Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My "Invention" Web

Ok, so here is my "invention" web. Although, at the time (probably about 6 months ago or so), I didn't know this was my "invention;" I didn't have the right vocabulary. As I have said before, I tend to get writer's block, and I know that my biggest "block" is myself, so I wanted to see what it was that I thought inspired me. That way, if I ran into a block and felt like I couldn't write, I would have several options to choose from. I hung it near my desk and just recently looked over and though to myself, "What an ironic form of foreshadowing."

What is interesting to me about this brainstorming web is that I am trying to figure out whether I get my "invention" internally, or really as a "social act." There is only one leg that looks "social" to me, but then again, this web was created 6 months ago and I really feel like my needs have changed. I used to think that if I talked to someone else about my ideas and they gave me one, then I would be using their ideas as my own. But, I don't view it in this way anymore. I am valuing the power of speaking to others about thoughts and ideas other than my own. That is, of course, why we do consulting at the Writing Center (instead of just "correcting" or editing someone's paper) and why peer review is so valuable. Plus, I have to consider how incredibly lucky I am to be around such intelligent people and I need to take advantage of that.
If anything, I am really glad I kept this web and was able to go back and look at how I viewed invention (inspiration). It is useful to me to reflect upon how my views are changing - for the better. In fact, I decided to brainstorm a new web to see how things have changed and it looks quite a bit different. I think this one (below) was more conscious than the first one, but I think that's ok. The main differences are: with this most recent one, there are only two main types of invention. There are also a couple of things that I thought were important to mention, but wasn't sure exactly where they belonged, i.e., "the iterative writing process" and "revision," because I believe that both of things might be able to be "social" and "non-social," as I name them.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My First Invention "Experiment"

While reading Geoffrey Sirc's article "Box-Logic" in Writing New Media, something struck me on page 112 when he wrote, "It was up to the reader to shuffle these cards as he or she pleased." This gave a visual and inspired (there's that word) me to create this first invention "experiment" for myself.

I went on to and printed off the first four pages of "inspriational" and "creativity" quotes. I cut all of the quotes up onto their own little separate piece of paper and here are my plans:

  • for the "inspirational" quotes, I am going to pick several quotes (maybe 4 -5) at random and place them in the random order I picked them out in. So, essentially, I am going to draw these from a hat. I am then going to write a little fiction story based on the prompts.
  • then, I am going to do this again with this group of "inspirational" quotes, but this time, still in random order, I am going to start writing as I pick one prompt at a time and only pick a new one when I get stuck, so the quotes are going to write themselves.
  • Next, I am going to pick several more (maybe 8 - 10) quotes from the "creativity" pile. This first drawing will also be random, but I will look at all of them and put them in an order as I see fit and decide how to write about them at that time.

While I was cutting the quotes up, I was finding it hard not to read them as I went along. I didn't want to be aware of any of the quotes because I felt like that might hinder my invention in the future with this experiment. I don't want to think about these quotes before hand, and I don't want any preconceived notions about them when I get into my writing.

The one really interesting thing was that I printed 4 pages from each the "creativity" and the "inspirational" quote pool. Each of these pages had about about 8 quotes on it. There was one quote that spanned from the bottom of page one onto the top of page two and one of the sentences in that quote was cut in half. My first instinct was to disregard this quote and just throw it away, but instead, I taped it back together so it was readable. I haven't decided yet if this quote wanted to be written about or thrown away .... I guess I will find out.

More to follow ....

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Blog About Blogging

Since I completed my paper on invention, I have had time to go back and re-assess where I stand on P1, and let me tell you, it isn't great - at least, not to my standards. The pattern that seems to be emerging is that I blog once a week, then skip a week and then try and catch up with two back-to-back (note my blog yesterday AND today ...). But, what I wanted to get out of blogging this much (15 times throughout the semester) was to use this space for notes for my reading. I am wondering what is hindering me from doing this. Obviously, I have had plenty of reading to use for this "experiment" and I don't know if it is my procrastination or my continuing fear of the unknown.

But, now that I am curious to see in what uses this blog can serve me (and not just because I committed to 7 more blogs before the end of the semester), I am going to make a concerted effort to post twice a week (at least). I feel like maybe if I don't have something academic or incredibly intelligent, then I just shouldn't blog at all. But I am going to resist that urge over the next few weeks and just blog (maybe I should pre-apologize for any nonsensical upcoming blogs). I need to let all of my own preconceived notions go and not worry about posting about irrelevant information and look at blogging as a form of invention. Since I am a person who experiences writer's block - quite often - this would be a good chance for me to get out ideas and have a place to keep them instead of having sticky notes everywhere from my kitchen table to using the sticky note program on my computer itself.

Since I have been so interested in invention lately, I wanted to maybe think about doing an experiment to see what inspires me. Movies, music, blogs, viral videos, podcasts - I want to use all of these things to see what inspires me the most. A while back, I did a brainstorming web about what inspires me (even before this notion of invention came up which is interesting) and when I can figure out how to darken it (it's in pencil) and when I get over the fact that I may be embarrassed to share the certain musicians I am inspired by, I will upload it. With all of this being said, I am interested to hear what inspires others. Anybody have any suggestions or comments??

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I can't stop thinking about invention!!

Ever since I started doing research for the P2 keywords paper, I continue to become more and more interested with invention. I often wonder where my invention for my own work comes from. Long gone are the days when we are given topics to research and write about. Now is the time for us to write about what we are interested in. But sometimes I wonder what that is, exactly. And, once I find that topic, what is it that makes me excited to write about it? What makes me spend the time with it - doing the research, having writer's block, writing a draft and then hating it, and then finally finishing it ...

I wonder if I am the type of person where I find my inspiration internally or from interacting with other people. I think it might be a little bit of both, and with my research about invention, I almost feel like I need to pick a side. A lot of my invention comes out of nowhere, or what I think is nowhere. But when I really stop to think about it, it HAD to have come from somewhere else. Either from speaking with someone else, or reading something, even though the idea popped out of nowhere, it came from somewhere.

Which makes me think I have a socialist view when it comes to invention, but my process of creating the piece is probably much more internal. Many of my new ideas come from when I am writing. When I think about this, it seems kind of weird to me - I can't write until I write. I have enough issues with writer's block, like I need this statement looming over my head when I am trying to be inventive ...

Here are some questions that I am pondering:

- What ever happened to muses? Wasn't that Shakespeare's form of invention?

- How is invention through writing comparable to invention through interaction?

- Is kairos invention? And, Kelly Myers writes about the opposite of kairos which is metanoia and is the idea of missed opportunity. Is this invention? And how are they comparable?

- Is kairos only retrospective? Do we only know it happens for a reason after the fact?

- How, then, will we know it's a missed opportunity if it isn't utilized?

- Are we only aware of kairos if we have taken advantage of it?

These are all questions that keep stewing which I want to re-visit later to continue to write about. However, with all of this going on in my head, I wonder if going crazy is another form of invention ....