Keep Going


Running Track HurdlesBlog Update: This is #8 of 27 posts, almost a third of the way through my personal challenge of revisiting all of last year’s blog posts in reverse order in a single month.

Appropriately enough, the post being revisited here is, “Close the Gap – Creative Perseverance,” which is all about producing a quantity of creative work in order to achieve that elusive thing called “quality.”

Since starting this challenge 10 days ago, I’ve been keeping some notes reflecting on the process. Here’s a cleaned up version of the notes so far :

January 6, 2015

Only a few days into this daily blog challenge and it’s… challenging.

Challenges include overcoming the pressing needs of too many urgent / semi-urgent things to do, all of which may provide the short term payback of that “getting stuff done” feeling. Must remind myself that this is a form of exercise which satisfies a less obvious need, and which may only have a harder-to-quantify longer term benefit.

Other challenges include competition from other creative pursuits. “Hey Danny, wanna come and play?”  Yes I do.  I also want to finish writing this post.

What’s encouraging is seeing how this daily regimen forces me to use an economy of means to crystallize and express ideas. More concise. More punchy.  Less complicated and overwrought. Also, improved workflow strategies.

The lesson drilled into me at architecture school continues to hold true: Constraints improve the quality of a design.

Idea-premise for a new training course on innovation and creative thinking:  “Innovation is mostly about finding the right set of constraints to apply to a given question.”

January 7- 8, 2015

One of the hardest parts of keeping a personal resolution — particularly an overly ambitious personal resolution — is figuring out what to do when the inevitable slip occurs.

Higher priorities are massively competing with this cute idea of one-post-per-day, and some of those priorities include sleep.  In one case I was too tired to start the post but then couldn’t fall asleep and so forced myself to get it done in one sitting. In another case I was too tired to do a good job finishing a post, so I went to sleep and wrapped it up the next morning.

Going into this I saw the folly of starting an editorial calendar with no initial delay, i.e. zero buffer of posts that could carry me through any 24-48 hour period. Now that I’ve experienced the result of that folly, it’s time for me to set up a better buffer of posts-in-progress.

When we declare a certain standard for ourselves and then fall short of it, we have a cognitive choice to make. On the one hand, we can call it quits and reevaluate the desirability and reasonableness of that initial standard. On the other hand, we can brush off our slip up and keep going… we can strive and we can be flexible at the same time.

Glass is hard, shiny and bright, but doesn’t do well under stress.  Nothing tall can be built solely out of brittle material.

January 10, 2015

All told, slipped back one day this past week, but now made up for it with a post over the weekend.

Keep going.

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About danspira

My blog is at: http://danspira.com. My face in real life appears at a higher resolution, although I do feel pixelated sometimes.

Posted on January 10, 2015, in Architecture, Art, Blogging, Metaphors, Productivity, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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