Tonight I am sitting on my floor reading some old draft posts, making mixed drinks and listening to Jazz. Coltrane’s Naima is one of my favorite songs. The notes stick with my like scenes in The Razors Edge. After listening to Naima I wanted more Jazz so I went to iPod > Music > Genres > Jazz and let it play.
Reading the posts, editing some and trying to figure out my working style.
They aren’t good enough to post yet. But close. Im realizing i cant be a perfectionist and I’m going to produce a lot of crap for a while. As noted by Ira Glass. I have been holding ideas in my head and not getting them out there because I can’t express them good enough.
But holding them back ensures I will never get them out.
Accepting some crap for a while is progress.
I’m trying writing them and editing them later to get major kinks out.
I have been thinking about booknotes a lot. I am reading a couple books that I have to underline things all the time so I can remember what is important but there is so much I want to remember.
Here is my normal process, 1) Underline things I find interesting. (pen or pencil) 2) color the edge of the page so I can find important pages by looking at the side of the book. (highlighter or marker)
But this system still has the info locked in the book. In college I had a piece of paper that I would make notes on with page #s and that stays with the book. But I am not in college anymore. The paper was handy when I had the assignment of writting a paper on the book. The paper was just notes of things I found interesting. The notes would add up to the single goal of writing a paper. But without the assignment, what I find interesting in the book and the directions I might take it are so varied that writing notes is too big of a task. The lack of a goal engorges the possibilities beyond what seems manageable.
I have often considered using colors on the edge to distinguish types of notes but never found a categorization that fit for anything.
But with either of my processes, whether I only underline, or write notes and keep that with the book, the ideas are still locked in the book.
My brother is the opposite of me. I like a book that is marked, noted-up, and that looks used. My brother sees books as sacred and likes them pristine.
He made a comment recently that “writing is lonely work” There is much about writing that is lonely, but it is researching that we were discussing at that moment. So I started thinking about how true that is. And it is partly because what you find interesting is locked in the book. A collection of underlined passages and notes may form a picture to someone else but you are the best person to make sense of it.
So I’ve been wondering about how to free that information and I’ve got some ideas. We’ll see where they take me.
In 2 days I already setup the most basic entry to let me record booknotes. Most all of this is because off all the things you can do with Drupal by adding the right modules onto it.
As a side benefit of learning these technologies, lots of pieces have fallen into place on my understanding the technology behind Flickr. In learning a little of the Drupal system and interface there are some php and MySQL mentions. Seeing what that does somehow gives me a better understanding of what happens when the pages load on Flickr. It also helps me understand a little more of what the engineers are talking about. Not that I will understand that much of it. But it takes some of the mystery out which is nice.
CurrentTV has some great content these days. Their Viewer Created Content is getting more interesting all the time and I have recently become a huge fan of infoMania.
They do lots of calling bullshit and “this is stupid” on the media and are really funny at the same time. (as i write this i glanced up at the TV and see a new Pepsi commercial where we see Pepsi at the scene of world events including in the hand of a man striding purposefully past men with sledgehammers bringing down the Berlin wall and wish infoMania would zing the idiot that made this commercial).
Anyway, if you ever think WTF when you are watching TV or reading a magazine and want to see someone say call it out, or if you love E!s The Soup (especially early Soup when it was awesome) try infoMedia. It’s on CurrentTV or you can just see it on their website anytime.
In this great example Sarah Haskins peels away the romance and necessity that diamond commercials create with just a little snarky commentary.
My favorite 2 days of the holiday break were the 2 at the end. I wanted to get away from everything to do some reading, writing, and thinking. My Grandparents have a beautiful house in the middle of nowhere. Like really in the middle of nowhere. It’s in Nevada, 20 minutes off the highway, into a valley, and then into a box canyon that has about 10 houses. It’s peaceful and has everything you could need to get away and be comfortable. (even satellite TV for a Dr. Who break).
It was great and I got lots done. But I kept thinking it wasn’t the distance from the world or the beauty of the place that made it a great work space. It was just the decision to ignore everything else. Not turn on the TV, not look at the Net (no connection out there, not even cell phones), not think about work or look at my email or Flickr.
So that is my goal this weekend, to work in that space. I don’t have to go far from civilization or have a beautiful spacious house, I’ll just make the space myself.