To push through, to make, to invent. To bring into existence what wasn’t there before.

Life. Art. Connection. Friendship.

The act of creation is beautiful, laborious, and time-consuming.

The alternative is stagnation.

Inbox zero

For at least the past five years, I’ve been lamenting the number of emails I receive. That elusive inbox zero that so many efficiency experts talk about, but I never seem to achieve.

And, surprise, I haven’t still. Bet you thought I’d say that I made it!

Unless I delete every email and just start from scratch, it’s just not going to happen. But I am slowly, slowly, working my way through. Unsubscribing to specific newsletters. Marking and deleting junk as soon as I see it. And I always try to get to a response – when one is needed – within forty-eight hours.

Maybe I’ll never make it to inbox zero, but at least I’m on the right path.

Awards season

A couple of weeks ago, the season was kicked off with The Golden Globes, presented by The Hollywood Foreign Press. A lot has been written about them already, from bias and discrimination to viewership and fairness.

For here, though, what starts my thoughts is – who are the awards for?

There was a time, before reality television, when people tuned in because the lives of Hollywood’s elite were interesting to see. The recognition that prominent tv and film personalities would receive interested the public. Now, though, celebrity is more important than craft.

So, do the awards even matter?

Can self-driving cars make it there

I was in my late teens or early 20s, I guess, having a conversation with a friend of mine about the viability of self-driving cars. This was long before Tesla was a company, so it was more a pipe dream at the time. Maybe we had just watched I, Robot, the one with Will Smith, and he had an autonomous car.

Anyway, my friend’s argument was that if we had a self-driving car system in place, all income from citations for moving violations, and maybe even parking, would become nill. The cities would no longer be making that money, and thus there’d be a large pushback from government entities who wouldn’t care to see such a movement come to pass.

While self-driving cars seem to be a little more possible, it doesn’t appear that they are really getting all that much support. And I can’t help but think that the reason why may just be what my friend proposed all those years ago.

Will television change

In a recent OZY newsletter, there was concern that the age of television programming we’re currently living in may soon come to an end.

“According to Variety Intelligence Platform’s media analyst Tyler Aquilina, 2023 might see the beginning of the end for this era.

‘Considering the economic pressure that the entertainment industry is facing right now, there’s definitely going to be some changes in terms of how much these companies spend and what they spend their money on,’ explains Aquilina. ‘So we may see a decline in the number of original scripted series and a shift towards less expensive content.’

This means that, in the ensuing years, and possibly even months, streamers are going to focus more on reality shows and live sports, which draw huge numbers of viewers but are much cheaper to make than fantasy blockbusters like Stranger ThingsHouse of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings.”

While it’s hard to argue that the economics of filmmaking have been altered drastically in recent years, there is still a viewing public that largely will dictate what shows get made and/or renewed.

I suppose it seems possible that there will be a larger offering of reality shows and cheaper-to-make content, but I’d hold off on declaring the death of quality programming, at least for the time being.

How much time do we need

I keep thinking about the amount of time that daily activities take. From the five or fewer minutes to make the bed each morning to the potentially hours-long activities such as deep cleaning, grocery shopping, or cooking. Sometimes it’s simply overwhelming, and there are only so many hours in a day.

Time and again I come to the realization that the systemization of your life makes the most productive choice. Sure, it may not be the sexiest, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants option, but it really does give you the ability to check things off. And do so efficiently.

That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t leave room for inspiration to strike. In fact, I believe that you should include time in your day to do nothing. Just sit and be. Because it’s in those moments when your mind is wandering that the real magic can happen.

An artist’s date

In taking my mindful day of enjoyment yesterday, I was reminded of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. Again. One of the two requirements – along with morning pages – was a weekly artist’s date. An activity by yourself where you refill your well. Give creativity something to pull from.

I find it quite easy to drain the well if I’m not taking care of myself. If I’m not feeding it. At the same time, just a little meal pays dividends, and I can see why a weekly “date” could be enough to keep an artist going indefinitely.

It’s back, yet again!

Well, isn’t it just a roller coaster of writing lately? It finally seems that Grammarly is working, and I hope it’ll remain functioning this time.

What may have had an effect is that I needed a new computer. My previous Macbook was whirling down to its last legs. I purchased it early in 2018, and while it was still a workhorse, it was showing its age. Slowing down; cooling noisily; intermittently needing to shut down or restart.

So, at the end of the year, I pulled the trigger – just in time to write it off 2022’s taxes. I only recently started using it regularly though, after transferring everything over that I needed.

So, new year, new computer, new dedication to writing. And an interface that (for now) works just like I want it to.

The writing process

Was at an LA premiere a few weeks ago, and the writer/director of the film was talking about his process. It included doing a lot of thinking about the project – months and months worth. During that time, he’d take notes and make short drafts. Then he’d outline the whole thing.

By the time he got to writing the screenplays initial draft, it was almost all there, missing only dialogue elements.

Each of us has a way of doing things that works for us. The best thing we can do is learn how we like to work, and make tweaks to our routine so that if frees us to create in our best possible way.