A Closer Look

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JUNE 2017 – This year I’m participating in a Goodreads reading challenge, pitting me against my own expectations of how many books I imagine myself reading in a given year. Currently I’m on pace to reach my target (24 books), which admittedly wasn’t very ambitious as I was quite confident based off my past voraciousness that I would be able to hit it. Now this doesn’t count every single book that I read, as light weight pleasure reading doesn’t make its way on to that list, but overall it is a pretty accurate representation of what makes it from my bedside table into my brain, haha.

Is interesting to gauge what your individual appetite for things is, whether it be media, cups of tea, or toilet paper, haha. While I have a vague idea of how many podcasts I listen to in a given year (I’d guess somewhere around 75) I am liking this reflective quality of knowing how much reading I’m doing. Makes me ask myself if I should consider a similar approach for writing goals. Saying, oh, I’ll write X number of pages this week and so forth. To help push forward my goals and set reachable benchmarks. Seems very reasonable, no?

Well I like the idea of benchmarks and do use them, but setting the microscope that close to my subject also gives me pause. As I don’t know if I like what I see there. As while word counts may have helped drive the writing of say a Charles Dickens to immense production and incredible heights. To me it steals some of the magic from the process and that is what I like about it, the unexpected, the creative, that it isn’t an equation to fill out (in most senses of the word). But I still see the value in benchmarks and having a target you are trying to hit. Just for me, I want that target to be a bit more illusory and overarching.

Bellevue Avenue

As mentioned in past blogs, more walks out into the world were inevitable and welcomed into the landscape of my afternoons. Rare is the moment now that I find the windows of my apartment closed to the sea breeze or sounds from the street several floors below. For the uninitiated, Newport RI is a Summer tourist destination and over the last four weeks the population has swelled to well more than double, maybe even triple that of a Winter’s eve. Keeping things lively at all hours and the parade of bicycles around the island an inviting reminder of the seasons delights.

Why so reflective in this edition of the WaveGarden Arts News posting? Well I’m reading this insightful book titled ‘Deep Work’ by Cal Newport, about what it takes to push the needle forward creatively and to do the in-depth thinking and tasks that are most valuable to society. I first came across his work while watching a Ted talk of his and wanted to learn more about his research and suggestions for this richer more productive intellectual and creative life. Given its applicability to the creative and information driven work that I myself participate in. Has helped to reconfirm my own world view about creativity. In that it requires (for me) large uninterrupted blocks of time to take place, time without distraction. Is a rich subject worth investigating, especially if you are in a field that benefits from personal innovation and creating that which doesn’t otherwise exist.

– CS

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