Creative Checklists

The last time I posted a meaningful article to this site was January 25, 2017 (I don’t count the quick post about the iPad’s problem being software). I was chiding myself for not posting more until I looked at my Ulysses library and saw about 10 items in the Blog subgroup. All but one are fairly fully-formed. Clearly, I’ve been writing. I just haven’t been posting.

I’m not sure what the final state for writing is. Steve Jobs famously said, “Real artists ship.” I imagine shipping would be posting to the site.

Or is it?

Patrick Rhone (a writer I greatly admire) is on sabbatical. He’s stopping all of his online writing to collect the writings into some sort of book. I think subconsciously I’ve been doing the same thing.

I have an unannounced project I’m working on. I’m still not going to announce it today. When I finish typing an article in Ulysses I ask myself two questions: does this even need to go out in the world, and if it does, should it be in The Project? Lately, the answer has been that it might belong in The Project. There are also a few blog posts that felt better to write than publish. Sometimes, the best post is the one you write and hit the delete key on.

There are a few reasons I’m not announcing The Project. While it’s safe to say it’s a collection of essays, I’m not sure what the theme is. I have several themes in mind. The best thing right now is to just write them up and see what themes emerge. I do have two themes in mind; it’s just a case of which one sticks more.

The other reason is even after I collect the essays, I may still not feel they add anything that hasn’t been said already.

For now, I’m not going to measure my creative progress on what I’ve shipped, but just on what I’ve created. Creative people are famously finicky and overly critical of their own work. This can lead to artists not sharing their work. It’s a danger to be sure, but one of my themes for the year is trying to earn some income from my creative projects again. Getting this collection out in the world is a good motivator for me.

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