Refuse to Choose! Or, my justification for a messy shelf.

Here on the island of misfit projects…

After kvetching about not having anything to do this month, a friend asked, “What sort of creative project would you like to accomplish?” I lined up a whole postit note of things, ranging from learning how to knit to photography. Instead of being motivated for a creative project, I was tasked this week with reading Barbara Sher’s Refuse to Choose! by that same friend. I’m not sure how to take that.

I’m almost positive this is my first self help book I’ve ever read, and just the fact that I felt the need to explain myself shows how much I avoid the genre. It’s a vast sea of motivational posters, cash grabs, and don’t-do-stupid-things-with-your-money advice that just never had anything for me. Because I respect my friend’s advice, though, I’m giving it a shot.

I’m currently a third of the way through, and I find myself nodding along with a lot of what’s being presented to me. I’ve learned that I’m (supposedly) a “scanner”, or someone who dabbles in a lot of different things because our minds are (supposedly) wired differently. I start projects and don’t finish them. I have project ideas and don’t act on them. I enjoy my job because I never really know what I’m going to be doing on a daily basis. Creative solutions are my jam. “Boredom is excruciating” the author states, something me and this blog can attest to. I also am afraid of anything less than perfection, so the vast majority of my projects are never completed. Despite that, I’m also afraid of never completing a project and never leaving a mark that I ever existed. It’s a strange world in the mind of a (supposedly) “scanner”, and this book has been mildly uncomfortable to read.

There’s not a lot in the way of scientific fact in the book, and even the term “scanner” is coined by the author herself, so it’s hard to say how much of this is actually true. At the point of the book where I’m at there’s been a lot of self-affirmation and encouragement that being a “scanner” isn’t wrong, but not a lot in the way of steps to take from here. She suggests making a “Scanner Daybook”, which essentially is just a notebook of ideas and projects you’re supposed to write in daily, as well as writing prompts and such while you’re reading her book. I haven’t been keeping one because I’m not sure how badly I need it.

So I guess this is just a meandering way of saying that I’m cautiously enjoying this book, if only for the self affirmation and encouragement to keep half-starting projects and not actually completing anything. This blog wouldn’t exist if I wasn’t reading the book, I don’t think. How meta.

One thought on “Refuse to Choose! Or, my justification for a messy shelf.

  1. Pingback: What I’ve been reading this week. – altlovesbooks

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