Permission to be Dour

by Jan Geronimo on September 16, 2009

being dour

In this post, I’m giving myself permission to be dour. It’s been a long day and the night oddly enough fails to give this stud muffin any relief.

What to do?  I don’t know about you, but I’m sitting here having coffee.  My writing can go take a leave of absence, but I’d be damned if I go without my coffee.

Wait – here’s one bright note to this all.  Go head out to my friend Brad Shorr’s blog and check out his awesome post, “Against Happiness, by Eric G. Wilson, Book Review.”  You’d thank your lucky stars I push you into checking out his post .  Read as well the great interaction in the comment section, especially the comments left by Robin Dickinson, Joanna Young and Jackie Cameron.  Very insightful bunch of readers.  Brad Shorr can’t be more pleased, I guess.

Go now while I buff my dour pout to a shine.  Tell Brad I sent you, and if Joanna is still around, tell her I’m practicing being a transplanted Scot this part of Asia.  She’d know what I mean.

Photo Creditdakotaduff

Recommended Resources:

  1. Accessing Your Creative Reserves
  2. Overthinking is the Enemy of Creatives
  3. What Makes Your Writing Fly
  4. Brick Wall
  5. Stillborn

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Related Posts

  • Hello Jan! I am going to check the link out. When I am feeling down or something like that I usually direct that negative energy into doing something positive. Or taking a long walk in the forest alone and let my mind wander as I savour the beauty of nature around me.
  • Good morning, Charles. Yes, nature has a way of doing that - helps a lot in making you figure what's important from trifling matters.

    Hey, thanks a lot for dropping by Brad's blog and leaving a comment. I've read it. lols
  • Have a nice sip, Jan.

    "Against Happiness" review is awesome indeed. The only thing is I forgot to mention that you send me there. I might go back and post just that.
  • Good morning, Darbs. Hey- this is cool. Come to think of it, I'm having coffee now. It's all right, Darbs. Brad will surely know you've come from my blog. People who stop here and then go off to read another blog have this distinct aroma of coffee about them. The good smell precedes them. Perhaps to warn the blog author?

    Which reminds me of someone who used to be a reader. This reader said to me
    that every time he visits he smells good coffee brewing and hears this unmistakable sound of my heart beating against my chest.

    That's one praise that still makes my day every time I remember it.

    Of course that was then and this is now. He has moved on to where he can find
    a more exotic aroma of brewed coffee. And perhaps a more sane rendition of
    a beating heart.
  • Roy
    So, you're human after all! lols

    and here I am thinking your lightsaber can deflect all those negativity that comes your way

    hmm... coffee not working? there is actually an effective way to make caffeine more effective, and that is when it is shared ;)

    don't worry buddy, it'll pass... but if it doesn't, I'll come back here to tell you, "Snap out of it!" ;)

    okay, on my way to Brad Shors now, but before I do that, let me just share this...

    Have you heard about the fisherman who caught plenty of jellyfishes? Yes! He did! IN SIX DIFFERENT FLAVORS!

    okay, I'm off now ;)
  • @Roy: Ah the fisherman with his catch of jellyfish in six different flavors? I didn't get that. Hehehe.

    @Holly: Thanks for your suggestions. I thought of copying sentences that resonate with me most. Then I stopped because I'd just be copy-pasting your whole comment. Thanks a lot, Holly, for this and the equally thoughtful comment you left at Brad's blog. ",)
  • What a great way to spend a dour evening - send your legions of readers from one great blog to another.

    I see nothing wrong with being cranky - sometimes. It's human nature. I am too, sometimes. Probably less than most. I am an optimist.

    So I guess this is the part where I say: "LJ, let's agree to disagree..."

    I am not always happy, nor do I force people around me to be happy, but in certain situations - even when you feel sour, you pick yourself up and try your hardest to enjoy.

    You might miss the moment if you don't.
  • Hey ReyJr, I feel the same way. There's no use crying over spilt milk. Take sometime to "mourn" or wallow in your misery but don't stay in that pit forever. Rise above the depression and dourness and take the challenge to be happy again.

    Meeting that challenge will also develop your other positive traits as well. Cheers, Jan..he he he..
  • My point exactly, Jen. That's why I wrote a post about nothing. Yup, about dourness and all that, but mainly about nothing. If I've wallowed you'd not see me here. Maybe I'd be somewhere else, and to use Bonnie's magnificent vocabulary, to check out some fabulous huhus.

