Committing to the writing process

The only time I signed each weblog post was during the great race to a big writing year. Maybe 2023 will be the year I strive to write 1,000,000 words on this weblog again. During the last attempt at that effort things eventually broke down in the writing process. You have to be ready to really set aside two solid hours every single day to write. During those two hours that you have set aside you have to commit to the writing process without hesitation or procrastination. You basically have to defeat writer’s block up front with planning and a solid backlog. That was back in 2018 and I’m a much stronger writer at this point. I would probably write a post for The Lindahl Letter every day and about 1,000 words of journaling. That is what it would take to sustain 3,000 words per day as a functional output. I would most certainly burn down the entire backlog of writing projects that need attention. 

That might very well be my commitment for 2023. I’m at least giving it some serious consideration at this point. This post right now is the second in a row directly written and developed in a Google Doc word processing session that happens to be stored in a Microsoft Word .DOCX file that is packaged and set up for publishing as a printed manuscript. This entire document will be ready to upload for publication on January 1, 2023 after six solid months of writing daily essays and observations. Based on the first two posts it may not be all that interesting, but it will be a timely set of thoughts and essays that are ready to be shared with the world. I am at this point working toward that point of publication. That means I’m going to have to write in this document, do a bit of proofreading for overall consistency, and publish the content over on the “Functional Journal” each and every day. It will be very easy to do a basic word count of this 6 month writing effort and see how close it would be to a big year of writing productivity. 

Gearing up to write at a production level of 3,000 words per day is probably not something that will happen by accident. It will need to be a planful and sustained effort. Energy and time will need to be devoted to making that happen. Like right now I woke up early in the morning and sat down to write. Nobody else is awake in the house right now. Even the dogs went back to sleep. intellectually I know the sunrise happened outside my window, but thoughts and attention were focused right here on the screen. It is enjoyable to type on this Corsair mechanical keyboard. The ergonomics of my desk setup are decent and this early in the morning it is easy to focus on producing content. The quality, timeliness, readability, and of course relevance of this content is a different question.

Revisiting all those March things

Welcome to the month of April. I’m still in a little shock that it is 2022. Typing that year every day makes me wonder why the future promised in the movies is not here yet. We were totally promised flying cars by now and other epic world changing technological advancements. Yesterday, I really strongly considered just blowing out my archive files and starting over. I would probably regret destroying my video and image files. I’m going to do an evaluation this weekend to make sure they are fully backed up between the cloud services I utilize for that type of thing. My collection of writing while immense in words is not really that big in terms of data size. Backing up several million words is really a trivial task in the grand scheme of data management. The only convoluted part of that is that each document is its own separate store of content. I never pulled all my written content into a database. At one point, I did put a lot of my writing from the weblog into a corpus file for GPT-2 to work with during the creation of a bot that was patterned after my writing style. It whined about writing and offered colorful assides. I guess that means in practice it worked. 

Last month 19 of the 31 days in March received a weblog post. Overall my writing schedule was maintained more than 50% of the time and my rate of productivity was high. I’m going to need to continue that type of effort throughout the month of April. I’m going to work to dial in my writing efforts to a couple of journal articles that need to be worked to completion. That means my writing routine will roughly include daily weblog efforts at the start of the day, academic papers during the evening, and on the weekends “The Lindahl Letter” production will occur. Nothing within that pattern is out of the ordinary and it should be sustainable. I had considered moving the podcast audio into both an audio file version and a video recording for YouTube. That would require two separate recording efforts. That is what stopped me the first time around. Recording and editing really high quality audio does not really lend itself to a video format. Maybe I’ll record a video about the production process to demonstrate that reality.

Researching about research

Apparently, I had forgotten about making a new static page on the weblog devoted to upcoming research. It already contained over 10 items on the list of work I’m supposed to be completing. Right now I’m looking at several different things that are lined up about what I’m supposed to be working on and they are all somewhat interesting. 

  1. A research trajectory summary
  2. A writing schedule plan
  3. A list of upcoming research (without any prioritization)

Right now all 3 of those things have been made into static pages on the weblog. The most straightforward part of my planning trifecta (research trajectory statement, writing schedule, and upcoming research plan) of thinking about what I’m going to do next is really the writing schedule. It really just details my plan each week to sit down and be productive at the keyboard. For better or worse that means tracking in advance what my weekend mornings are dedicated to working on and how that time will be best spent. My writing schedule can be summed up as a simple look at weekends vs. weekdays and what needs attention. 

The upcoming list of research ideas is really just a pile of problems for future consideration. It represents for better or worse a parking place for ideas in need of more attention. That means at some point on some weekend they are going to get the attention they deserve or maybe they will just be abandoned in favor of something else. I only have so much time and attention to spend on things and some items are going to get more of it than others. 

What I am going to spend some time on today after reviewing the Substack post that was written yesterday for grammar and clarity will be to revise my research trajectory statement and try to get it posted online. I think that is really where I need to spend my focus for the day. It might very well involve a little bit of time with the whiteboard and a little bit of time writing up my efforts after that exercise is complete.