March 2022

March 2022

WoP8, San Diego (Andrew Bach),
Justin Bottle Service, Torrey Pines Airplanes, WoP team meetup (meeting Michael, David, Will and crew),

@March 31, 2022

@March 31, 2022 10:00 PM (CDT)

  • Brother and I attend Ester Follies comedy show. felt like a live version of a TikTok feed.
  • @April 11, 2022 12:15 PM (CDT) “If you are bored with one sketch, it’s okay, because in 1 minute there will be a completely new one.” - I told Qi this.
  • ^ meta point: watch for the topic or experiences you talk about. What questions arise? What experiences stood out to you?

@March 31, 2022 6:44 PM (CDT)

  • A homeless woman on her hands and knees screams bloody Jordan at the pavement. Normally this would be unconcerning. Normally my brother and I would go on talking about cryptocurrencies and how they were going to save the world. Today however a foot away from her shrieks laid a knife. The bald switched open. My brother dove for it, snatched it. I thought was stupid and a concerning dive. She pops to her feet, looks into my brother, and shrieks, “If I get raped tonight it’s your fault.” My brother closes the knife, hands it to her. We walk away. Concerned.

@March 31, 2022 11:09 AM (CDT)

  • I shared a cup of coffee with a woman from my yoga class, Emily. We talked of doing yoga in Portugal, of taking cold plunge / sauna at a local gym, and of her distaste for hip-trendy spots yet her constant travel to those spots. God plays tricks, attracting us to places we don’t want to be. I also learned her parents are divorced, like mine. I can’t not ask for a second date.

@March 30, 2022

@March 30, 2022 7:21 PM (CDT)

  • quick way of getting an idea out: write like a conversation. but the real essay is: allowing a metaphor to take over. Example from breakout room: “I want to organize my team of software engineers like a mycelium network.”

@March 30, 2022 11:02 AM (CDT)

  • Binged searching through Visakanv’s twitter to think through how I’ll use obsidian.
  • Visa’s Roam is public
  • A note title depends on if the idea is front of mind or not - is it something you want to write about soon? If yes, specific a title, make a first draft of the essay title.
    • Associative note-taking is more present when writing. Above I wrote first draft, rather than first try. First draft is a searchable term.
    • Cold Notes are new pages with titles that are broad, better for indexing, like “Psychology”, “Feedback”. Hot Notes are more specific titles, pending essays to be written, “The Purpose of Language” rather than Language. This title will change with time.
    • each page title is a keystone
  • linking notes also depends on front of mind or not - hot notes / cold notes
    • “If I know that the odds of me wanting to reference a thread are high, I’ll make sure to add it to existing threads that are already top-of-mind.” Linking cold notes with hot notes.
  • take notes from emotion
    • “not involving your emotions in your work is like using a chainsaw without turning it on”
    • adhd is an emotions problem disguised as a thinking problem
    • “one of the core principles of the visaverse note taking system which I will someday articulate is that the overview or the graph view is most important and it must always be “beautiful” (even if in its ugliness)”
    • image
  • OMG I DONT CARE ← me at the end of reading this

@March 30, 2022 10:31 AM (CDT)

  • Grackles fight senselessly just as Will Smith and as Putin. That eases me. #tweet

@March 30, 2022 10:06 AM (CDT)

  • a funny essay: a man who’s pavlovian with lo-fi beats and writing. Anytime lo-fi beats are playing, he drops everything and writes — no matter on a bus or standing at the alter about to get married

@March 30, 2022 8:30 AM (CDT)

  • there’s a presence to hand writing. what if you did the same with speech. or prose. or conversations. It’s a patient gathering of oneself.

@March 29, 2022

@March 29, 2022 8:41 PM (CDT)

  • the iris moves the eye lids out of the way. try it

@March 29, 2022 8:27 PM (CDT)

  • linger and you’ll make friends

@March 29, 2022 11:41 AM (CDT)

  • I tend to build stories from the message out. But my favorite story I’ve written, I started with the story, and others helped me identify the theme. I pushed into those images. (Much like I did with this students essay)
  • The Theme: two opposites, two opposing forces. Hope v Death. Destruction v Preservation. Cold/Isolation v Warm/Community.

