Thursday, 18 January 2007

Getting off the Bus

Bookstores are full of inspirational, motivational, educational and entrepreneurially titled books, a little like the title of this post.

Stuff like: ‘What Colour Is Your Backpack’, ‘Who’s Got The Richest Father’, ‘Zen And The Art Of Navel Lint Removal’, ‘You Too Can Quote Sun Tzu’, ‘Von Clauswitz For Dummies’ or maybe even ‘Self Loathing Your Way to Business Success’.

I am sure that many of these tomes have considerable wisdom, but I find it a bit hard to take many of them seriously. But this post is more about the title above than books with titles like it.

Yes, ‘Getting Off the Bus’ is a metaphore, sort of anyway.

Last week Mrs Grendel had ‘scrapper’s block’. Now guys it is really important NOT to laugh when your partner tells you that she has scrappers block. It will only make them irritable and then they’ll scrapbook a photo of you that probably you would have been happier had they not. Oh yes, they’ll journal loving works around it, embellish it nicely, but that photo will be preserved forever!

I made a post on Mrs Grendel’s blog about how I thought she could try and break ‘scrapper’s block’ and I don’t know if the advice is useful, but since today I am in an avuncular mood I shall share it with you anyway.

You have to get off the bus.

I did it today – literally and metaphorically.

I ride a train into the city, then if I am in a hurry, another train almost to the office door. If I want to start with a quiet coffee, I take a CAT bus up to the main street on the hill above my office, enjoy my coffee and walk down the hill. This was my plan today, but as we got to the third stop along the bus route, on an impulse, I GOT OFF THE BUS!

I stood there for a moment, gasping with the sheer daring of what I had just done, then looked around furtively to see if anyone had noticed. I then scurried down a side street to a little cafĂ© I’d heard about and sat down to a great coffee and some very nice fruit toast. If you are interested in reading the full review of the cafe – it is here, but that is only a side story to this parable.

After my coffee I could have walked back to the bus stop and waited for the next bus, but instead I walked the rest of the way to work – about 2km. It was a cool morning and the city was busy but with all the activity there was lots to notice and I had time to think. The real joy of it was that in doing something unexpected I sparked all kinds of new ideas and energy for my work today, and my blog posts.

I have found that this method works for writer’s block, thinker’s block and it certainly worked for the ‘eastern bloc’.

Give it a go 'Get Off the Bus' and let me know how it works out – perhaps I can write a self help book to sit with all those others. . . (shudder).


Chrissie said...

Good tip. May very damn well have to do this 'next time' *bbrrrr!*

"Grendel" said...

Ok - probably works better in a warm climate. . .