Doing Nothing- Productive or Not?

Posted on May 25, 2011

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At the very beginning, when I first heard of what this assignment consisted of, I wondered what I would actually write about. I wondered where this assignment would take me, if it would really expand my spectrum of creativity, if instead of thinking about something new I would do the complete opposite and just write about something that has been in my mind for a while. I wondered if I would concentrate on the moment, acknowledging my surroundings or if my mind would get me thinking about other things and take me to places in my imagination. Also before starting my 20 minutes of nothingness I decided to record an introduction to show my audience of where I this was taking place. Check it out, at the end of this article!

As I laid on that mat, the first couple of minutes were transitional. I had to take a few deep breaths to clear my mind. I wanted to really take advantage of the opportunity to do this assignment right. After I had no concrete thoughts about anything, I began to stare up to the clouds in the sky. For some reason, I kept asking myself “Am I doing this right? What am I supposed to really be doing?” Then, after I was certain that I was just over thinking things like I usually do, I decided to take it easy and just exist, just be there, do nothing while still being aware and observing. That was really all I could do, observe to stay awake, otherwise I would have fallen asleep. My job was to report on my experience and with this I am doing just that.

I have got to admit, it was hard to do nothing especially with all the thoughts I had in my mind. Sitting out there got me thinking about many random things, one of them in particular that stuck with me was about how to become a better writer. I realized how my surroundings actually play such a tremendous role in my thought process and eventually my style of writing. For the first time I took into consideration how a setting can influence a story to go through a certain route instead of another possible path. Through high school I remember all my English teachers telling my classes how one must consider the setting of a book or even the setting of a specific author to see the correlation between what they were living and what they were writing about. I thought to myself, “if I want to be a better writer I have to put myself in the situation, experience it, feel it and then write about it.” This is not necessarily true for all writers, I realize that this comes with a creativity rule of thumb, but at least for me personally that is something I realized that would help me in the long run. Being active and partaking into something I am trying to communicate is what I got out of this assignment. To just let my surroundings, even if they are inanimate objects, have a voice and speak through me. “How could this be done?” You may ask. I say to do nothing, sit back and observe for a while.   Sometimes doing nothing can be productive.

After I watched my video I noticed I had many topics to write about from all the things that were happening in my surrounding. I could write about the art of relaxation, dehydration, the effects of the sun on our skin and how to prevent damage, detachment from electronics and social communication, how hard it is to sit still, South Florida’s ecosystem, possible alligators in residential areas, how parents need to keep a closer watch on their children, how people care so much about what complete strangers are doing, bullying in schools by name calling and those were just the few obvious topics in my video. As all of this was happening I began to think about many different things. A couple of the topics I began to think about were relating to my childhood and how much I liked how my parents raised me yet pin pointing out things that i would do differently with my own children later on when I do have them. Another topic I began to think about was about my own future and where I was heading.

I was very happy this assignment was given to my class, but I am even happier I took it seriously and did as I was supposed to since it really gave me a time to disconnect from all responsibilities and to just reflect about things concerning my personal growth. I had time to think about my skills and abilities, about how I can improve my writing, and about my career. I also confirmed something that was being talked about in class just two days ago about how people are so concerned for what others are doing instead of minding only about their personal business.

**While recording this video there was no music playing, but it was added on during editing. Music is by The Afters and the song name is Someday. There was also editing done in order for the video to not be too long while showing 20 minutes of nothingness. Hope you guys like it!

By Vanessa C. Rodriguez

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