A desire to know more

Day after day my note taking intraday has been questionable. I used to be able to remember the list of things that happened every day and quickly turn those into readable prose. Adventure was enough to detail, but the day to day muddling through became harder and hard to describe. Year after year that has become more and more completely and totally true. It went from a shadow on my memory to a near wall around happenings. Taking notes is easy enough and I have both Google Recorder and Google Keep ready to keep track of anything that stands out enough to be noted down. Maybe that is the crux of the problem and that some things are not standing out and becoming memorable. Time is passing and things are being done, but those things do not meet a certain threshold to be memorable. Even being present in the moment is not enough to turn the corner on that one and set the foundation for something solid enough to report on or even something that deserves deeper consideration. 

Interrupted. Coffee. 

Primarily, the word processing program I’m using for writing is Google Docs. I have a subscription to the latest Microsoft Word, but I keep going back to Google Docs and that has been the case for some time. Given that I create a new word processing document every day to begin my writing journey it is easy to look at the file extensions and figure out what has been used. At this exact moment in time, I do not remember exactly why the switch happened. At the moment, it is more of a sustained habit than a data driven poignant choice of one over the other. Maybe that argument is equal to the one above about my intraday note taking. I don’t really know why my note taking or creation of things slowed and maybe it is just more of a habit and no other real value should be ascribed to it. 

This cup of coffee is growing on me in terms of my appreciation of it as each sip gets consumed. Right now my Warren Zevon radio station on Pandora is pretty much doing everything, but playing any Zevon. It might be better to grab a record from the shelf and let something spin this morning in a more analog fashion. My record collection has now grown larger than 50 vinyl discs being stored on the shelf. That is an easy metric to know since the dust bags covering most of them came in a package of 50 sleeves. That means the last few on the shelf are abriding that first batch of dust protectors. It was probably time to plan ahead and buy some more awhile ago and maybe that is something that will happen today. It will take a little bit of hunting around to get the same brand of dust protection sleeves.

These are indeed strange times. People are trying to figure out how to get back to the routines of the past. I’m trying to figure out how to have better and more productive routines. Most of my time over the last few years has been spent in this office where I am writing right now and working on managing my desire to know more vs. my need to create more prose. Part of that is just focusing my efforts on making contributions to society in general. My method of giving back has been contributions to the academy and conducting research. Over the years my efforts to give back and share my research methods have been sporadic and should have been better. That is easier to right down than to really accept or understand. Saying that my academic contributions should have been greater in frequency is probably the quintessential scholarly lemment. In these strange times my efforts to take one step forward at a time and work toward a trajectory of making contributions is at least easier to understand and manage. 

This cup of coffee is now half gone and my thoughts are beginning to get a little more focused. Strangely enough it took more than a page of meandrous writing to get to this point in the daily writing journey. Sometimes getting to this point in the journey never arrives. The question really is what to do with this moment of self aware pontification. Perhaps the endless string of Bruce Springsteen songs playing will provide some council on what happens next. Some musicians have a proven history of recording album after album. That is similar to writing every day, but somewhat different. My writing efforts are typically created and exist until the next iteration. For better or worse most songs are written in a different way. They are not created from start to finish and then performed again in a slightly different way to see what happens. The iterative format is mostly replaced with editing, collaboration, and rework. Very rarely do I ever spend the time to work and rework a paragraph or section of something to that type of quality and or desired outcome. Something that is going to get published might receive that type of attention. 

Now that I’m sitting and thinking about that last paragraph, maybe the goal for this year is to get to that point of editing on a few things. Getting to the point of publication where that type of effort will be required is probably the desired outcome. It will be a crowded field of ideas this year. My interest in elections is shared by a wide array of thinkers, researchers, and actively publishing academics. That means the models and corresponding academic publications will need to be excellent to crowd out all the other things people are trying to publish. I’m not really worried about that. My efforts are always developed from scratch and coded up to do what I want them to do making it easier to share something unique with the world. That last sentence is not a piece of prose I’m very happy with at the moment. I’m going to leave it, but this paragraph is a clear example of something that could be rewritten to be better. Perhaps a little bit of editing and rework would have made this missive way better.