Category Archives: Quantityoverquality

Wonky

Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee doo
I’ve got another puzzle for you
Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee dee
If you are wise, you’ll listen to me

What do you get, when you write many times?

 Answer: Heckled

It’s really hard, to come up with good rhymes

Fact.

And then you try, to keep up with yourself?

Tyranny

It’s not en-OUGH

I’VE CREATED A MONSTER. (doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo)

Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee dore
If you don’t mind, then I can write more
But all my stuff, might be short and crazy
Like the oompa loompa doom-pa-dee dee!

I Heart EXPEDIT

Today I thought about writing a manifesto entitled “Why I Blog”, or enthralling you with the saga of my adult cooking adventures (adventures as an adult), or finally tackling the tutorial “How to make an edible Christmas tree”.  Or maybe even attempting a sincere and worthy tribute to MLK day.

But with bloguary post-frequency already declining in its early middle age, I realized I’m gonna have to dial down on the ambition and write what I know…

************** Cue: Unambitious Topic of the Day *****************

If ever there were a specific piece of furniture that I knew by name, daydreamed about, and really wished I had, it would have to be this one:

The IKEA Expedit 4×4.  Black-brown preferred (by me), but also available in white and birch effect.

I admire this bookshelf/room-divider/all-around-all-star as much as a person can possibly admire a few slabs of particleboard that they put together themself.  Possibly even more than that.  Seriously.  Whenever I see this in a store window I do a double take, everything else fades out, and I think “Oh yes, she will be mine.”  Schwing!

The EXPEDIT’s sleek and simple design looks artsy and classy, and instantly makes a place look organized and well decorated.  Even though it’s holding all your dorm-room-looking stuff!  Insta-loft!  There’s some sort of fractal voodoo going on too, because the latent mathlete in you gets transfixed by the symmetry and all of the smaller squares you can find inside the bigger one.

Beautiful!  (Source)

We already own the 2×4 Expedit, which is kinda cool but not extra-super-pimp, and you can even see some of these principles at work in this lamer version:

Not bad, considering it’s only 2×4 and not black-brown

Let’s take a closer look… 

Definitely not bad, considering the ridiculous stuff
it has to compensate for

As awesome as it is (read: stylish and practical), the 4×4 Expedit is just $179 brand new at IKEA, and also widely available on craigslist if you live in the right town – score!  Having a wall big enough for this with no interfering lightswitches or outlets may just have to be another criteria for my dream house of the future.

Nanowrimo Is Awesome

It’s November 30, which means all across the planet everywhere, butchers, bakers, candle-stick makers, and regular people like you and me are crossing the finish line and becoming novelists.  If you are one of them, MAJOR kudos, for realz.  In honor of my not writing a novel this year, I dedicate this short opposite-of-a-rant about me and NaNoWriMo.

I first heard about NaNoWriMo on Nov.1, 2009 when a friend facebooked a link to http://www.nanowrimo.org.  I instantly loved everything about it.  The idea that you could write a 175 page novel in a month.  The fact that anyone could do it.  The realization that there is no mojo involved – all it would take was about 2 hours of typing a day.  My noveling Everest was just there, and I had to take it down.  I started my novel the next day, and by Nov. 30 had proudly crossed the 50,000 word mark.

Big Winner with 50251 words!

The vast majority of what I wrote was total pants, as you would expect.  I was writing without a plan, a plot, or even well-defined characters.  But every day or two, or every 4000 words or so, I’d manage to actually write an interesting plot twist, a clever insult, an insightful metaphor.  My characters would start talking to each other without my intervention and fill themselves out.  The ridiculous deadline imposed by this totally-optional-but-once-you-start-you-don’t-want-to-fail activity had forced my brain into producing nuggets of almost-art simply by denying the self-conscious/editing/rational/fearful other part of my brain any time to do its thing.

By the end of the month, I realized that if you did this every day for long enough, eventually you could generate enough good material to piece together an actual (aka publishable) novel.  Just cut out the bad stuff, elaborate on the good, edit, edit, edit.  As it turns out, even a mammoth task like novel writing is really just a one-foot-in-front-of-the-other discipline like anything else.  I did some poking around on writers’ blogs and found out that in fact, writers just sit down and write. Every. Single. Day.

Nanowrimo 2010 winner

Won again in 2010! My novel was written entirely in the last 10 days, which encompassed a visit by my family, a trip to Vancouver, and three painfully long days of wedding dress shopping. Oddly enough, my second novel was better than my first. Better premise, better characters, better plot, better epic-ness. I credit late nights, early mornings, a doubled wpm, and the discovery of the best sandwich cafe ever: The Essential Bakery in Seattle.

In summary:
Less Thinking, More Typing.  Whatever it is, Just Do It y’all.

 

Quantity over Quality

At the risk of starting this post bluntly and non-entertainingly, I say the following: I generally value quality over quantity, and tend towards unnecessary crippling perfectionism at times.  This is good when you are doing P90x pullups or working on your guitar chords, but I suspect it isn’t so great when you are trying to increase your creative output.  For most things, a B effort delivered now is better than A+ delivered a month from now.

I’ve always been impressed by people who manage to update their blogs (or even their fb/twitter statii) daily.  These tasks take me an ungodly amount of time – x minutes for writing, and 10x+ minutes for editing.  Is it possible that all these people have such a natural ease with poetry and wit, that they don’t need editing?  I’m guessing that at least some of it is a result of all the extra practice they get from consistent, non-obsessively-self-conscious, efforts.

That said, I’m going to just post this post now (a world record 16 minutes after starting it).  Ignoring the evil internal editor telling me that what I’ve just written is both boring and pointless. . . . . . now.