I’ve noticed that people who conduct experiments on themselves tend to be interesting people. They also get book deals. (Okay, this isn’t true of everyone like that.) What prompted this was my mother talking about an author on The Colbert Report who tried to become a farmer and often failed miserably. I thought, If I ever want to write a book, I should think up an experiment. Other authors I know have gone this route. Gretchen Rubin spent a year trying everything out on happiness; she has a blog and book. Tim Ferris experiments in what he calls “lifestyle design,” and he does lots of interesting things. I also remember reading Rock, Paper, Scissors by Len Fisher and being amused at all the little experiments in his life. I thought: I should try this stuff out. Of course, thinking about trying to incorporate more experimentation into my life is far different from actually doing it. I find the idea of experimentation cool not just because of it being a good way to have a writing topic, but it being a good way to live life. Experiments aren’t as heavy as decisions. That is to say, saying, “I’m going to cut out meat from my life,” is a much heavier statement than, “I’m going to try being a vegetarian for a month.” The former has more emotional consequences, especially when you fail. The latter is an experiment, so it’s okay if you fail, and if you fail, you can try again. The latter is a different approach to life, and it’s one that I think I prefer. I don’t like taking myself too seriously. I also think it would make me a more interesting person.
On a side note: It is really difficult to write when you keep getting interrupted. I intended on writing more, but the interruptions destroyed my state of mind. I need my own place by the end of the year.
And a reminder:
“This is one of the most important things I’ve learned from my happiness project: I need to take responsibility for the kind of life I lead. If I wish Fourth of July were more festive, I need to figure out how to make it more festive. If I want sparklers, I need to buy them. As Kafka wrote,’You are the problem. No scholar to be found far and wide.'” — Gretchen Rubin