The Wednesday Writeup - Issue #10

Welcome back to The Wednesday Writeup! I kinda can't believe I'm on issue 10 already. Now that I'm into the double digits it is actually starting to feel like this is a real, established things, which is interesting to think about.

I'm grateful for all of you getting this in your inbox every week, so thank you!

What I'm Doing

As mentioned in issue #9, my Ooni Koda 16 arrived last week! Since then, we have cooked on it twice and it has been really fun to use. First time we just went with a couple of classic Neapolitan style pizzas, and although each of them had their own issues, it all turned out quite tasty! And then over the weekend we fired it up again for a couple of different things. Second time around we made a pair of steaks on a cast iron pan in the Ooni, and we also made one normal pizza, and later on we turned the final piece of dough into a super tasty strawberry and chocolate dessert pizza.

I'm slowly but surely pinning down my systems. I have been drafting up a few posts about the different elements of what I'm doing, but between Morning Pages to start off strong, Interstitial Journaling to keep my day going, a simplified Todoist system akin to this one to work on the right things, and an evolving PARA system in Notion to organize and plan, my approach towards getting things done is solidifying. There are still some pain points, and not everything is there yet, but it's getting closer! I think that it has actually helped being done with the actual classes on these topics. I can step back from the official approach and just do what works for me.

I did a live stream! Yesterday I hopped on a public Zoom call with a couple of great folks to help add backlinking to a website using gatsby-theme-brain. It was kinda interesting to be coding in public, with a few dozen people watching and chatting. It definitely made me feel a bit self conscious, but it was also really fun, and we got some good stuff done. And this is already the third site I have hopped on a zoom call to help build, so there is clearly some interest around this and so I want to start capturing some of what I have been demonstrating into something more reusable. Still deciding on format.

Ramping up on the business side of things. I have started taking a course called Sales Safari to try and get better at thinking about marketing, finding a customer base, and building products that can actually sell. I really want to be able to keep owning my time and having freedom to travel and create cool things, and to do that I need to start selling something. I'm still going to publish my app whenever I finish that up, but I don't know if I see it being the biggest success, so I'm thinking through what should come next.

What I'm Thinking

The value of Morning Pages. As mentioned above, I have started incorporating them into my routine for the last week or so, and although it takes an extra 15-20 minutes of my day, it helps me capture what is top of mind, do a braindump, and center myself around what I want to get done. I still need to capture more of my feelings and deeper ideas, but this is certainly helping. I also want to see how it goes writing out portions of this physically. I have never been great at hand writing, but it would be nice to get better at it, so I'm thinking if I wrote down a portion of my pages, maybe a gratitude journal, it would be a great way to get some practice and embed some of what I write a little more deeply. Plus, I got a fountain pen, so I have gear to help motivate me to get better!

Been thinking a lot about alternative approaches to education recently. I'm feeling a little bit of FOMO right now with my siblings both heading off for Masters degrees. I don't think that is the right choice for me at the moment, but it definitely makes me realize that I need to be very deliberate with my choices of educational content. I have to make sure that I'm spending my time educating myself on skills that will provide me value, because I won't be coming out of this with a degree. And I have to push myself to develop relationships in good communities, because I won't have the school environment to foster a network. So far I think I'm making largely the right steps, but have to keep it in mind as I go forward to avoid losing the path.

Things to Read

Deep Work & Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

I read these books around the end of last year near the start of my adventures in unemployment. I probably need to do a re-read at some point now that I have spent so much more time working on productivity systems to really incorporate the value. Across these two books there is a good deal of actionable information on establishing focus, managing time, controlling distractions, and generally taking control of attention.

Things to Watch

Red Means Recording

There is a cool portable synthesizer called the OP-1 developed by Teenage Engineering. It is a pretty impressive piece of technology, and a couple of folks on YouTube have done really great things with it. The best of the lot is probably Red Means Recording. He has done dozens of these sort of videos, going through the creation of new pieces of music. Even if you don't have an OP-1, it is an interesting presentation style, good music, and fun creation process.

Location of the Week: New York City

Back at my old job I worked regularly with a few teams over in New York City and made frequent trips to that office. I hadn't really visited much before then, so it was nice to get a couple of trips out to see the biggest city in America.

The hustle and bustle of the city is (or I suppose, was) interesting. In some ways it is rather anxiety inducing, and I'm not sure how long I would be able to spend there. But at the same time it is exciting. It feels like the city is alive, and that no matter which way you go there will be things to do and stuff to see.

Before Covid I was definitely considering moving to New York for at least a year or two just to see what it is like living there. But at the moment? Not exactly the place to be. But maybe someday.

Signing off until next week
- Aengus McMillin