Purpose, Methods, Results…repeat

by Janice Nigro

We wonder in grade school what the point of such exercises is. Writing up lab reports, writing up our interpretation of a story or a poem.

But “purpose, methods, results” is ultimately the basis of everything we do. Although sometimes we only see the pattern when we look back.

I am a scientist so these are the exact words we need to use in designing our work, but it’s the same for a writer or a painter or anyone who is setting out to do a project of any sort. What’s your purpose? How will you do it? And what happens when you finally perform the task?

Everything is really an experiment.

I have performed a lot of experiments in my life, and probably more that matter since I left the lab bench. But I wasn’t expecting it when I left Norway and headed back to the USA.

I had an idea for an online business, and a friend in Norway told me a good way to begin was to start a website for free on WordPress. Then I began to play with my underwater photographs. And then I began to write stories. I had always kept a travel journal, but those stories never seemed that interesting to tell until an idea came to me on a dive trip.

Then I started to write more dive stories and then my writing spread to other travel stories, to life as an expat, and to science.

I had been thinking for a long time about putting a book together – but I couldn’t see the point of doing that. There was no purpose. No girl finding the buried treasure. No girl getting the guy.

Over the past summer, I did it anyway. I collected all my dive stories and put them together in one Word file. They were already written, but it really wasn’t clear how they should go together or that they should even go together. They were just my stories.

And then I realized what did happen – I had discovered creativity. And I discovered it through scuba diving.

Putting a book together was a dream that didn’t seem possible because I am an introvert, one with poor verbal scores on standardized tests and a poor track record in art classes. But the book is not about achieving success in a creative life because I haven’t. It’s not even a real page turner (although the pictures are nice). It’s more about the impact that art can have on any part of your life even if you consider your skills to be just ordinary.

There is actually some real scientific data for why art might influence learning and work. It has something to do with what your brain does during any activity for rest. Sleep, taking a nap, or meditation. In my case, it was scuba diving.

It wasn’t something I planned for or trained myself for. It was an accident. I have left the lab bench. I left the course laid out for me by my hard work ethic family upbringing too. Maybe reality. But it’s not entirely true. I was able to give birth to a creative life probably because of my scientific life which is probably just another form of a creative life anyway. But ideas for anything come from reading, experimenting, and doing.

It was perhaps after all, no accident.

PS Still a debate on releasing it for fun or for “profit”…”An Accidental Artist” maybe coming soon…

©Janice Marie Nigro/janikiInk.com

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