After listening to Tim Ferriss interview Rick Rubin earlier this week, I happened to stumble upon this video of Rubin interviewing Kendrick Lamar.
This interview is a fascinating view into a musician and writer's process. It reminds me that William Wordsworth emphasized the same composition process with his description of emotion recollected in tranquility.
I used to work in the Recorder of Deeds office. In Missouri, that is where land transfers, tax liens, mortgages, and marriage licenses are recorded for public use. Part of my job was to make paper copies of the documents that we recorded. It was incredibly boring, but the work had a certain rhythm. Every time I put a document in the copy machine to make a record copy (on $60/ream acid-free, archival paper) I had to double-check to make sure I had an even number of pages. This checking commenced because I was making individual copies of two-sided pages and I didn't want to run all the pages of all the documents together. So, I made sure that there was a blank page between all copies of odd numbers of pages. This way a document always started face-up on the right hand side of the book.
Because I was so anal about this process, I often had to spend more time standing at the copy machine than was necessary, and hit the "copy" button repeatedly. There was time to notice the subtle shifts in the internal noises of the copier and to test how many seconds it took for the machine to reset between scans. I would focus on the light that flashed under the lid, signifying a scan, and then I would press the button as quickly as I could to determine whether another copy could immediately be scanned. After weeks of this process, I became so efficient in my workflow that I knew the fraction of a second that it took me to hit the button again and scan the next copy. My mastery of the process gave me a sense of pride in my internal work,
Many people want to experience that sense of mastery, but become uncomfortable or distracted in the processes required to develop a "feel" for a task. Practicing discipline in the mundane areas of life is excellent strategy for succeeding at the larger projects. I've currently been practicing relaxing under ice cold water for the last thirty seconds of my morning shower. This seems dumb to almost everyone (except Tim Ferriss) but it has been a tangible practice that has helped me learn to exist in the moment and relax in the face of uncomfortable sensations. I now look forward to that morning jolt of chill.
I really wanted to procrastinate more, but after I started writing affirmations I couldn't. I've always wanted to write a full-book length piece of prose. I'm still undecided about whether it should be fiction (which I hardly read) or non-fiction (which I devour) but maybe it will be a mixture of the two...or neither. I'm still in the decision phase. However, I thought developing discipline through a blog project might be just the thing to help me sharpen my skills as a writer and a thinker.
So, I'm committing myself to writing more. I don't have a plan, no overarching goal, no direction. I only know that if I want to write, I need to write. So, here I am world...and here is my writing. I am also including one photo for visual appeal. All photos were taken by me with a 2015 iPhone 6s.
For my first paragraph (I used up the other two on explanations), I will tell you that I woke up this morning at 2:30, nursed my three month-old baby and put on some coffee. I sat with my Bible and a copy of Peter Thiel's Zero to One and read for about two hours before I got antsy. Then, I went downstairs to my studio and started cleaning up the mess from my two years of neglect. It felt awesome.