The Definition of Insanity

I was wondering what I should post about this weekend.

It came to me after spending a good forty minutes trying to sort out why I couldn’t upload my new profile picture.  (Not because I’m technologically illiterate – just a weird glitch in the system).

But isn’t that what the definition of insanity is according to Albert Einstein*?:

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Now, I’m as guilty as anyone of trying something for a while to see if it will work out.  My writing is filled with all sorts of experimentation in this regard.  Themes that repeat, plots are similar to other plots, among other trends.

I think the key to being a good author is knowing what to keep and what to change.  The problem is that I am very biased toward my own work.  I have a select group of friends I use as a sounding board for ideas and pieces of my stories.  Through them, I can see with a fresh perspective in order to cut what needs to be taken out and to change what needs to be revised.

Many times when I identify a problem spot in a story, I keep turning it in my head like I am solving a brainteaser toy.  I’m testing it and carefully observing what it is currently and where it seems to be heading.  It takes a lot of patience and groundwork.

Similarly, my life is in this flux at the moment as well.  I’m in the middle of a job transition and I am holding the parts of my own life and taking stock as I head in a new direction.  For the last four years, I’ve done more of the same.  It’s time to mix it up a little, just as it is time to mix a few pieces of my own stories up.

Life, as in writing, takes a whole lot of patience, some perspective, and the determination to experiment a bit.

*There is some debate as to the identity of who actually coined this phrase.  If you’d like to see a bit more background regarding this you can take a look at Did Einstein really define insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”? on Quora.

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