@March 29, 2022 10:15 AM (CDT)

  • Choose a skill/interest.
  • Learn the terminology and the shared language of the community.
  • Create
  • Get feedback and Give feedback

If you follow these steps, you will meet inspiring people, opportunities will arise, and money will follow, I promise.

@March 29, 2022 9:55 AM (CDT)

  • 60 30 10 color principle for Website: 60% of the room should be a dominant color, 30% should be the secondary color or texture and the last 10% should be an accent
  • image

@March 29, 2022 9:27 AM (CDT)

  • I’m told, “If you're ever thinking of heading out to Iraq, let me know. I have some recommendations!” Such interesting people in WOP.

@March 28, 2022

@March 28, 2022 8:23 PM (CDT)

  • Regret: not collecting compliments on my feedback.

@March 28, 2022 7:10 PM (CDT)

  • Newsletter Template
Newsletter Draft
  • Hi, my people. I’ve been lost. In WOP.
  • My last month has been filled with WOP8, travel, and meeting online friends. Filled with meaningful interactions. Stewardship is the first skill since poker that I see a potential future.
  • Since we talked, I’ve written one essay on writing. I like exploring the topics of imagination in writing.
  • Anyone feeling stuck, no voice.

@March 28, 2022 6:42 PM (CDT)

  • Parker in breakout room: “I write for business people, but I want to attract interesting people to have dinner with. Kelly asks, if you could have dinner with one person, who would that be? Parker named someone obscure, “Leo ___”. How much would his voice change if he wrote to Leo.

@March 28, 2022 3:33 PM (CDT)

  • Student’s Essay had potent imagery (at least potential) because of two words: destruction and preserve — and the word play of preserve artifacts and perseverance life
    • “I like the word play you have here -- preserve and persevere. The museums although lost many artifacts, still go on preserving artifacts, just as humans although lost many loved-ones, still go on persevering life.”

@March 28, 2022 12:38 PM (CDT)

  • In the last week, I have met 14 people who I previously only knew online. Although our accents were different, we spoke a language unlike any I've ever spoken before. The language of a shared interest.
  • ^ consider this profoundness when language learning...

@March 28, 2022 11:51 AM (CDT)

  • Morning walk with Chris
    • Decided to get a coffee downtown and walk. As we climb the hills, blood flows, in the same vein as ideas and meaning. I return home, my being stimulated.
    • The capital is a beautiful building.
    • The campus has beautiful people.
    • Ideas that linger
      • Small Bets:
      • Multiple Shiny Dimes
        • Code v Prose example
    • We both like to ski.

@March 28, 2022 11:16 AM (CDT)

  • Phrases I like from Clarke’s
    • First off, between you and me, chill on the self-criticism.”
    • Second off, on a purely personal note, this is actually EXACTLY what I needed to read right now.
    • Great piece, Michael, definitely served the purposes of (1)...
    • Addressing target audience: I can't speak as a non-SG fan, as I'm quite familiar with his work.
    • Alright Mitch, you've got the skeleton of an awesome piece here, I think a teeny bit of meat could elevate it like crazy. ... a lot of your statements are BEGGING for concrete anecdotes
    • I'll be honest, right now it is tough to

@March 28, 2022 11:08 AM (CDT)

  • I like the formatting of this feedback
  • image

@March 27, 2022

@March 27, 2022 10:55 PM (CDT)

  • sitting on the floor feels good

@March 27, 2022 4:33 PM (CDT)

  • Who I do want to help? Writers lacking their voice. (I'm drawn to people with an overly filter voice, especially those who write a lot professionally. I want to help them get beneath that to the imagination. Help them identify their version of Play. Identify their stories.) (these people tend to be very good with observation)
  • @March 28, 2022 6:21 PM (CDT) my stories are for ... adults looking to play
  • Well Facts are my stories are

