While getting things not done

The struggle finishing my blog post titled While getting things not done carries an irony inside I can surely appreciate. But not only is it amusing.
It occurred to me, that I´m far more comfortable in reading in English, than writing in it. (This – of course – may also be part of a more profound procrastination strategy I unknowingly developed) But also I´m still shy about posting at all. I feel doubtful about the meaningfulness of releasing my personal thoughts, experiences or words into the foggy unknown public space or I am even frightened to do so. On the other hand I know very well how much writing can teach you to pay attention to yourself, the situation, or the process you are in. As a German native speaker I´m far from free flowing writing in English. I´m even more accustomed to writing in Russian then in English.

Never listen to people who try to make beginners feel like losers. I read in somebody else´s blogpost not too long ago and maybe it´s worth adding (at least for me and the new year) Never make yourself feel like a loser, because you are a beginner. Entering a new area of knowledge makes you feel somehow small. You lack orientation, and where ever you start researching, you discover more and more things you don´t know yet and are in serious danger to get lost or to give up. That´s at least what I felt the last weeks. It made me think about efficiency. Missing the usual satisfaction resulting from the accomplished results of the day in your professional life, I found it hard to sense a progress. Or even to know whether I was on the right path. To distinguish between helpful curiosity and helpless distraction.

But there were other experiences as well. One day I went to the Wikimedia Germany office nearby to get some in person help with setting up my developers environment. I spent about four hours with a trained software engineer, but we could not get it running. So we failed in terms of the assigned task. But I learned such a lot of new stuff, gained so many insights during the process of trouble shooting, that you might even say I learned a lot more because we couldn´t just solve the problem quickly.

In German there is an expression: Umwege erhöhen die Ortskenntnis. meaning s.th. like:  Detours let you know the place better.
I try to keep this in mind. As long as I found myself bothered, impatient, that things are not going as fast as I want them to, I will try remind myself of taking a look out of the window and enjoying the surrounding I might not have noticed otherwise. I embrace it as my learning mode of working.

By the way, this subject matter seemed to worry not only me, but most of my co-interns as well. This was easy to observe by the mails changed  and the post published in the first weeks. So what?

  1. Maia said:

    Thanks for posting this! I definitely understand the feeling of “oh god, I’m not getting anything done right now, this is useless” but it totally IS useful in the long run, and it’s good to remember that! And I feel the same about writing blog posts, too, but I definitely appreciated reading this and am glad you wrote it. It’s good to know that other people out there are having the same worries as me, and to see how they deal with them!

  2. Maia, thanks a lot for the very first comment at my very first blog!
    It means a lot to me that there is some fond echo coming out of space*

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