Hubris: 24 January 2021

This is Hubris: 24 January 2021 edition, the newsletter where I have the audacity to think I’ve written something worth reading.

As a general rule, I try to avoid talking about politics. Some of this has to do with being a minimalist; the time I spend arguing with someone that’s never going to change their mind is time I could spend doing something productive. A lot of it has to do with being an immigrant; you don’t want to do anything to upset either your mother country or your host country. This has made the past several years incredibly difficult for me.

I am rethinking this. A lot.

When I meet new people here in Finland, and they learn that I am from the United States, the first thing they do is ask my opinion on the former President. Every. Single. Time. Without fail. What do you think of _______? When I tell them, they want me to explain how the US got to this point of madness. Whether I want to be or not (decidedly NOT), I end up being a de facto spokesperson for America.

My worry has never been that Finland will hold it against me if I didn’t like the guy that just moved to Florida.

For a long time, it felt that there was nothing to be done about the bigoted, anti-science underbelly of America. They’ve always been there. I’ve dealt with them my entire life. Then they became emboldened, and empowered, and fearless. That was dangerous and frightening.

Now that they’re on the ropes, though, we need to keep on them. Calling out the lies, the fallacies, the misinformation. I feel safer in saying NO to people who think made-up bullshit counts as a valid opinion, and one that policy can be built upon. No.

Anyway, like many people I feel as if I can breathe again.

But there’s more to this newsletter for 24 January 2021. So read on.

Daily BulleT Journal Format

Here’s the daily bullet journal format that I’ve been using since 1 January. I have categories of tasks that I need to perform each day, and pick the most important thing from each category. In some cases I have lists, but in others it’s a scheduled weekly or monthly thing, or just whatever pops up that needs to be dealt with.

  • Write: This is my core work, so it goes at the top. I write the name of my primary work-in-progress. I can X it off when I’ve written at least 6 pages toward the project. Other projects don’t count. Blogging doesn’t count. The actual word/page count gets marked on my calendar.
  • Read: Because finding time to read has been something I struggle with, this is second on the list. I write the title of the book I’m currently reading for pleasure. Books I’m reading for research don’t count. At the moment I don’t have a goal set for the amount of time or the number of pages I need to read. That’s coming. For now, just picking up a book and reading any of it is progress.
  • Research: I lump any reading I need to do for projects together. This includes physical books, ebooks, and looking things up online. I write down the most important thing I need to research, which is typically the most time-consuming thing for the primary work-in-progress.
  • Web: Blogging, website maintenance, and social media time all get lumped together. Because I’m no longer writing a daily blog, this cover a variety of possible task. I do write one or two specific things I want to get done that day.
  • Journal: This includes bullet journaling, as well as updating my calendar and my white board. It gets X’d off at the end of the day, even though I normally touch these things multiple times per day. That’s why it’s toward the bottom of the list. This is an item on the daily task list because on writing days I do sometimes forget to update my trackers.
  • Clean: Actual cleaning, as well as organizing and editing my possessions. I have a regular schedule for recurring tasks like cleaning the bathroom and vacuuming. This is at the bottom because it’s filling. When I need to process what I’ve just written, or think about what I want to write next, I can fold laundry, clean out a drawer, or empty trash cans.

Affinity Publisher

A few days ago I was gifted with Affinity Publisher and Affinity Designer. Both are on sale for 50% off at the time I’m writing this (not sponsored, just being helpful). One of my goals for this year is to increase the production value of my books, while still keeping them simple and affordable. These tools will also help to streamline operations and make certain functions faster. So far I’ve only had the chance to work with Publisher, and it’s been a good experience. The learning curve isn’t too steep. I expect that if I had more experience with Adobe products like InDesign I’d have practically no learning curve at all.

Hitting Pause on POD

Over on the business site, I wrote an article on why I’m hitting pause on adding additional print-on-demand titles. You can read about it here.

HUBRIS: 24 January 2021

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