When I was in junior high, our English teacher used to say that if you can’t think of anything to write you should repeatedly write, “I can’t think of what to write,” or something similar, until you come to an idea. It sounded ridiculous then, and still does, but, in a way, it works.
Mr. Peters also used to tell me that I need to be reasonable. I must’ve been unreasonable a lot of the time because he would continually remind me of this. He even brought it up during a parent-teacher interview.
I don’t remember how I was unreasonable, but if you were to look at my life now and work backwards, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to believe that I was often unreasonable.
One reason that any of this is important is because I couldn’t think of anything to write about today and this was the first thing that came to mind. It’s also important because I often find myself thinking about how unreasonable other people are being.
Quickly following those thoughts, are possible justifications for why people do what they do. People must have a reason for doing what they do. Whenever students tell me that they don’t know why they did something they shouldn’t have,
I tell them that they should have a good reason for doing anything.
This isn’t entirely fair of me. I often do things without having a good reason. In fact, I probably do more things out of habit than with reasoned intention.
Repeatedly acting in the same way when you can’t think of how to act doesn’t garner the same results as the writing exercise Mr. Peters promoted. Or, does it?
Ultimately, writing and physical actions are meant to lead to a consequence. We act in the world, through words or actions, to elicit a response.
Maybe people lift weights, run, walk, do yoga, or swim because the repetition of a simple act helps develop a predictable routine that is manageable. Once the routine has been established, you can feel a sense productivity without having to think too thoroughly about it. From there, you can move passed the action and into a new phase of enhanced productivity.
I suppose that’s not entirely unreasonable.