There’s this story I heard a few days ago, that goes like this:
Q: How do you know that a stand-up comedian is being too successful?
A: All of their new jokes suddenly are about hotel rooms, airports and comedy venues.
The risk of success is, you start working on your successful routine and you lose touch with everything else. Staying in touch with what’s out there, with everyday life, with people and events and ideas is absolutely indispensable to keep having fresh ideas.
As I think I mentioned in the past (I know I have) I live in a small backwater village in the wine country of north-western Italy. I don’t have a car, and therefore my social life is almost non-existent. I am having quite some success with my BUSCAFUSCO stories, but those are stories about a guy that lives in a small community in the wine country of north-western Italy. And yes, the ideas keep coming – but it’s all basically hotel rooms and airports.
The dangers of living in a cul-de-sac were always evident to me, but recently I’ve started to make a willing effort to vary my diet, so to speak, in order to keep my mind alert and my inputs as diverse and interesting as possible.
I already talked to distraction about my passion for online courses. These have helped and are helping me keep my brain to go rusty. I am supplementing this by listening to podcasts and by following a number of vlogs – I will do a piece about those, in case you are interested.
And as part of our family’s tradition of getting and exchanging gifts on Twelfth Night, I went and bought a few books for my brother (stuff about serial killers and Jack the Ripper, because that’s his hobby) and as it usually happens, I also bought a few books for me. And this time I concentrated on non-fiction, because I’ve got a stack this high of fiction books, but right now I needed to learn about events and things and ideas in the real world.
You can see there’s a common thread or two, there – but I also have a few other titles. This will keep me running for a while.
The problem remains that this is a passive thing – I read the books, maybe blog about them, and it’s done. I need to work on communications – to talk with people and actually react to what’s happening.
This is the reason why, hopefully the next week, I’ll start setting up regular chat sessions with my Patrons.
Ideally we’ll talk books and games, but there will be room for movies and what not. I hope you’ll be interested. It will be fun, and it will keep me from going bananas.