Painters, marketers and the twain meeting


I am not exactly an expert on destuckification, that's Havi's purview (she even has a packet!), but I've been stuck in enough ruts to have learned a thing or two about getting out of them.

More to the point, I am a goddamned patented, triple-certified, Lifetime Achievement Award-winner of grappling with change, largely because, like most things we become intimately familiar with, I suck eggs at it.

Which is why I am delighted when anything comes together in such a way as to let me see the bastard from ever-so-slightly a different angle. Or two angles, or maybe two lenses that, when focused properly, bring a microscopic part of the bastard into sharp focus.

A few days ago, one of my favorite writer-thinkers on or off the web, Seth Godin, posted a little sumpin'-sumpin' about the bastard. It's about the rut part of change, or the one of the states you find yourself in when change not only seems like the only answer, but only the remotest of possibilities. Only as Seth points out, it's not. You can, hold on for tricky footwork, switch ruts!

Okay, so you're not really hauling yourself out of a rut by climbing into another. Although I suppose you're welcome to turn it into another rut, if you're a glutton for punishment. No, Seth's radical suggestion is that you hop out of your rut by changing everything, and there are some pretty "everything" suggestions he floats out there like deleting your entire website and starting from scratch, or moving to Thailand.

But there are some equally non-seemingly-"everything" items on the list, too. Starting a blog? Listening to live music? Buying art? These are "everything"?

They are, though, when you are lodged comfily (or not) in your rut. When you're prone with grief, weeping into a pillow, exhausted by your own emotion, getting off the bed is "everything." Getting off the bed and walking to the bathroom to wash your face? Holy crap, that's "everything" with a cherry on top. Getting off the bed, washing your face in the bathroom and going to the kitchen to make a tin of soup? Good night, Irene, it's a revolution!

Robert Genn, the fine artist who writes the fantabulous newsletter I'm always after you all to sign up for, puts the rut equation slightly differently: the not-moving is sterility, the moving is fertility, and getting from one to the other is as simple (not easy! although sometimes!) as changing up your media or mixing up your speed, slow for the fasties, fast for the slowies.

Yesterday, I had a real-length walk in the morning. (Don't worry, I took it slow.) Afterward, I had a cup of coffee. (Okay, maybe not as noble a change, but I needed to try it to see if I'd fall apart, because I was a-skeert I would. I didn't.) I did some writing, and, per a friend's gentle admonition, did not worry about the writing I could not do. I gave myself permission to go to bed early, and to make this short. (Attention new readers! This post length is short for this blog! You've been warned...)

Everything is a rut (that's the bad news); "everything" is a way out of it (that's the good news). You don't have to work on all your ruts at once. You don't even have to work on any of them at all, in fact, but I hope you will. We all have lonely roads to walk, but when we're all walking them, o, how we'll learn as we all cross paths...