    • psychodelic journeys
    • stories
    • the are a break from your day
    • they always end with

@March 27, 2022 3:41 PM (CDT)

  • Homework for Life Prompts
    1. today what idea/issue did your perspective change?
    2. tell an interaction from today from the other's perspective
    3. today what made you unhappy/displeased and thinking the world was over, and then you realized okay it’s not so bad because of a silver lining?
    4. today what environment/place did an opinion change around?
    5. image

@March 27, 2022 1:24 PM (CDT)


@March 27, 2022 12:22 PM (CDT)

  • A imagination exercise: write a sentence. “Fusing action and aspiration into a unified bond.” Change one word, to a random word that comes to mind. “Fusing action and aspiration into a unified concert.” Then, use your imagination to make sense of that sentence.

@March 26, 2022

Position Shifted I want to Travel to Africa, Artist Capturing Essences, Confident Dancer w/ Katie (after San Diego)

@March 26, 2022 9:25 PM (CDT)

  • Michael Dean on the Austin meetup @March 23, 2022
  • A group hangs out among picnic tables, wedged between a gutted Victorian home and Austin’s South Congress. Everyone is brought here— allured— attracted by a common bond— not through circumstance, but through a shared fire for online writing. An exchange of words and laughs— between co-workers, internet friends, locals and out-of-towners, a few who are wealthy, famous, or both— either secretly or openly. But all the context and circumstance evaporates— it’s flattened— the hierarchies are thin, if any, and in the open flow of ideas, everyone can lean in to their weirdness.
  • I’ve read it a dozen times and I’ve shared it with a dozen friends.
  • To capture the essence of a night, word by word, the fog that lingered on that corner of South Congress and West Oltorf, lit by the quivering streetlights and the kaleidoscopic stoplights and the crossing headlights, all illuminating the space for the spirit to swirl in and scream out of artists and friends alike, diving into lungs and being expelled by slaps of the throat and of the tongue, until it manifests as ideas and pleasantries, which end in smiles, laughter, and quizzical looks down and away until the next swirl of the spirit — word by word is the job of the artist.

@March 26, 2022 7:14 PM (CDT)

  • I didn’t have a desire to travel to Africa until this video opened my eyes to life

@March 26, 2022 4:51 PM (CDT)

  • Why does every essay circle back to the beginning? Because of stories. A story is a change in perspective. I used to see the world this way, now I see it this other way. Joojo, in a Story Salon, clarified this for me when he encouraged us to tell a story on the spot. The prompt: recall a situation of your past where you thought everything was going to shit and by the end, show how everything worked out okay. Example, I thought losing my job was the worst thing ever, but a year later at my new job I met my wife, and now losing my job was the best thing to happen to me. This creates a sandwich. - Opening Perspective about X object, event, or behavior - Meaningful Event Y - Ending Perspective about X object, event, or behavior
  • Student’s Essay Draft 1 - I like horror films because they make me feel cozy. - It’s useless to avoid feeling afraid during horror films, because I’m already afraid (from real world issues) - I like horror films cause they make me feel cozy watching them. So I’ll keep watching. NO ARC. ... here’s a simple tweak Student’s Essay Draft 2 - The real world already scares the shit out of me, why watch a horror film. - Horror films do terrify me like real-world issues, but while terrifying me, they also are cozy. - Because horror make me feel Cozy Horror, I return to the real-world cozying up the the horrors of the world, like Russian wars.
  • This too works for “idea” based essays Student’s Essay Draft 1 Student’s Essay Draft 2
  • ^ out of Joojo’s prompt, I told (then wrote) this story
  • At the beginning of the pandemic, I had been living in Mexico where life was sunny, with a beach a few blocks away and every week a new wave of excited tourists arrived.

    But with the rise of covid, life deadened. Tourism halted. No longer did friends visit. Local friends were summoned back to their home country. And my girlfriend and I struggled with differing opinions on a quarantine/social-life balance.

