Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Make the Most of Pivot Points

from "I Need Coffee" on the Huffington Post

Attorney Katie Rose Guest Pryal writes the blog I Need Coffee, a blog covering all things writing with the aim toward how to make a living writing. Katie is also the author of Entanglement: A Novel and Love and Entropy: A Novella and a contributor to the Chronicle of Higher Education, The Toast, Dame Magazine, and other national venues.  She recently discussed ways climb out of your "rut," banish your "funk" and knock through your "block."  Below is a excerpt:

"...So I decided I needed a different metaphor for thinking about this kind of writing space, a metaphor that’s less negative than, say, “rut.” I settled on the phrase “pivot point.”

"A pivot point, at its most basic, is the center of any rotational system.

"In basketball, you plant your pivot foot so you can move while not getting called for a traveling violation. That’s a good thing.

"When you are drawing with an old-fashioned compass, you firmly plant the sharp tip as your pivot point, and then you rotate the clamped pencil around it to create a perfect circle. That’s a good thing, too, so long as you didn’t accidentally stab yourself with the compass point.

"A train engine on a turntable rotates on a central pivot point, allowing something immensely heavy to change direction and head off another way. That’s kind of amazing, actually.

"Examples of pivot points abound. The examples are important because I really want to stop thinking about funks, ruts, and plateaus. I want to embrace these moments as moments of possibility rather than impossibility. (I sound very new-agey and unlike my ordinary practical self, but what I’m suggesting is very practical. Please bear with me.)

"At a pivot point, you do, indeed, stop moving forward. But you also have a multitude of possibilities around you. You pause in your forward progress, and you look around, taking in the different paths, and then pick a new one..."

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