I’ve been starting to post things on my main blog again. It’s interesting for me to try to be mindful about what I’m doing. I’m not writing articles or posts intended for public consumption. Rather, I’m using my blog as a sort of public notebook.
I can’t remember the earlier iterations of this idea. I initially wanted to do this for my “marketing blog”, where I would instead of writing 1,000 posts like I do in these word vomits, I would use up 1,000 common or interesting words. That way, visakanv.com/marketing/[[word]] would always point to something interesting. I always thought that would be a rather interesting, memorable experience. That in turn I suppose is quite inspired by those old websites or text-based RPGs where the game or context responds to specific (sometimes VERY specific) requests from the reader/player.
As I write more of these vomits, I’ve discovered that it’s going to be quite a struggle to internalize everything I’ve written. If I had to start all over again, I would be much more deliberate in making sure that everything fit together. That everything was modular. Things would build upon each other, reference on another. I’ve noticed that LessWrong does this well, and Terence Tao did this on his blog, too. And other people like Matt Might, Paul Graham and Venkatesh Rao come to mind. As Venkat said on Quora– if you want to think your own thoughts, you’ll have to make up your own words, and your own language. I’m not sure if I’ve coined any unique terms yet. What I do know is that I have over time developed rather specific ideas about things. These things have developed in a very sloppy, haphazard manner over the past 500,000+ words.
Anyway so– I think that it’s good that I’ve done what I’ve done so far, and I’m not sure if I’d have been able to have done it more efficiently except with all this additional perspective and knowledge and practice that I’ve had already.
Okay, so what’s the plan? I want to convert some of my books into blogposts– by that I mean I want to publish blogposts that summarize books in a way that I’m happy with. Of course it’ll never be perfect– I’ve uploaded an imperfect, incomplete summary/list/dissection of Charles Duhigg’s Power of Habit. The idea there is that it’s a book that I want to internalize. I want to be able to use the insights in the book and apply them to my own life. I want to be able to quickly and easily reference it in my writing. To do that I need to read the book backwards and forwards. When reading it for the 3rd time or so today, I found that there are a lot of “inefficiencies” – things that are good for the book because they give it narrative and context, but once you’ve got that, it’s a sort of dead weight. I guess the best way to communicate what I want is to publish what I want to see. That will take a few iterations.
What else? I want to get rid of old books that I no longer care for. I want to summarize and extract what’s good, remix it into something that’s useful to me. What does “useful to me” mean? I was scanning through the “what I want” page on the 1000 site, and I realize that it’s not actually a simple, straightforward summary of what I want. This strikes me as rather inefficient. If I want to “improve myself”, if I want to grow as a person, I need to be able to quickly and easily access things about myself without having to go through an ardous process of recreating it over and over again (which is what I’m currently doing now, which is still superior to not doing it at all). So I’m going to have a post on my main blog, /blog/want, where I keep an up to date post about what I want. So that any time I’m feeling lost and confused or uncertain, I can just simply go to /blog/want and I’ll be able to navigate my life using that buoy. That sounds simple enough. I know that I’ve already covered a lot of the material over the past 500,000 words. I don’t think I actually need to re-read all of it in order to capture most of it in a post. It’s in my mind, from all of that repetition and iteration. I just gotta trust it and wing it.
What others posts will I need? There are things that I want to learn. I’m making a list of that on /blog/learning, and I’ll link out to child-posts from that master-post.
What else? I want to keep working out. I was already tracking it on the JEFIT app on my phone, but just to make sure the data is simple, neat and tidy, I wrote it out in an excel sheet on Google Drive. I now have a simple goal for that– to keep increasing my 1RM and 5RM lifts. As long as I keep doing that, I know that I’m making progress, that I’m getting stronger. I technically only really started in Nov 2015, and tomorrow will be Feb 2015– I’d have been working out for 3 months, with about 20 sessions in them. That’s about 1 every 3 days on average. I think that’s pretty good.
Beyond that, I also want to be writing more word vomits. I’m a little annoyed with myself for not having written more. But being annoyed isn’t useful. I need to dig into the causes. Why haven’t I been writing more, if this is such a big priority for me? Part of it is that I haven’t been creating the mental state I need. I haven’t been prioritizing it. Uh. I write mainly when I have something on my mind that I want to write about. But I know I’ve had a few things on my mind recently that I haven’t written about. I made a few starts but I didn’t make much progress, and I decided that if a vomit doesn’t get fully written in a single sitting, I should just throw it out because managing half-vomits is annoying, and it’s annoying to read them later on, too.
TLDR of this post– move fast, publish things, set up more legible buoys that actually work. Keep on keepin’ on.