    A few months in, I boarded a plane and flew away from a warm ocean, my career, and a woman I loved, as I returned home, to Minnesota at the precipice of winter.

    At thirty-four years old, I moved back in with my mom who I hadn’t lived with since I was fifteen. My life froze in time.

    Minnesota was cold. And yet, no matter the weather, each day something compelled my mom and I to take a walk together. It’s below zero degrees outside? Okay, we put on any extra layer of gloves.

    We shoved our hands into gloves and the gloves into our jacket pockets. With our heads down watching for ice, we walked. And we talked.

    That winter we talked for more hours than the previous thirty-four years combined. Previously, conversations between us weren’t longer than ten minutes, quick check-ins to ensure each other was still alive. But on these hour-long walks, the only thing to do to forget about the chilly wind was to talk.

    And I realized, no matter how cold life gets, conversations with a loved one will always warm you up.


@March 26, 2022 3:26 PM (CDT)

  • In an essay, the reader was scared on a couch watching horror movies and without notice were scared from real-world problems like War. Simone says, “This is a hard transition to make. I was in one world and you switched me to another” A transition merges the worlds into one relatable action. When I'm on the couch watching Scream, somewhere in my mind are worries of financial problems, injustice, why hasn't my brother called me back, and on and on. I’m already terrified. Even stronger when it’s physical actions.
  • On the TV, the masks man runs past a map and I recall the Russian conflict. I already terrified.

  • Meta Log-Note: often context isn’t need. I began the log above saying, “I’m reading Sandra’s essay, and Simone...” Sit with what you want to say until the image arises. That isn’t of me reading, but of how Simone’s comment effected me.

@March 26, 2022 12:31 PM (CDT)

  • JooJo on Personal Stories
    1. What is at stake? Why is this important?
    2. Sensation: When you’re in a personal moment, what did you feel? Hear? Touch? Taste? This helps people enter the personal with you.
    3. Emotion: One team is going to be distraught, the other will be ecstatic. How did you feel about it? Remember the tension, what’s at stake, and your sensations, and emotions to introduce the personal into your writing.

@March 26, 2022 10:21 AM (CDT)


@March 25, 2022

Ask simple questions when getting to know someone like do you have an addictive personality?

@March 25, 2022 10:39 PM (CDT)

  • Feedback
    • Most helpful feedback will (1) make a declarative statement and (2) share why? why did it make you feel that way? [X was Y which makes me feel Z because W]
    • When possible, within your feedback incorporate WOP principals or mentor lessons.
    • Make personal.
    • Three levels of feedback: (1) 90% = some small rewrite, (2) 30% = restructuring, (3) 0% = rewrite the whole essay for the most interesting visual [fun imagine all three]

@March 25, 2022 10:08 PM (CDT)

  • Learning to act w/o agenda: give time, money, support and watch how you react afterwards.
  • Has he liked my feedback? No, not yet. Did I do something? Could’ve done something better? Did I overwhelm? I breathe, I reflect, and I wonder, Would I feel like this — this guilt — if I had given the feedback without an agenda? No. Feel it. And again, I try.

@March 25, 2022 7:23 PM (CDT)

  • How to strengthen the skill of context
    ? I have two answers.
  • The architect answer: Beau Haan has solved note-taking with context. He used to host something called Roam Book Club where they read a book together and used roam to store notes. It's a course on building a zettlekasten. He has thirty some lectures on youtube that are two hours long ( (If you don't have that time, I know he's working on a "masterclass" for the zettlekasten, which likely will be finished by year's end.) His way of preserving context is absolutely genius, and although I don't use his system, I think about it often.

    The archeologist answer: store all notes in roam or obsidian or evernote WITHOUT organization and leverage the search function. When you write, search for terms and pull in inspiration and write from that.

    One reason why the later works so well is it puts all the focus on writing in that moment. Say I'm writing a piece on Giving Feedback. I search "Feedback" and I find a quote, "Feedback is the breakfast of champions." I don't care about my thoughts on this a year ago when I first saw it. I want my thoughts in this moment in relation to my work-in-progress.

