10 November 2006

Striking a healthy balance (1)

OVER THE past couple of months, I purposely devoted a substantial amount of energy on things I haven't done before:

  • Set up a blog to test the new Blogger in Beta. Along the way, I tried to do self-help cascading style sheets (CSS). Enabled me to reformat my blog, using the design that came out of the exercise.
  • Tried my hand at Adobe Photoshop. Learned some tricks in manipulating images, starting with the photo IDs of my two daughters and my own passport-size ID picture. Successfully altered the backdrop in the originals I took (and realized some savings by bringing this straight for printing at the E-Mall Photoline outlet).
  • Took, and is taking, a stab at writing my first novel, driven by the NaNoWriMo, although I'm way, way behind schedule. But I remain hopeful, thanks to Chris Baty's Week 2 email which showed him only a couple of thousand words clear of me, so I'm in good company.
The whole purpose is to let my steam off.

The beauty of creative and technical exercises like these is the immense joy that comes with creating something out of practically nothing. And in the creative process in this impersonal, private world, there is a certain sense of order and predictability: input > throughput > output; a + b = c; you build, they come.

You cannot expect the same thing from the real world. And frustration builds up when the expect output c does not come to be.