0339 – cadence

So it seems like I might be developing this rhythm where I’m writing a post every morning and another one every night. Maybe. I don’t want to be too specific about it, I’m just letting it go however it goes. One in the morning either before I go to work or while I’m on the way to work, and one either when I’m on the way home from work or before I go to bed. Seems like a cadence that might stick as long as I’m mindful about the fact that I want to keep writing. If that’s the case– and for the time being I’ll just assume that’s the case because why not– then I’m going to have “open” posts and “close” posts and I might repeat myself a little. So be it. It’ll be interesting to compare them on hindsight.

So… today I woke up early when my alarm went off but I couldn’t get myself to get out of bed, but I still left home early enough to be early for a morning meeting with my boss. Which was good. And then I was pretty productive throughout the day– I’d say I was operating at about 70-73% of max capacity, maybe. I think yesterday I said I was like a 68? If I can sustain these everyday I would be quite satisfied with myself and I would get quite a lot of stuff done. The problem is that when I’m not paying attention I can have my productivity drop to as low as say, 30, maybe even worse. That happens. I’ve had entire weeks that felt like they were 30s. And I know this is a moving target, and the stuff I’m doing today is wayyy better than the stuff I was doing before, but as long as I can see that I’m wasting time doing random nonsense that’s unrelated to work, or I’m shuffling between various work tasks and not executing on any particular one, then I know that I’m wasting my time, waffling around– like sawing slowly at the rope instead of cutting it with big, sharp, confident strokes. [1]

So I think I was doing pretty well, and the semi-mistake I made towards the end was that I was eager to keep going. By the time it was 530-6pm I was starting to feel a little drained, but I thought I had momentum and so I kept going. I DID have some momentum, but I think on hindsight it would’ve been better to just leave, to go home fresh and to recover fully and fight strongly the next day. Oh well, I’m learning some little nuance each day. The important thing for me is to put all of these nuances together into the big picture, to work them in rather than leave them aside as some sort of academic observation. Which suggests to me that I should begin the process of rereading my vomits right about now. I now have over 350,000 words (surely) of writing to go through. When you write that much, you no longer remember the particular details of what you were saying, or why exactly you did one thing or another. (At least, with this sort of stream-of-consciousness thing going on.) So I’ll definitely be able to learn something from the process.)

Okay anyway… so that’s what’ll happen, then. Daily vomits, re-reading old vomits, attempting to be efficient at work, running more, reading more. I’ll try to keep the vomits interesting (why am I even promising this? lol) by going into hopefully different, interesting details about what i’m doing right and wrong, and about what I’ve been reading, what I’m learning, what I’ve changed my mind about. Should be interesting. And if it isn’t, so be it. Let’s just keep going.

[1 ] It’s interesting to think about how confidence has a whole set of requirements that blunt, dull work doesn’t. If you want to be confident and assertive in your execution of something, you can’t just do your blunt boring work in a “more confident way”. If we’re talking about social skills– public speaking, etc– being suddenly confident in what you’re doing will make you look awkward. You might claim to not be awkward yourself, but people will cringe, because you’re getting it wrong. Real confidence requires practice and awareness. You can’t just waffle through confidently. Real confidence requires knowing what is precisely right. To use the knife/cutting analogy, real confident slices requires you knowing how to handle your knife, how to hold it, how to keep your body parts away from the cut zone, and you have a buildup and a cooldown in the action. So I think it follows that when you want to get more confident at anything– performing a song onstage, a standup routine, etc– confidence requires knowing things with precision, and precision is hard because it’s so specific. Being more specific than you’ve ever been is something that will always seem a little awkward and strange. You only ever do it if you’re a little bit neurotic about things, either because you have an itch you want to scratch, or some outcome that you want to reach that you can’t quite reach with your existing configuration of actions, operations, executions, etc.

That last sentence there was an example of a waffling sentence. I used a bunch of words that have similar-ish meanings. If I knew exactly what I wanted to say with that sentence, I would have chosen the specific word that most precisely described what I wanted to say. But because I don’t PRECISELY know what I want to say, I say a bunch of words that are in the neighbourhood of what I want to say, and hope that the reader (me, later on) figures out what I was getting at. But if I wanted to be TRULY confident about what I was saying, I would pick the right word and leave it there.

In a sense, this whole 1000 word vomit project is one long waffling session. The hope is that at the end of all the waffling I will have, almost out of sheer exhaustion, developed a clearer sense of what I can and cannot be confident about.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *