Ever since I read about Roam and keeping a garden of ideas, I have been trying to figure out what that looks like for me. I don't want to dump thoughts just to be out in the world, without any chance of change, but I also need to do it.

That's why this idea from Cory Doctorow on Writing Excuses resonated (emphasis mine):

The thing that blogging for me does is a way to be reflective instead of reflexive about all the fragmentary ideas that cross my transom, and what I do is block out time every day and take all those things as they fly over my transom and make sense of them to the extent that I can. I talk about where they fit, how I am thinking about them, and so on. It has this ancillary benefit that it becomes a thing that other people want to read that is separate from my novels and makes them interested in my work, and so on, but I would do it if no one wants to read it. First of all, for my mental health, right. It is how I organize narratives about things that are going on in the world and it helps me feel like I have some mastery over it, but there's a powerfully pneumonic element to gathering these things and explaining them for notional strangers that differs from a commonplace book.  You know when you write in a commonplace book, you can cheat. You can make these notes that when you go back to them, you have no idea what you meant, but for a notional stranger, you have to be more thoroughgoing, and then you end up with a subconscious that is a super-saturated solution fragmented story ideas that are banging together in a nuclei, and they crystallize into often semi full-blown novels and short stories and essays and speeches and what not and so now you've already done the research. You're already cruising along. The foundational premise you already know about because you've chased it because it's in your feeds and the story grew out of.

I dug a little deeper, came across his daily links blog Pluralistic and decided to run something similar. At the moment, I am going to run it secretly hidden away on my site until I decide it's a thing.

Austin Kleon

Doubling up on the notion of the blog as a place to learn was a recent article from Austin Kleon (another person who blogs regularly), this article from him has continued to resonate with me.

I also like the quote he shares from Ali Abdaal:

It's the difference between saying 'I'm an expert and I'm going to teach you something', and saying 'I'm a fellow student and I'm going to share what I've learnt and maybe you can take something from this.'

Often, when I teach, I learn as well. I have to know the information and understand it enough to feed it back to the students. I know there is some science behind this—I'm sure I read it at one time—that teaching helps build those neural paths.

Kleon also brings up Rob Walker's piece "How Nick Quah Became the Podcast Whisperer":

Quah's actual qualifications for taking on the role of public thinker on podcasting were nil. He'd never made a podcast, had no background in radio or audio media of any kind.

Both Seth Godin and Jordan Harbinger considered the question of teaching versus qualifications.


My wife and I never thought much about radon gas until she saw how quickly it could affect the body.

And now that more of us are working from home, the risk of exposure increases.

We have recently bought a detector and started talking about bring someone in to mitigate its presence, especially since it is so prevalent.

(It's also National Radon Awareness Month in Canada.)


I've thought about this Twitter thread. Especially this one:

We all need to reckon with our writers from the past.

Quick Bits