Before and After

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A Magical Nightfall Pattern

Some days the resistance is pretty powerful.

It’s 7:30pm. I have a case to review, which I don’t want to do because it’s too hot inside. I don’t want to write because the kids are still up and, well, if you have kids, you already know.

So, go for a walk. It’s early enough. You’ll get the good endorphins pumping.


Zero minutes in:

I don’t want to. This day sucks. I don’t want to walk. I have other things to do. I have a case to review!
This is going to hurt. Uphill sucks!
I’m going to be sweaty.
I’m going to look bad.

2 minutes in:

Stupid road. Stupid sidewalk. Stupid hazy clouds. Stupid Freakonomics podcast episode about Twitter! Stupid cost of summer day care (a week costs more than my monthly office rent)!

Turn around. Now!

10 minutes in:

This breeze is nice.
Ooo, look at the different shades of blue, in the mountains.

So, I went and did it. About 3.5 miles. Feeling better now and I’m back to writing. And yes, my happiness is just as irrational as my misery.

And, by the way, the Freakonomics Episode on Health of Nations, rocks!

Creative Commons License photo credit: puroticorico

100 Tips – Day 2 Recursive Writing

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Yellow 22

100Tips is Tomasz Stasiuk’s diary, journal, and escape from his attempt to write a book on 100 Social Security Hearing Tips in 100 days. You can read all the posts here

Resistance Watch

Today was about contact lenses and a discrete bag for the Macbook Air. Mostly.

I think of myself as being decisive. When I decide to do something, I usually do it. I thought about getting contact lenses again (for the first time since ~1991) over the weekend, when the family went up to Indian Hot Springs. Going blurry while swimming pretty much sucks, although it also makes you less self-conscious in a swim suit. This is the opposite of calming yourself before a speech by imagining your audience naked. Here, if I can’t see other bathers, I feel much more confident that they cannot get a good look at me. Folly obviously, but it works surprisingly well.

So, for a good part of today, I was researching how contact lens have changed over 20 years (back then, they were made out wood dont-ya-know), figuring out associated costs and brand differences.

Getting back to point, being decisive may be a nice way of describing this. Another way would be “flighty.”

Beyond that was a trip to the Apple store to find a discrete bag for my 13″ MacBook Air. Yesterday, I was typing a couple of articles my iPad while the kids played at the park. I can manage writing on an iPad. However, because of the lack of multitasking, finding and copying urls is more trouble than it should be. So, I want to find a small bag to carry the Air in when working on the book. The theory being that being able to prior articles from my disability blog would make writing easier.

I also…

  • Tried to figure out whether Scrivener accepts Markdown out of the box or whether I have configure it in some way.
  • Ran “Software Update” on multiple systems.
  • And, checked to see in “ImpendingDoom” is available as a Twitter account, since making people get emails that say “ImpendingDoom is now following you” amuses me. It is taken.

So, this is what I am doing instead of writing the book.

Recursive Writing

If you are wondering when I am going to get around to discussing recursive writing? It is right now. Read the rest of this entry »

100 Tips – Day 1

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Today, June 1, 2011 is the first day of writing. I have labeled 79 tips, which means I am short by about 20. However, I expect tips to emerge naturally from writing, while other tips will merge together. I also plan on having other practitioners contribute some tips, so not having the full 100 on day 1 does not bother me.

I started writing the first tip. However it turned into an overview of the sections of the book. So, now I am going back to get that first tip written. I am trying to avoid the dull basics of “Who is eligible for Social Security” or “A historical background of Social Security.” I believe many readers are already in the system and getting nervous about an upcoming hearing. So, I do not want to bore them for three sections. I want to get straight to the “Stuff you need to know” chewy goodness.

This make me think that the overview discussing the sections of the book, which correspond to what happens at a hearing, what you should do before the hearing, and so on, is actually a pretty good first tip as well as a solid basic introduction to what to expect at the hearing as well as a roadmap on finding specific information in the rest of the book.

As far as dealing with the Resistance to writing, yeah, I’m feeling it. While I have been blogging this subject for several years now, a book feels different. I have drafted two other articles for this site, and wrangled tweeters I have been wanting to talk into a roundtable podcast on social media. Sure, that’s great! However, it is not the big project I am trying to accomplish.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Moe_

Scratching Notes For The Next Prisoner

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I was arguing with the negative part of my brain which asked,

Why do you write this crap?

To which I respond:

  1. SHUT UP! Why don’t you go build your own sand castle, instead of knocking down mine.
  2. Because I am a vain, vain man constantly looking for external reinforcement and I want people to tell me how much they like what I wrote.
  3. Writing is exercise. You don’t become a great pianist by only trying the piano once a year to check if you’re great yet. Writing takes practice, which just means doing it. Every time I write, I get a little bit better, and it gets just a bit easier.
  4. Also, writing is like priming a pump. Writing something, anything, makes the ideas come for other topics.

I was also thinking that blogging is a bit like prisoners scratching notes on walls, trying to make human connections with someone, anyone. I think there is an element of truth there. The majority of interactions we have each day are superficial, either because they are professional, or because you can’t really turn to another parent at your kid’s school and saying, “Oh man, Hazel on the Mac? Awesome! Right?”

So, we can either keep these thoughts solely turned inward, or we can blog.

During the early stages, blogging certainly feels like notes scratched on a wall that no one may every read. Well, that’s the risk. Perhaps someone will read these scratches, perhaps not. However, keeping it internal is a sure way of never connecting with anyone. Anyhow, back to writing.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Materials Aart

I don’t have time to blog and I don’t know what to blog about

Filed under: Blogging | Tags: , , , |

perfect stranger

I was at the Social Media for Lawyers CLE in Denver the other day when the question came up.

Between work family and everything else, how do you find time?

This question reminds me about the old joke which asks, “Are you ignorant or apathetic?”  “I don’t know and I don’t care.” I am not saying that lawyers who says they can’t find time to blog and don’t know what to write about are either ignorant or apathetic. However, not creating content is a choice you make.

While no one said it, the answer is simple: you have time to blog. Read the rest of this entry »