want my jobs to be unpredictable, but because I can not think my way into an job I can sustain.  So it is time for experimentation, and a healthy dose of randomness.

Now I get to parallel set of thoughts that my Saturday pub night brought up.  I want my next job to by my day job.  It took ten years for me to learn that the ideas drifting in my head want written.  The cost of not writing has increased over time.  Now I don't have a working definition for a day job for writing yet.  I do know it should not eat all my brain power, and if it starts past 10am I could fit in a good morning writing session before.  It is unwise to focus on writing currently, it would eat up all my time and leave me with no money. A job that is not too much of a career could be the answer.  It is not that I wish to stagnate at a job, but that if I measure progress by writing more rather than making more I could still be satisfied.

This leaves me with the question of what to write.  Several fiction ideas populate my head, and I get regular non fiction rants.   The rants often remind me that I could have enjoyed an Arts degree, because I find my thoughts start to scrape the surface of named schools of thought and prove I don't know crap.

Thinking about fiction in a pub full of skeptics has lead me to a constructive train of thought.  Just as my science education combined with healthy skepticism, critical thinking, can be a bullshit detector. So could an understanding of narrative plot, character, and pacing provide the foundation for a fiction flaw detector.  What I need is are critical thinking tools for storytelling.  Tools that let me evaluate, do I have plot, do I have good pacing, are my characters people or place holders, does the audience know enough to understand the tale.  The question now asked quickly points to its own answers, as there are countless books, classes and other materials out there trying to teach that.  I have to learn some points and internalize the best of it.

In other news I bought a suit.  By accident, the consignment shop jumped right at me. A sweet grey affair, the jacket is a perfect fit, and is more than worth the price I paid own its own.  The trousers are being altered and the success of that operation is not 100% assured.  They will be ready for Wednesday.  Its shallow, its materialist but I am eagerly anticipating the results of that.  It is wonderful to anticipate something rather than dread it, that has been too rare an feeling in the past months.  Also I really need a new belt or two.