Musing about problems…

Peeking out of my exhaustion to think about problems, and identifying problems, and solving problems. The world has a lot of problems. So, so many problems.

But I’ve gotten two pieces of advice this year that, quite frankly, astounded me in the simplicity of their wisdom…and both pieces of advice came out of discussions about writing.

Advice the first: Before solving a problem, first ask yourself if it’s really a problem.
This blew my mind a little, because I think I’m the type of person who does assume things are problems and goes into ‘solve-it’ mode without really reflecting. I need to remember to pause, because pausing and thinking can save a lot of heartache.
This came up in the context of my writing, but essentially the instructor said, don’t just succumb to conventional wisdom without questioning it first. Sometimes it’s okay to bend or even ignore the rules. Don’t fix something without first considering, do I really need to fix this? Even if it’s generally considered a problem, is it actually a problem within this specific context?

Advice the second: Sometimes you have to make the problem bigger to solve the problem.
This is a good way to approach a plot, but also real-life problems…
Sometimes you can address the symptoms and stop the leak.
Sometimes you need to blow everything the hell up and rebuild.

I’m still exhausted because writing is hard and chronic illness gonna chronic, but I’m no longer solving problems without thinking through them first, and I’m definitely no longer afraid to blow shit up when I need to.

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