My apologies to readers – posting of commentaries has been pretty uneven here recently. A combination of press of work for clients and travel and similar fun (or not so fun) things.
But it brings up an interesting thought – not just about liberty but about creativity. One of the best thing about having liberty, having freedom is NOT just Eric Frank Russell’s famous “Freedom=I won’t.” Important as that concept is, freedom and liberty mean that we CAN do the things that benefit us. Benefit us and our family and our community and more: not just physically and financially but emotionally and morally. (As long as we understand that MY liberty stops where YOUR nose begins.)
Refusing to do something that is forced or mandated is important. But more important? Jefferson called it “pursuit of happiness.” Doing what we want to, to benefit ourselves and others voluntarily.
Most especially, that includes writing. Mama Liberty and now me (Nathan) and the others involved in The Price of Liberty are blessed in one way: we are not even gnats in the consciousness of the enemies of liberty here in the Fifty States today. So we generally do not have to worry about someone trying to cancel us. We did and do this without any expectation or need for making money. So we have nothing to worry about getting demonetized by any of the social media tyranny out there. We can be politically incorrect – and are.
(Admittedly, we are probably wasting at least some potential in not getting something back from getting our message of liberty out there. There are always tradeoffs.)
Which is the point of all this meandering. There are always tradeoffs.
One of the tradeoffs Mama Liberty and Nathan and others have long recognized is what seems to be a limited amount of creativity each of us gets (as a gift or loan from God?) each day. That applies to many endeavors, but especially to writing.
I find that when I write, if I do too much of one type, I don’t seem to have the mental ability (not just not the time) to do other writing. My writing falls into four general categories. There is writing about liberty (and politics). There is professional writing (technical reports, analysis, permits, training materials, assessments and so forth, as an environmental engineer). There is religious writing: Bible studies and commentary. And there is fiction.
If I have to write 5,000 or even 10,000 words (in a day) of one type, I do not seem to have the ability to do even a few words of another type. At least not until a good night’s rest, some physical exercise, and other things to recharge my little gray cells.
So when (as has been the case the last couple of weeks), I am writing 5,000 words or more a day of technical stuff, I can’t get some of the other writing done. My liberty to create is limited by the amount of creativity I have. I can do X words of technical writing, and Y words of commentary on politics or religion, as the sum of X and Y nears MY limit for the day, that’s it. Time to do something else!
(I honor those (in the liberty movement and in religion and technical matters) who have greater measures of creativity! But I do not envy them, as the greater measure also seems to be coupled with the growing mental demand to create. I think Heinlein referred to that, in some of his thoughts about the perversity of writing.)
That is the case with anything we have the liberty to do. Not just how many hours a day we have, but how much capability we have to do those things.
Tyranny, no matter what the source, on the other hand, prevents us from using all that creative energy. Thus, we are frustrated: we want to – we NEED to – accomplish things. But we are prevented from doing so. Not by our own limitations but because some nanny, some thug, tells us that we cannot do such and such. And then tries to enforce it.
That, in my opinion, is because we were created with this desire to accomplish things. Call it, again in Jefferson’s words, our “pursuit of happiness.” That often manifests itself in ownership of private property, but there are other ways. Harder to define, but just as important.
Is this an excuse for why I can’t pump out 600-1000 words of commentary on liberty and politics some days? Yup! So now you know!