Monthly Archives: January 2012

Writing whatever

Sometimes, I don’t feel like writing in any of my current works-in-progress. Fortunately, no-one is waiting for them to be completed.

Or perhaps I should say “unfortunately?” :-/

As is becoming obvious to me, writing full time is going to require a lot of self-discipline, much of it to sit down and bloody write.  Writing blogs of many different stripes go on an on about finding ways to Just Do It. Rail, Hail or Shine. That includes doing planning on things I need to planning on. Like my current Works In Progress,

Yep, I’m procastinating again.

For today, at least, I’ve remembered I have another piece of writing that needs doing. So it’s getting done instead. If nothing else, I get just a little bit more experience at output fiction. And I’m going to cling to that revelation, no matter what.



Filed under writing

The infamous hero, Steve Jobs.

I wasn’t going to buy Steve Job’s biography. Sure, I was interested, but it had been hyped a lot and I tend to regard Apple a bit warily. I don’t own any Apple tech from during Job’s tenure. I don’t agree with the way Apple want to control the experience (I didn’t when Microsoft tried it, either). But the biography Steve Jobs is also, to a large extent, the history of Apple Computer and of the home computer industry. And that sort of thing is something I like reading about.

Of course, I’ve read biographys before. They are usually interesting life stories (and often interesting narratives in their own right) and can be instructive to hold up to your own life. And then a relative gave a copy to me for Christmas. This was as unexpected and exciting.

Those of you who know me on GoodReads will know I have begun reading it. Isaacson is deft at what he does. Steve is not unique, but he is highly individual. He always had a very strong internal drive and harnessed it to various purposes. Isaacson describes this as “very strong willed” and this is apparant in how he treats his parents and others around him. I know from other works that a lot of the visible pioneers of early home computers were also strong willed. So this is not surprising to see. Isaacson also shows, and this is more subtle, that Jobs may well have been fully aware of his fabled “Reality Distortion Field”. One interesting example of this was his strong belief that if he could do something, then someone else could, too.

We need more of that. I need more of that. One way or another, we all grow up looking up to other people. Some literature calls this hero-worship. As infants we look up to our parents or carers to fulfill that role. As we get older, we see hero figures in the world around us, and then in the media we consume. Professional athletes are often held up by the mass-media as hero figures, sometimes even by that exact name. There is a whole swathe of fiction devoted to heroism, much of it drawing on real history, such as viking raiders, or fabled samurai. Often heros are a lot closer to home and are rarely graced with that title. A teacher who encouraged a particular skill and the love for using it. An older relative who first taught us those skills. A friend who saw the potential and said something at the exact right time to make us realize it.

Hero figures are not perfect, though. Some people learn that at great cost when, say, a favourite golfer turns out to have a string of mistresses on the side. We should use that as a lesson in not judging our own failures too hard. When that lesson fails, a hero becomes a demon.

Steve Jobs is a hero to many people in many different ways, just as he is a demon to many others. I am sure Isaacson has waiting for me stories about both sides of this. He undoubtedly led his company to do extraordinary things, and his fabled “reality distortion field” was an important tool to do that. But in a lot of ways he was just human, too. I’m sure he would put his trousers on one leg at a time just like you and I.

Where are your heros? And consider the small ones, too. You may discover someone else looking up to you.


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Filed under reading

There’s always a story to tell

A new blog. Well… a migration. Well… a consolidation. From a couple of other places that have not turned out to be all I thought they promised.

There are, of course, good sides and bad sides to all blogging solutions. And the story behind that is those other sites are not as easy to update as this one promises to be.

We shall see.


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Filed under meta

I’m back.

Yes, I forgot about my blog. Oh the shame. Obviously I had nothing to blog about and I think I know why that is: because most of what I want to talk about goes on Twitter.

But some people aren’t on Twitter and don’t want to be on Twitter.

In this day and age, a writer has to blog, has to be part of the technological social fabric. Especially a so far unpublished writer with no other fame to leverage. And I have my writers group to remind me. We met tonight after quite a few weeks hiatus (Christmas, New Year…) and A Good Time Was Had By All. One of the things we will be doing will be to help people be accountable for what they say they want to do.

It was a chance comment about my dying blog, but it was well meant. My blog does not deserve to die.

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Filed under blogging