Too Many Things at Once: My Overgrown "Drafts" Folder

in The LIFESTYLE LOUNGE11 months ago

I don't remember where it was, but I remember once reading that ideas that never "become anything" have no real value.

Whereas I would have to say that that's a bit harsh, I get the underlying point. If you don't develop your ideas into something, you're basically engaged in a glorified form of mental masturbation.

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As a writer, that's why I tend to commit pretty much everything to "paper," at least in a rough draft sense. Of course, a lot of those rough ideas never actually leave my drafts folder — and many are deleted — but it's surprising how often allowing an idea to "percolate" for a few days or weeks can help distill those pretty random thoughts into something worthy.

Write it and Leave it!

One of the reasons I have never worked that well with strict deadlines is that I like to write something — let's say, about 90% — and then just walk away from it.

Then I'll come back a few days later, and it's rather remarkable not only how easy it will be to reorganize the words AND spot all the typos and missing words.

It's not a technique that works for everyone, of course... but it has always been pretty effective for me. As long as I have enough continuity to get the main idea down, I actually find it easier to polish and finish an article a few days (or weeks!) later.

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So, All Those Drafts...

Mrs. Denmarkguy is hanging out with our adult kids in Seattle for a few days, and that usually means I end up using my "alone time" doing "busy work," mostly in the form of tidying up my own projects that have been neglected for a while.

So that's part of what I'm doing, this afternoon: Going through the 40-something partial and nearly finished drafts I have stored here on PeakD; tossing some that are just dumb (or really "dated" by now), and working a bit on some of the ones that are worthy of finishing.

I'm even considering making up some of my own conspiracy theories... involving Covid, Aliens and secret plots! The reason that amuses me is that — in all seriousness — science fiction writers tend to be better prognosticators than professional futurists.

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Fear Here, Fear There, Everywhere Fear...

Sometimes, I find myself wondering whether people have to be afraid of something in order to pay attention to it, these days.

Seems like all the news is served up with a healthy dose of fear. Nothing seems to be just information any more... it's information we should be afraid of.

We're afraid of Covid, we're afraid of the government, we're afraid of rioters, we're afraid of the banking system, we're afraid the economy will collapse.

People are AFRAID of so many things, yet half the time it feels like the fear is purely reactionary, and not the result of educated inquiry and understanding of the topics at hand. Once again, I ponder something I wrote about a few months back: Are we Addicted to being afraid?

Well, I'm not... and so, I'm going to go back to my tidying up pile and see if I have some ideas worthy of being set free.

Thanks for reading!

Comments, feedback and other interaction is invited and welcomed! Because — after all — SOCIAL content is about interacting, right? Leave a comment — share your experiences — be part of the conversation!

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Created at 20200729 18:04 PDT

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Sounds like my drafts folder. I delete them when I can't remember where I intended to go with them. Good luck with yours!

Yeah, I have a few of those, too... usually, they are the ones where I really didn't have enough time to flesh out an idea... and then I end up not having any clue why I even wrote something, in the first place.

I think the fear angle is used because fear divides. Look at how the maskers and the anti-maskers arevat one anothers' throats, both deeming their opponents a threat to humanity.

Both legacy media and social media seem designed to create echo chambers full of appeals to emotion, and fear is the easiest to sell.

Fear does definitely divide, yes.

And somehow, people seem more drawn to information that simply confirms something already in their heads, as opposed to being open to simply examining the information to determine what is useful and true, and what is not.

People get very upset when you try to "break" the narratives. For example, ask an anti-masker if they are OK with the surgeons doing their brain surgery (and who happen to have seasonal allergies) NOT wearing masks in the operating theater for their operation...

"THAT'S NOT THE SAME THING!!!"

Actually, it's exactly the same thing...

Confirmation bias is a big problem in everything. I try to avoid making definitive statements about most things where I do not have a sound intellectual foundation. But so many people seem to think baseless opinions carry the same weight as facts and reasoned arguments.

I have seen some arguments for less masks in operating rooms. Some medical studies seem to show no difference in patient complications. I don't know.

To be honest, I'm no expert on the efficacy of masks in sterile environments, like an operating room.

I just find it telling when people contradict themselves, wanting the "freedom" to not wear masks, but insisting that their surgeon should wear one, for "safety" reasons. Pick a lane, ANY lane, and STAY in it!

On the other hand, it makes sense to wear safety goggles sometimes, but it'd be silly to mandate them for everyone.

I need to get in the habit of drafting ideas. I read somewhere that the best writers are rewriters.

I have to agree that leaving work undone and coming back to it is magical. Too often I rush myself to get something posted. It ends up having to be edited for spelling or moving sections around.

I find it to be a really useful approach. The stuff that's "meant to" be created tends to age well over a few days and merits further work... and the stuff that's actually pretty dumb? Well, you save yourself the bother of having posted some garbage in a hurry!

Fear is not good. It clouds judgement and prevents us from seing the whole picture.

Very true... I'm particularly aware of the way fear seems to interfere with people's ability to engage in rational critical thinking.

Indeed. Fear is not good for thinking