Quotidian Quest

Plain Texting

Category: personal
#writing #marriage

So I'm messing around with plaintext to see how it might fit into my workflow. It seems like it moves pretty fast. I.m going to try simple note late on and see if that makes for a better experience when it comes to writing.

Personally, I'm leaning more towards a Dropbox based solution because that has a versioning system and that will help me... Some how?

Had a great conversation with my wife about a lot of things. What I liked best about it was we weren't talking about something important but that we listen to each other. Two individuals who wanted to share their thoughts and opinions, it's something we definitely need more of because I don't want to wake up one day next to a stranger.

The Second Day

Category: writing
#writing #goals

Wow, the second day.

This is usually the time that I start having doubts about a new goal as the initial passion starts to ebb a little bit as I remember all the other missions and goals that I set out to do only to "not have any time for them" later on. I brings to mind link that I shared via twitter the other day where someone wrote about the problems that a friend was having with working out. It's not that the desire isn't there, it's the fact that their isn't much follow through1.

I think it's more of the habits and mindset that I have. As far as I can remember, I've been a little bit of a perfectionist and my own harsest critic. In fact, if you saw how I write on the computer you would be surprised how many times I'll write a sentence notice that one word is mistyped and then delete the entire thing all over again2.

White Noise

I've recently started making a serious attempt to listen to white noise at work and I'm really liking the results. It's like the world becomes unplugged and the only thing that stops me from doing what I want is myself. I imagine that I'm in a box in front of my computer and the only I can do is write.

I don't even think about whether my writing sucks, just the fact that I am writing something!

No cable

We stopped using comcast a couple of months ago only to replace it with AT&T. Now instead of a fast connection that drops out every once and a while, we have a slow connection that can't support streaming media for more than one device at a time.


  1. I'm still working through the 100 pushup challenge

  2. Definitely stopping the creative juices from flowing. In order to promote my writing, I think I'll just turn off spell check for these quick little blips. 

250 words a day

Category: writing
#writing #goals

All I want to do with this project is work on my writing. I want to be able to communicate better via my writingg. I don't plan on having this being seen by everyone and then placed on the internet, because I want to talk about anything that I want without reprisal.

So right now, my number one concern is wether I'm going to be able to do this every day or what happens if i forget to do this. How would I punish myself or make up for it. Well, the first thing is to forgive myself. It takes time to start a new habit and -honestly- things happen. I might wake up late or have a lot of high priority things going on.

The most important thing is that I get myself some time to just sit back and have some positive time to think. At the moment, I feel that this is my best form of communication (even to myself).

There have been multiple times when I've opened a new page in my journal and said "Who am I and what do i want?". I think a lot of people have done this in one shape or another. For example, to paraphrase Merlin Mann that everytime that we procrastinate, we're forget who we are. How many times do we as humans procrastinate in a given day, week, month, year. You could argue that it's just a way to relax, but even then could you honestly say that all those moments helped you relieve stress?

I think not.

Sarah Milkins: The Scientist Princess Horse

Category: personal
#writing #kids #ideas

I think one of the benefits of doing this project and making myself write on the computer is that I don't have as much anxiety about writing on a computer. The thoughts and words are appearing to me as fast as they would when I write on paper. In addition, thanks to applications like Byword that allow me to ignore all the spelling mistakes until I'm ready to correct them (if I choose to). My current work flow is to open up a new document and then just start writing until I meet the word requirements and finish my last thought. From there, I give the document a title, created date and tags then save it in a folder structure called "Chronicles" which then separates the entries by year and month. I'll probably set up some kind of folder action to just sort the files after saving, but -for now- I'm focused on the actual writing versus the tools and tech surrounding it.

Today, I spent some one on one time with my oldest daughter to just play around and have fun. I had asked her if she'd rather make cookies with me which is something that we've been doing more and more of but she seemed to really like the idea of just the two of us using our imagination1. I did my best to keep up with all the ideas that she made up but I think my favorite one was the following.

Sarah Milkins She's a Princess Scientist horse who succeed when everyone said it was impossible2.
She's 4-5 years old.
Goes to school a lot, even when she gets fussy...
Doesn't get fat when she gets older3.
There are only a few of them... But there is a lot of others and tons of information about them.

It was just so exciting to see her talk about this idea and we both went to the rest of the family to share. It was one of those great moments when a parent can just sit back and enjoy the their little one's creation.

After that, we sat in front of the computer and giggled making little movies in PhotoBooth... This was a wonderful evening.

  1. I got to be Cinderella and she got to be a talking horse. I hope it doesn't mean much, but the horse was looking for her family because they were too busy taking care of a new baby. If anything, it could be a sub-conscience idea bubbling to the surface because her sister has been sick for the last couple of days causing my wife and I to miss work and tend to the growing piles of vomit. 

  2. She said that you couldn't be a princess and a scientist. I told her no and I'll put more effort into making sure she has enough exposure to science. 

  3. I don't know where she gets this exactly, but I have my suspicions 

What does 250 words look like?

Category: writing
#writing #goals

I recently applied to become a professional blogger for macuser.com (a blog run by macworld). As part of the application process, I was to write two articles of 250-300 words to show my qualifications as a writer. I've writen them an have since placed them on my blog.

I remember feeling stressed about creating the entries. Although I like to journal my thoughts time to time. Sitting down and coming up with something for other people to read make me nervous and I had tons of questions like : "What would I write about?", "How can I make what I wrote stand out from the dozens if not hundreds of applicants?" One doubt that really got to e ws the question about how I could do something like this about three times a week and whether or not I truely wanted too.

Now I'm not going to say i'm happy I didn't get the job because I'm not. I would love to get paidfor writing, but I don't think working for macuser at this point in time would be good for the writer in me. I want to be a good write and I feel that writing (like some many other things) needs active practice to get better. The best way to do that is want to write better (other than actually doing it).

At this point, I'm not at the level of John Gruber, John Siracusa or Shawn Blanc, but they weren't always who they are now.

I can only sit down down and write for my #1 audience and that's me.

What do you do when all you want to do is write...

Category: personal
#writing #goals

... you just start writing...

That's it.