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I Bought MarsEdit 4

Okay, I did the thing. RedSweater replied to my Tweet really quickly and I got the upgrade price of $24.95, so I’m in!

I’ve got my Applet ready in IFTTT but so far it has been failing. It triggers when a new post is made to the RSS feed that it’s monitoring so this is my testing that again, rather than a notable post. Although it might turn out that way. I don’t really know what I’m going to say yet!

Ah, yes, micro.blog. Have you heard of that? I got an email from Manton Reece—remember him, the buy behind App.net?—with some info about micro.blog. It sounded neat, so I checked it out and went to sign up, only to find that I had already signed up. Presumably that’s how I was on his email list. D’oh!

I put my $5 down and installed the iOS app yesterday and have been quite enjoying it. I wondered whether it would give me a place with a similar vibe to what Vox.com used to be back in my early blogging days. I’ve heard comments that it feels like the early days of Twitter, which is exactly how App.net felt too. So it might have some legs and become a thing that I do, along with this blog here. It’s currently at camscampbell.micro.bog, but if it sticks I’ll get a domain for it.

Writing is a Skill that Requires Practice.

Slept until 08:46. Result! Still feeling tired though. I made Illy coffee again because Len was still sleeping. She got up just as the last drips dropped into the mug. Ugh.

I read a nice quote from Scott Adams’ blog yesterday that kind of sums up what I’m trying to do here:

Writing is a skill that requires practice. So the first part of my system involves practicing on a regular basis. I didn’t know what I was practicing for, exactly, and that’s what makes it a system and not a goal. I was moving from a place with low odds (being an out-of-practice writer) to a place of good odds (a well-practiced writer with higher visibility).

Scott Adams

It was that that inspired me to make this a thing that I do and not just a thing that I think about. And besides, I LOVE this Ducky One 2 keyboard with cherry red switches!

Yesterday’s Goals

What were yesterday’s goals? Let me check…

  1. I didn’t decide on the Notion course yet. I’m letting it percolate. I did reread August Bradley’s sales page and it *almost* converted and still very well might.
  2. Profits reinvested into Finiko and Finalmente as well. I had four plans cash out in Finalmente yesterday!
  3. Adding more Last.fm posts seems like a thing to do maybe one at a time as it’s not moving the needle on anything.
  4. I did get all the guitar exercises done, and done well too, including recording one and playing the teacher part to the recording AND tabbing one out in Guitar Pro.

Small Wins

Installing Guitar Pro and tabbing out a tune. That was a bit of a hurdle that I’d been putting off for a long time. There’s a real learning curve to that software, but I managed to figure out enough to notate a whole exercise!

Content Consumed

I did the dog walk loop in the middle of the day and listened to an enjoyable episode of Roderick on the Line. John Roderick talked at length about a relationship and went into the emotion behind it. It really get a lot from John’s candour, but this one in particular was quite moving and inspirational.

I started reading Mindset, by Carol Dweck. This came up on Jim Kwik’s talk for Teachable’s Share What You Know Summit, but the reviews put me off buying it at that time. It came up again on August Bradley’s course page as a prerequisite for the course, so I thought I’d give it a go. So far I haven’t learned anything from it that I didn’t already know. One reviewer suggested not bothering with it but reading Scott Adams’ book, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life, instead. That seems more in my wheelhouse.

Can I do the thing that Ali Abdaal recommended in a YouTube video and stop reading a book? Can I really do that?

But wait, let me give Carol Dweck’s book a proper chance. I’ll read more today.

Today’s Goals

  1. Post the Blue Compass mic clamp back for a refund
  2. Post a book away from someone who asked for it on Bookmooch
  3. Learn Malagueña from the Solo Guitar Playing book.
  4. Read Carol Dweck’s book.
  5. Walk the dogs around the circuit.
  6. Write to Teachable with my questions. They didn’t respond to my Tweets.

Doesn’t sound like a really full day, does it? I could do more guitar but I want to NOT over extend with my goals and end up not fulfilling them. And I can spend as much time as is left reading and making notes.

Shawn Blanc reviews Day One →

As a writer, I believe journaling on a regular basis is critical. It’s writing that will never be judged. It’s writing that doesn’t require an editor. It’s the only place where I am completely free to write for my truly ideal reader: a future me. I have my own inside jokes, my own running story arc, my own shorthand. I love the freedom to write whatever I want, however I want, with no need to make it tidy or clear or concise. And I have no doubt that it makes me a better professional writer.

I totally agree.

Shawn’s writing shows that it works; his work is short on typos, has no grammar mistakes and, most importantly, it has style and voice. So the writing practice for him is obviously working!

I’ve been using Day One for a while now, on and off, just on the Mac, not on iOS. I kept journals for years, writing long hand into a school exercise book or A4 refill pad. Some of my best moments are recorded in those pages, along with some of my worst.

As part of my Step 4(1) of the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step programme, I read through my old journals and it was fascinating stuff. Particularly the entries I made whilst, shall we say, not entirely sober. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all drunken ramblings; some of it was actually quite good. But the overall picture was enlightening to say the least.

And now, as part of my recovery, writing helps me a great deal. I even toyed with the idea of setting up an anonymous blog to write about my daily recovery or lack thereof. I may even still do that, so I’m keeping the URL just in case.

Writing helps me in so many ways, so when Andy Ihnatko recommended Day One on MacBreak Weekly, I bought it and gave it a whirl. All the things Shawn so eloquently describes in his review are why I carried on using it. It’s such a nice-looking app and it’s a joy to use.

I’m not sure that the new features will be of particular use to me. I think of my Tumblr / Google+ / Twitter as my public journal for photo-sharing and suchlike, but I suppose there could be room for photos in my journal. Certainly not weather reports though. I couldn’t(2) really care less about what the weather was when I wrote something.

(1)Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
(2)US English variant: could care less (wink)

50 things: Shawn Blanc

Robert wrote on [Gridwriter](http://gridwriter.com/) about Shawn Blanc’s post on five years of being a writer and I’d also like to share it.

[50 Things I’ve Learned about Publishing a Weblog](http://shawnblanc.net/2012/07/50-things/)

I loved this:

> As your talent as a writer grows your own perception of your writing will likely stay the same.

I would say the same goes for musicians. I remember thinking I could quit happy once I had learned to play Black Water Side. And now that I can play it, my thoughts on my playing talent haven’t really changed.

I’ve been thinking a lot over the last week or so about writing. I used to write every day in my diary, for years and years. I’ve kept those diaries and they are now amongst my most treasured possessions. In fact, I wish I had never quit.

Since starting my first web journal on the now defunct Vox platform, I’ve written quite a bit, but without any real purpose. In fact, my very first website was meant to be nothing more than a means of sharing my wedding photos. This was back before Flickr and social media, when I was happy to have an ISDN line because I could combine the channels and get 128k!

Anyway, I’m going through a bit of a change right now where I’m thinking about creation, both in terms of writing and music. Part of that has come about after taking the decision to home-school our 5-year-old son; I’ve been thinking of things I could teach, the obvious things being technology and music.

So, watch this space!