Friday, August 17, 2012

The Comfort of Inertia

When I mention inertia, here's one of the first things that comes to mind.

"An object in motion will stay in motion and an object at rest will stay at rest unless acted upon by a net force."

Generally applied to physics, but so true in other areas. It's so easy to keep doing what we've been doing, and keep not doing what we haven't been doing.

As a teacher, it's easy to teach as I've always taught. As a writer, it'd be easy to write the way I've always written. I've done it before, so I know I can do it. Continuing to do it is no problem at all.

Inertia is so darn comfortable.

You know what isn't comfortable? Growth.

Growth hurts. Growth feels awkward. Growth is trying to put on clothes that were designed for a body type very different from mine.

But if we push ourselves through that discomfort, we stretch. Our shape changes. We mold into something new.

And just as that new place starts to feel comfortable, we find the next new thing we need to put on.

(Now I have this vision of people made of clay. Just roll with it.)

I have new things to try this year as a teacher. I have areas to improve in with my writing. It's uncomfortable and awkward.

It's also necessary.

If I let inertia carry me, what's the point of having a brain at all?

Where do you find yourself getting caught in inertia? How do you push yourself out of those ruts?


Richard said...

It's hard to know how to answer your question. All artists reach a level of competence, and then their efforts become variations on a theme. Hopefully, that level of competence is a high one. In other words, every living thing reaches maturity.

Rena said...

Oh man, you've nailed that one. Inertia is comfortable. For me, anything that changes directions, or reaches beyond what I already know is a complete killer.

In writing, I always have these ideas about what I want to write, but I tend to get scared. Because of that, I tread the same old paths...

Stupid inertia.

Anonymous said...

I'm great at letting inertia take over my house. The messiness slowly grows and grows and grows. When I'm busying writing, I'm totally okay with that. Who needs to get in the way of that type of inertia. But when I come up for air-yikes. Darn inertia!

wljennings said...

What I want to hear about is your thinking about the coming changes you intend in your teaching. If R.C. is concidering a change that has got to be interesting and worthy of a discussion.

E.B. Black said...

Honestly, I have trouble telling the difference between ruts and voice. You go to an author to read the same thing over and over again because you like their voice, but if they don't vary it enough, you get bored and feel like you're literally reading the same story again and again. It's something I've been thinking about a lot lately because I do have a voice as an author, but maybe that means I also have a rut.