Monday, August 20, 2012

Powering Down

The first draft of this post was written with pen and paper. It wasn't out of choice but necessity - at the time I was experiencing a power cut.

These days, power cuts are rare (we use to get them quite frequently), but they're also annoying, yet exciting. They're annoying because they have a knack of occurring just when you don't want them to (not that anyone 'wants' a power cut), such as when you want to be connected to the Internet to write a blog posting (whilst the laptop may have a battery, the router, connecting you to the Internet, doesn't).

They can be exciting, though, because they force you to work differently. (I can still make a pot of tea by boiling water on the gas hob, IF I have some matches to light the gas!)

So, because I was powered down, I took myself away from my desk, collected my pen and notepad and went for my usual walk. About half way around, down a quiet country lane, is a wooden bench, where I sat down.

Out came my pen and notebook. Just at that moment, two article ideas popped into my head. I jotted them down and then began expanding one, to produce an outline.

I also took some time out, jotting down my observations from this viewpoint. It's an exercise I like to undertake every so often, but I don't get the chance to do this as often as I'd like. I like to focus on the smaller details of life: the red-tailed bumble bee that searched several dandelion flowers for nectar, by landing on them and going around each flowerhead in an anti-clockwise direction. (Why? Does this mean bumble bees are left and right-handed like us, albeit that they don't have hands ... but you get my drift!) And then there were the two buzzards, flying above Wenlock Edge, mewing and calling, twisting and soaring, as if the mother was teaching the juvenile life skills. You never know when small observations like this will come in handy for future ideas, or writing.

And then I realised that this experience would make an ideal blog posting - so I penned my basic outline, before finishing my walk.

When I arrived back home the power was back on. (It was probably restored the minute I stepped out the front door to do my walk!) But I don't mind. The exercise of powering down had still been productive. I'd still achieved what I'd set out to achieve before the power cut (drafting my blog post); the power cut had merely forced me to go about it in a different way. But it also generated a couple of other article ideas.

So next time you get a power cut, don't curse. Use it as an opportunity to think and work differently. Alternatively, why wait for a power cut? Simply power down yourself, once in a while. Who knows where it may lead?

Good luck.