    By the way, thanks a lot for humoring an old friend. I saw you left a comment in Brad's blog. Thank you.
  • I haven't yet read the book, but I think it's important to feel what you feel - not to constantly try to change reality through a "command" to "cheer up." That said, negative moods seem to be more contagious than positive ones, on the whole. Why that is, I don't know. We should take care not to interfere with each others' "wholeness" - either through forced cheerfulness or an encouragement to wallow in misery when it comes.

    It's like grief: Some people need longer than others. Let them be. It's not as if you can "do" grief "right" or "wrong." It is what it is - it's a process that gets us through loss and sadness and the facing of our own mortality.

    Without the entire spectrum of emotions and experiences, writers and artists and musicians can't be whole, and we suspect others can't be, either, but that they may be less attuned to the need for this sort of wholeness. ;) And this is where I think writers and artists and musicians serve others - some people are more comfortable experiencing their own emotions at a distance, vicariously, through books and art and music, until it becomes clear that they are not alone - that their emotions are not unique or dangerous, and that others really can accept them as they are.
  • You're much too kind, Rey. Thanks. Anyway, who's gonna believe you have it in you to be cranky? Well, not me. ",)

    And this is the part where I say that with me there's no need for preambles. No need for warning shots, is all I say. Come as you are, Rey.

    It's funny. A while ago, I was at your blog leaving a comment about Teodoro something. When I got here you've just left a comment. I could have made my reply in almost real time but time to go home.

    It's a bit hard to comment at post like this, I know. All I ever wanted to do last night was say hi. I'm here. I've come at the appointed hour even with nothing to say. :) But I'm all right now. The heat was still unforgiving, but I've paced myself throughout the day. So all is good. No worries. ",)
  • Sorry have not been back in a few days. Ive been having formatting problems with my blog. gah. So i guess it's my turn to be dour - or frustrated is more like it. What good is being a control freak when you can't control your own blog? LoL!

    That's also the reason why I wasn't able to join the conversation over at Brad's. I would have loved to.

    I read a quote a while ago which struck me - "Just because you're in pain doesn't mean you have to be one." Making small personal sacrifices for family and friends is nothing to me.

    I agree though that sadness is a part of life. We should feel sad when we are sad. Talk about it with a friend.
  • Rey, it's all right. I'm a control freak, too. But I know how to let go. In fact, I'm an expert at letting go. That's how I keep my sanity. lols.

    Brad's blog will be there for a long time. And it's just a request from me anyway.

    Lovely quote, Rey. I'd remember that. Talk about it with a friend? Well, there's that, too. And there's the matter of letting it be. Just because it's important to me doesn't necessarily mean friends are waiting to exhale - to hear it. lols
  • zorlone
    Oh be dour anytime!

    Like Brad, thanks for pointing your readers to my direction. Highly appreciated! Now off to Brad's Book Review.




    Thank you for the generosity my friend! Let me quote you, "there is nothing wrong when I feel morose," after all, we get a lot of inspirations from those inert feelings. Bathe in them once in a while but don't forget to rinse yourself from the dark and gloomy feeling.

  • Thanks, Doc Z, for not letting even a ray of sunshine ruin my parade. Ahehehe. Really? I said that? Sounds like a line from a D movie. Ahahaha.

    Don't worry, Z. I'm good at bathing. Thanks for the splendid advice, my fave medicine man. Don't I get a happy pill?

    Thanks too for visiting Brad and leaving a blockbuster of a comment. Appreciate it very much, Z.
  • JoannaYoung
    I appreciate the post muchly :-)
  • Oh, a visit from a superb writing coach. Thanks, Joanna.
  • ah, you have mastered the fine art of letting go of your problems by putting the focus on to something positive - well done JG. Especially good on ya when its done in praise of someone else. Having said that however, it's OK to be dour and acknowledge our feelings. Heading over to check out your recommendation....
    PS having read the review now, I still stand by the 'it's OK' comment and the value of championing others. With the addition of now wanting to read the book...
  • And here I am congratulating myself for the sleight of hand I've done. You saw it a glance, Trina. Ahahaha. Darn - must try harder next time. Thanks, Trina, for your cheerful and kind disposition. Hey, I checked. You've read Brad's post and left a comment! Cool. Thanks a lot, Trina.
  • uh-oh, great minds think alike, and .... J/K, JG
  • Hi Jan, Wow, thank you so much for pointing your incredible blog community to my book review. It's enough to de-dour me! The book really struck a chord with me, and I am very pleased and quite surprised to find it struck such a powerful chord with you and many others as well. One of the knocks we sometimes hear about social media is that it is superficial and insincere, but conversations like the one around the "Against Happiness" post - not to mention many of your own conversations - prove once and for all that social media is capable of stimulating discussion of issues of fundamental importance to how we live and what we do. One thing I've learned from you (and others) and am grateful for is the courage to write openly and with feeling - the feeling I am experiencing at the moment. When I started blogging back in 2005, I thought exposing feelings would be counterproductive to my business. In fact, I think it helps. People want connections with people, not faceless, nameless corporations. Sorry for the rambling comment, but there's so much to talk about this week! Thanks again for the incredible shout out.
  • I'm amazed too that I can be more generous, open, and even forthright in my writing. I'm more like a listener and cheerleader offline. But there's something about writing that pushes you to wrestle with your inner demons, and taking a leaf from Joanna's example, to push the limits of what's possible.

