This new writing strategy of spending the start of my day working on a weblog post seems to be working. Initially the data seems somewhat mixed based on the variation of size between the posts, but every day had one. Writing every day and sustaining that practice is the key to this endeavor being successful. Coming out of this quarantine with some solid perspective and maybe learning something would be good. It was for most folks and I’m sure this happened to other people. No words would appear. My will to write was gone. Every spark of creativity had burned out and all that remained was enough strength to do the things that needed to be done on a daily basis. What ended up getting left behind was my daily writing routine. Some type of after action review is going to be needed on that one to prevent that sort of thing from happening again. It was not a very good experience. My method of advancing thoughts is to write them down and iterate. Perhaps the best way to say it is that all of this is a series of muddling iterations. None of it included much science to it or even a definable and repeatable routine.
Today happens to be Friday. This weekend happens to be Memorial Day weekend. Now is a weird time to be able to go outside and properly commemorate Memorial Day. Well —- appreciation of that hit the forefront of my thoughts and held on for just a minute. It took me just a second to get back into the writing groove. I started to really think about the strangeness of the times right now. Retrospective considerations of how we got here are important parts of piecing together an understanding of the now and the path forward. My Pandora internet radio station is streaming my Warren Zevon Radio station. Typically on Memorial Day weekend I have demurred from Zevon to Bruce Spingsteen. Maybe that is a logical move or maybe it is just something that I have done. We will do our best to actively commemorate Memorial Day.
Rewriting that last paragraph would probably be a good idea, but I’m going to let it stand. Now is not the time to second guess the creation of any prose. Maybe later after things are back on track to a high output productivity based daily writing routine. Right now it is better to press forward and engage in some writing until I have content that a few cycles of iteration are possible. Sometimes the simple act of typing on the keyboard creates a writing rhythm. That happens as the act of thinking and typing cross together into something like thinking out loud. Over the years of my academic training that has been an outcome of all that effort. I tend to do my deepest thinking by writing and sketching out ideas. Even the act of that muddling past the first expression to create and rethink what is benign produced is a method toward iteration. I’m trying really hard not to write the work tinkering. That seems like the exact wrong word to put on the page. Iterating on ideas to improve them is more noble and a better use of time. Simply tinkering with words on a page seems like a lesser act that might be happening right now during the creation of this paragraph.
My intellectual aim at the moment is to begin down the path of a trajectory that builds toward something this weekend with the time that I have available. At present, my time is being invested back into creating and working on election models. All of that content will get posted on my GitHub and shared back out for the purpose of replication by other social scientists. Perhaps that is my attempt to allow them to iterate and expand my research in unexpected ways. That is the greatest part about contributing to academics or research in general. The thing you put in may change or be used in ways that are beyond the initial creation set down to paper and shared with others. That is how things get advanced beyond the contributions of a single person. In some ways that is why academics work toward advancing things. Not only does it open the door to different possible futures, but also it is a rewarding intellectual exercise.