Goals and Writing  

Two things were discussed in some depth today with Travis. Our long term goals, and the fact that we both think our writing is shit.

On the first, we share the desire for financial independence (ten million) by the time we’re 30 - the reach goal is by 27. Opens ourselves up to full freedom and the ability to move forward on the big pursuits of our lives. Furthermore for me, I hold the desire to master a scientific or technical field and contribute to it meaningfully in some way. And to build something, create something. That’s about it. We just need to build something.

On writing, there was an interesting post in the NY Times Magazine a while back written by its editor, Hugo Lindgren

Essentially, the article rants about how Hugo never dreamed that he would end up as an editor for so many years - it was at best a temporary job before he wrote the Next Great American Novel (or TV show, or movie, et so on).

Unfortunately, every time he put pen to paper his grandiose ideas would shrivel up and manifest themselves in terribly inadequate prose that Hugo found atrocious. And so he never managed to get started.

Unfortunately, by the end of the article it’s unclear that Hugo has really learned anything from his reflections that will propel him into action and executing on his grand ideas.

In any case, Travis and I have both shared the same self-deprecating criticism towards our writing. I’m actually tempted to hold the opinion that we’re correct, and that’s the critical point. Perhaps we think our writing is shit because, well, our writing really is shit.

And at the same time, perhaps the only way to ever make our writing not shit is to keep churning out the shit and continuously iterate on that process and refine it until our writing slowly crawls its way out of the shithole.

And so perhaps it’s not so much believing in ourselves and realizing that our self-criticism is unfounded, but embracing that in truth it is very well founded, and that we perhaps have painfully accurate assessments of our own capacities for compelling narrative writing.

And in embracing that truth, further embrace the consequent fact that the only way to ever get past that uncomfortable truth is to not shy away from our subpar writing talent, but to meet it head on and grind it through use until it becomes finely honed and ready to do justice to these grand ideas of ours.

And so we write now, to fail as much as we can now while the stakes are low, so that when the ante rises we’ll be ready.

row, row, row your boat
gently down the stream
merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
life is but a dream

 
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