Watching that writing topic backlog grow

I turned on my Pandora internet radio this morning and listened to some music. Next week I should be able to listen to records again. Setting up my record player again will just require a piece of furniture to be moved from the garage back to my office. Most of my records are stored in alphabetical order. It would be pretty easy to listen to them one and a time and discard any that do not make the cut. Generally speaking my record collection ballooned in the last few years. Some of the records in the collections I bought to see if that band would make the rotation. A few of them were just not something that I enjoyed listening to very much. Sometimes a band goes in a different direction between albums. 

A pretty decent 7 day streak or so occurred where my writing was on point. Prose was produced on a daily basis with a certain degree of quality. You cannot take for granted those productive writing streaks. Part of stoking the daily habit of writing is sitting down at the keyboard and engaging in the practice of putting thoughts to paper. You have to sit down and put in the work to make things happen. I do feel that writing is something that the more you practice and refine your style the easier it becomes to produce. Yesterday was an example of running into a wall of slowly grinding progress that stunned even me after all these years. It was like a wall descended and surrounded every ounce of productivity I had. Sure it would have been the right plan to just fight through the wall and produce a page of prose. That just did not happen. Time faded away and sure enough the next day arrived. 

That very next day was today and within that arrival was an opportunity. Today I woke up with a degree of awareness that could be really good to focus on a problem or task. Part of that will require me to focus on what article from my 5 year writing plan will be up first and should be getting consideration throughout the week when I’m not tinkering with posts from The Lindahl Letter. During the course of one of my more productive writing streaks last year I did produce a 14 paper list of upcoming research papers. To help ensure those topics get some attention I’m going to add all 14 of them to the backlog for The Lindahl Letter. Right now that publication is outlined and planned until the 2 year anniversary with 104 topics. The addition was made and now that list is up to 118 topics. Making that addition really did mark the phase 2 expansion of The Lindahl Letter to focus on academic topics that I’m interested in spending time considering. 

Not only is keeping a solid writing topic backlog about making sure that I stay on track in terms of productivity, but it also helps keep to a research trajectory. One of the things that I have realized along this journey is that the cycle and routine of academic life helps keep things on track. You have conference due dates and other writing commitments that help keep things moving along. For me I do all of my writing on a daily basis for the explicit purpose of moving forward toward that perfect possible future. My efforts are really driven from a degree of personal motivation. I write because the act of writing is fulfilling.

Productivity is strange

Productivity is strange. You can sit down with the best of intentions. Your writing plan can be top notch and the things you need to move forward are all lined up. Productivity might just end up being at a deficit and things can quickly fall apart within that writing plan. I ended up working on all sorts of things beyond my writing efforts for the last week. That happens from time to time that my attention will get pulled from one effort to another one. Managing to pull that attention back to the task at hand and saving productivity from failure is a useful skill. That really is an understatement. It is a very useful skill that this last week has eluded me on a daily basis. Part of it is just making the effort to sit down in front of the keyboard with a word processing document up and ready for input. After that it’s a strange mix of process, creativity, and certainly that illusive productivity that generate the words on the screen. 

Right now is a good example of that my words and thoughts have really focused on the moment and the process of writing. I’m not locked into the right headspace where I’m focused on what’s next and generating future focused prose. At the moment, I’m really locked in on looking at the process of writing at this moment and I’m certainly present in that effort. Getting my focus to switch to something more deeply philosophical will probably be a bit of a challenge. Certainly the two shots of espresso from my Nespresso Expert machine are kicking in and I should be ready to go for an hour or so of magical highly focused efforts. We are nearing the golden hours of my daily productivity. That is a good thing, but it’s very rarely spent on the grand effort of writing and producing high quality prose. My writing window is generally the first hour or so of the day when things come into focus and my thoughts are sharpening around the start of the day. Knowing that is how my process works is a good start to being able to master the time and be highly productive. 

Right now behind me on my credenza is an Lpbin Bin-e LP storage container that is supposed to hold about 75 vinyl records. It took me a made in America vinyl record container that could fit on top of the credenza. I wanted to move my record collection from the book shelf to a rack right next to the record player. This effort corresponded with a choice to move from episodic ordering to alphabetical and a culling of anything that did not make the space. From here on out it’s going to be a one in one out method of record collecting. In practice the storage container is currently holding 52 vinyl records. Based on the number of double records the space did not allow the storage of 75 vinyl records. That means I’m functionally limiting myself to about 50 records which should be plenty of space for a best of the best collection. I don’t need a complete anthology of every album that crosses my path. The collection really needs to be focused on albums that I play on a regular rotation and enjoy.

Right now the weblog posting process involves a few different elements:

  1. The content has to be cut and pasted from the word processing document to the weblog post page.
  2. A customized message has to be curated for a post on Twitter.
  3. Within the post settings a category for the post to be archived into has to be set. The list at this point of categories is pretty long. 
  4. Under the tags section 3 different tags have to be entered to help feed my tag cloud widget. I’m not sure this effort is mission critical, but I do enjoy it.