0667 – revisit, review and re-reference your work [Final Third!]

I have been hesitant to begin on the final third of my word vomit project. There’s a simple reason for this – I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it. I could just keep rambling indefinitely until the end of the project, but somehow that seems suboptimal. I don’t want to finish the project and then have to start work on making sense of the project. That would be exhausting. No. I want to finish the project when I finish the project. [1]

So then I have to ask myself – what does ‘making sense of the project’ look like? Well, it means I’ll have to read the entirety of my vomits to process it for meaning. Probably several times. [2] I’ll need to look for signals amidst the noise, and then tidy those up.

Well, why not do that within the context of the project itself? The main argument against it, in my subconscious, is “well… I’ll be quoting myself, and repeated words shouldn’t exactly count towards total word count.” I think a part of that is true. But a part of it is also untrue, when I go back to the original intent of the project. The project was intended to help me develop and grow as a writer. It’s dawning on me that it’s better to reuse previous sets of words in service of better comms, than to invent new sets of words that don’t add any clarity.

Maybe I’ll have to say “I wrote a million words” with a caveat, saying some of those words were repeated in quotes. Or I can say that I worked on a million words. Does it really matter to me? A little bit… but I’ll be fair to myself.

Anyway, so here’s what lies ahead.

  1. Reading. I’ve been spending some time going through my existing vomits already. There’s a list of all published word vomits over at /1000/sitemap.
  2. Editing titles. I’ve been editing and updating titles of these word vomits so that they’re a little more tidy and consistent. This isn’t just to make it look better. This is to make it easier for me to parse them. For example, I’m retitling “a new day + story of the bum” to “break up with the saboteur-bum in your head”. This makes it easier for me to be clear what the vomit is about.
  3. Pattern recognition and tagging. Once I’ve started editing blogposts, I begin to notice certain patterns.
    1. With a lot of my “reflection” type blogposts, there’s often some sort of direction, action or next step.  I find that when I make the title a ‘directive’ – something to do, it somehow becomes much easier to remember what the post is about, what my train of thought is.
    2. There are other “types” of blogposts, which are becoming clearer as I improve the titles. I have a class of blogposts tagged “bugs”, which describe ways in which I systematically get in my own way. These are things that I need to develop an intimate understand of, and have methods to fight against. I don’t have an immediate directive for these, since the wrong directive might even do me harm. But I want to have all of these in a tidy little list so that I can revisit them.
    3. Other tags include…
      1. ‘truths’ – these are vomits that attempt to capture something about reality that I think I need to remember or understand
      2. status update – these are vomits where I take stock of how I’m doing at a given point in time. Each is a snapshot of my life; in aggregate they should reveal some interesting constants and changes
    4. As I write these, it becomes clear to me that my current set of tags is still suboptimal. I need to keep editing and tagging my posts. I don’t yet know what the optimal set of tags will be, but I trust that as I keep editing them, and keep identifying patterns, I will find superior ways of tagging things.
  4. Consolidation. This is the important next bit that I haven’t gotten to yet. Once I start seeing patterns in my tags, I’m going to “merge” or “chain” my older posts in new ones. I have repeated myself about dozens of things. I want those sets of posts to be allowed to merge and coalesce naturally, so that they’re all connected. Right now, I have 666 dots in a big pile on the floor. I’m trying to look for connections. I believe that the final result will be a rather pretty network of links. There will be some central nodes within the 1000 word vomit project that subesquently “fan out” and link to all the other posts. Some posts will render entire sets of previous posts ‘obsolete’ – which is a good thing. Those posts will be ‘relegated’ to ‘sources’. I estimate that I really only have about 20-30 things to say, and maybe even those could be compressed further.

So. My next step for this project isn’t to write the next vomit yet, not quite (though I do think I have a couple of vomits on my mind). The next thing I need to do is to edit all the remaining titles I have. I’ve added these next steps to my todo list. I will get to them. And I will crush them. I anticipate that I will have a consolidated “review your stuff” post. As well as at least one for each of the tags. Procrastination, writing. I have been hesitating to make progress on those because they might be more links that writing, but that’s a silly way of thinking about it. I just need to get them off the ground. And I can publish them here in parts, before further consolidating them in the future if I need to.

Anyway, this vomit is just about done. It’s 1:06AM, time for bed. Goodnight, Visa. We’re going to do great things together.


[1] Realistically I know this won’t exactly happen, but I want to state it as a goal so that I get as close to it as possible.

[2] I now have tremendous respect for any author of any extended series. They must surely do it in a piecemeal sort of way. Or otherwise go through absolute hell in editing.

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