    That's why your post and the book you reviewed resonated with me so much. It validates what I've long suspected to be true. You deal with your own truths and come to terms with every card life deals you: sadness, disappointment, betrayal, tribulation, and the occasional triumph. There's no getting around it. And there's no easy fix.

    I'm so glad that we as writers are equipped to deal with this on our own terms.
  • Will be checking it out Jan. :)
  • Cool. Thanks, Madz. :)
  • hi jan! hehe. so this is it? this is your uninspired post? looks like you had something to write about naman ah. hehe. sabagay, you said you were in front of the pc for 2 hours. at least something came out of it. Unlike mine where i only had 3 sentences of pure nonsense kasi i onlys stared for a few minutes. hahaha. i hope you'll find your mojo back soon.

    by the way, cute dog. i want one. :)
  • You see? The key is to never give up. Give yourself time to hear what your inner self is telling you. Even if it says, "Go buy me a pizza. Pronto."

    Oh, the writing mojo is here all right. It's the low energy level that's bothering me now.

    Why do you want a cute dog, Reena? You've friends. You've a family. Why a dog? And not a cat? There's a post there just dying to be written. lols
  • Naks! well coffee is the answer... jijijijiji
  • It surely is - especially when someone who's giving you a hard time passes
    by. Of course, you'd check first if the coffee is still very hot. Otherwise the ploy is not effective. lols
  • do coffee serves here free?
  • Of course, my friend. Napasyal ka? Ahahahaha. Kidding! Dala mo na ba ang
    pang giveaway mong macbook? :)
  • i dont know... i guess I'm also doured... hahhaha... my proofreading skills tell me that the title should be "Persmission to be doured" lols... sorry.. the inner grammar nazi is coming out very ferociously! hahahhaha... but then again, yeah... i agree with rey... we are all human... we commit mistakes and sometimes we feel doured about certain things... a higher level excuse of having a writer's block! great post... got my attention after all! hahahha!
  • That falls within my area of expertise, too. And isn't it funny I take to it like a duck to water? I don't ask permission. In true Nike fashion, I just do it.

    Ah, I'm a good listener, Yatot. Just now, I quite enjoy the many levels of your comment. You do know me really well. Whatever is on your mind? Permission granted. Goes without saying, of course. It's just me putting others on notice who might happen to read my reply to you.

    I've learned from Roy that to defeat writer's block you just talk about writer's block and you're good to go. See? Ahahaha.
  • Roy
    hahaha! you've caught up.

    thanks for the attribution Jan hehe...
  • I'd be a fool if I give writer's block the upperhand. No way. Perhaps this means I'm not a writer after all. We've been told only writers have writers block. :) One of your wise readers said that. ",)
  • Roy
    "only writers haver writer's block"

    you know what follows with that Jan...

    "not every one who have athlete's foot are athlete"

    tasteles I know, I just can't resist it hehe...
  • "I've learned from Roy that to defeat writer's block you just talk about writer's block and you're good to go. See? Ahahaha."

    ... and let the fingers do the talking! hahhahha... for me it's easier to write when you let your fingers do the talk or in this case do the writing... in many case scenarios, when you let your fingers just type anything without thinking simultaneously, it all ends up with a long post after all... and later on you will find out and ask yourself... "am i really having a writer's block dilemma?" hahahha...

    come to think of it, even if your blog post is quite short than the usual... your comments are all lengthy... hahhaha :D
  • That's because Jan is a genuine writer...he he he..wala lang , napadaan ang can't help but read the comments.
  • I have to search what 'dour' means.

    Now I am intrigued with that "Against Happiness."
  • Do you really have to? Just replace the "d" with "s" and you'd have a pretty good idea what I meant. Ahehehe. Thanks for dropping by, Ax.
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