Here's what I want to show you first:
Ravel's La Valse, prima part, after 26 days (or roughly 26 hours) of work.
Here's what I want to write about later:
How I realized that if L (who occasionally admits that he likes listening to me practice) can't tell what I'm trying to do re: problem-solving, then I'm also not sure of what I'm doing.
In other words: If I'm not clear on what problem I'm trying to solve and what technique I'm using to solve it, well... then I'm not clear on that, and I'm kinda wasting good practice time.
And asking myself "could L correctly identify what I'm trying to do right now?" is a good metric by which to gauge all of that.
How I adjusted my Daily Spreadsheet to accommodate a "dancing through the day" schedule while still maintaining the green/red, active/reactive, "magic/not-magic" binary OKAY THIS IS SO IN THE WEEDS THAT IT CANNOT POSSIBLY MAKE A GOOD BLOG POST
(UNLESS IT COULD SECRETLY MAKE A GREAT ONE)
Shakespeare and specificity, because I was going to write about it last week and ended up writing about creative peaks instead.
(The 1996 film adaptation of The Crucible would come into play too, because... well, one of the things L and I love to do together is read a play aloud and then watch, like, every available film and TV version [and some of the bootleg staged versions on YouTube] and then talk about which ones do the best job of connecting/communicating with the audience, HOW DID I END UP WITH THE EXACT RIGHT PERSON FOR ME, I AM THE LUCKIEST DOG IN THE WHOLE WORLD OF DOGS)
I was bipping around Twitter and Substack last night, I had a perfectly good book I had planned to read but there I was, checking and clicking and "just one more"-ing, and I suddenly thought to myself:
STAY AWAY FROM SYSTEMS THAT ARE DESIGNED TO MAKE IT DIFFICULT FOR YOU TO LEAVE.
There are so many of these kinds of systems, btw, and they aren't just internet-based. Some of these systems are, like, "modes of relationship." Others are literally Doritos. Certain types of consumer spending, including our new subscription-based-EVERYTHING world, are also designed to keep you hooked — and then there's CAPITALISM ITSELF, oh dear capitalism itself.
(Also, there are ways to use Twitter and Substack and etc. that make it easier for you do what you need to do and then leave, please review Cal Newport's Digital Minimalism and most of Jaron Lanier's work, it's just that you have to be ABSOLUTELY RESOLUTE about not accessing the parts of the system that are designed to keep you in thrall.)
(Also, this could very very very much turn into that process-based personal finance class I've been itching to teach, how can you earn, spend, save money without getting caught in sticky systems, etc. etc. etc.)
(Maybe the real thing here isn't "stay away from systems that are designed to make it difficult to leave," it's "how to maintain agency within these kinds of systems")
(oh, this is the magic/not-magic thing again)
(magic is being able to manipulate/manage the elements around you)
(not magic is letting the elements manipulate/manage you)
MY GOODNESS THIS WEEK'S "THOUGHTS FROM MY OFFICE" ARE PARTICULARLY THOUGHTY
TELL ME WHICH ONES YOU WANT TO HEAR MORE ABOUT
AND I WILL GET TO WRITING
BECAUSE I LOVE IT WHEN I GET TO WRITE ❤️
Here's where I got published this week:
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