This is the week of Apr 26-May 2, 2021.
Here and Now
¶ On the fear of making lists
With this weekly post, I’m getting back to the habit of writing, even if it is making lists as a memory aid. Speaking of lists, I have trouble coming up with answers to things like “what are your favourite 5 movies of all time”. I wonder why?
- Fear of committing to those five?
- Fear of not getting it perfectly?
- Or is it because I don’t want people to judge me based on my choice of movies ;)
Writing it down combined with
git history should aid in addressing the first two.
The same could be true for the books. So, instead of focussing on “top X”, how about:
- What are some of the books you have read repeatedly?
- What is the one book you have been re-reading for the longest time? Say, back from your college days, school days?
” Notetaking is a revolutionary act of taking back control of your attention from all the future versions of yourself that can’t remember” – tiago forte
¶ On seperation of Collection vs Organizing vs Doing applied to writing
There are many writers who treat it as physical labor, as in - you turn up to your typewriter/paper at a fixed time every day, put in X number of hours, and at the end of it, they are done. Whenever I heard of writers like this (who?), I felt there was something intuitively right about that model of working.
The itinerant writer (me) waits for an external spark or the right confluence of things to happen. There is an expectation that when all these things happen, whatever I write, will start flowing smoothly out of my keyboard and will land perfectly.
This expectation goes against some of the things we learn from David Allen of “Getting Things Done” about projects, which any writing of some length is. Allen talks about thinking about three distinct phases of getting things done.
- Collect (tasks, ideas) as they occur. Do not try to process it any further.
- Process - which includes considering it. The physical act of looking at a scribbled line or jotted down notes on computer, and deciding what to do with it – file it away in the right place, set yourself a task for a specific context, and date or trash it.
- Doing it. In the case of writing – saying “OK, this looks done. I’ll send it/print it/publish it.”
The best place to do no 1, collect, is right here and now, on what ever you have in front of you – email “compose” button, Apple Notes, a text editor, or even the old sheet of paper that might yet languish on your desk for a few days. It is important to get it out of your head, and move on with whatever you are supposed to be doing right now. Let the creative spark derail you from the flow.
¶ On reading aloud as a memory retention device
Growing up, our parents used to admonish us to ಜೋರಾಗಿ ಓದು, ತಲೆಗೆ ಹತ್ತುತ್ತೆ “read aloud, it will stick in your head”. I wonder if reading aloud quietens the monkey brain and deplete the excessively active parts of your attention by overwhelming it with using another sense - speech. This might also explain why white noise – radio, coffee shop, nature sounds. is often conducive for productive work.
¶ The ordinary is not easy.
- Donated blood for the first time in a long, long time on Mar 27, 2021.
I bought these digital books that were on sale:
- The rise and fall of communism by Archie Brown
- The year of the Lear: Shakespeare in 1606 by James S. Shapiro
Rediscovered my own copy of:
- Radical Candor by Kim Scott
NOTE: link to your kindle books on amazon
From Around The Web
¶ Carolyn Chute, American writer. Books – “Merry Men” and “Letournau’s Used Auto Parts.” See also “Look homeward, America”. (via “neiljclark1” on twitter)
¶ Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s Journal Archive On CD. via. Digital archival is important. It is also important not to lock them up in propreitary platforms. Personally, I would do like to do the following:
- store contents in open/well known formats
- rotate the digital media every X years to newer disks
- back them up a remote location (for disaster recovery)
¶ An informative write up about the painter Bob Ross