    (disclosure: I recently is a recent shifted to the later after a few conversations with writer & seeing David use search function in evernote.)

  • ^ both of these methods are writer based note-taking methods. project based would focus more on creating reference sheets

@March 25, 2022 4:58 PM (CDT)

  • Formatting Idea

@March 25, 2022 4:11 PM (CDT)

  • I read Brain’s essay. It is my favorite essay, for the poetic flow. I understand it but not quite. Here’s a fun paragraph to read:
  • It’s warmth, distant but glowing. With every breath it builds, igniting the primal sense of optimism and illuminating the body, a radiant beacon, first to oneself and then to the world. - Brian Robinson
  • Why did this style speak to me?

@March 25, 2022 3:59 PM (CDT)

  • concert of narratives
  • childlike in its innocence, primal in its power.
  • #PhrasesToPlayWith

@March 25, 2022 10:03 AM (CDT)

  • Writing Prompt: choose person or place, narrow in on the upper-left brick.
  • If you go halfway, you double your chances of getting a toehold on an idea. Remember this when you’re struggling for a big idea. You’re much better off scratching for a small one. In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig describes an experience he had teaching rhetoric to college students in Bozeman, Montana. One girl, a serious and disciplined student often described by her teachers as lacking creativity, wanted to write a five-hundred-word essay about the United States. Pirsig opined that this was rather broad, and suggested that she narrow it to the town of Bozeman. When the paper came due, she arrived empty-handed and very upset, explaining that she’d tried but that she couldn’t think of anything to say. Pirsig next advised that she narrow it further to the main street of Bozeman. Again, she came in without an essay and in obvious distress. This time, he told her angrily, “Narrow it down to the front of one building on the main street of Bozeman. The Opera House. Start with the upper left-hand brick.” Her eyes, behind the thick-lensed glasses, opened wide. She came in the next class with a puzzled look and handed him a five-thousand-word essay on the front of the Opera House on the main street of Bozeman, Montana. “I sat in the hamburger stand across the street,” she said, “and started writing about the first brick, and the second brick, and then by the third brick it all started to come and I couldn’t stop.” (Location 1269) - The Creative Habit

@March 25, 2022 9:12 AM (CDT)

Yesterday in the feedback gym, I gave a student three options for edits: (1) add a single paragraph, (2) rewrite the same ideas through a different perspective, (3) rewrite playing with this most interesting quote

Reminds me of: “Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live”

– John Woods

@March 25, 2022 9:07 AM (CDT)

@March 24, 2022

Lunch w/ Will, Charlie, Chelsi — receiving an omelette with cheese and Chelsi telling them to bring a new one | Feedback Gym Admin: Compliments Attendees Writing (Matt’s with Term being playful. Wes’s fiction description vivid.)

@March 24, 2022 10:42 PM (CDT)

  • I’m learning to accept my own visceral opinions as being completely valid. I’m doing this through constant check ins: where am I curious? am I listening to be nice or do I actually care?

@March 24, 2022 10:35 PM (CDT)

  • George Saunders on giving feedback (and revising his own work): read a story, watch our reactions, and then, trusting them, learn to more precisely articulate them.
    • First Read with Meter in mind: Positive or Negative. Second Read with Analyze in mind: Why P or N
    • “And then I do that over and over, for months, sometimes years, until that needle stays up in the “P” zone for the whole length of the text.”

@March 24, 2022 10:22 PM (CDT)

  • magical realism to read: Haruki Murakami: Kafa on the Shore or Norwegian Wood

@March 24, 2022 9:18 PM (CDT) [[Imitate]]

  • Writers to
    • Kurt Vonnegut: dream-like
    • Gabriel García Márquez: magical-realism
    • Hemingway: conversational, simplicity
    • Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: in plain words has unique voice
      • At that moment I was very busy trying to unscrew a bolt that was jammed in my engine. I was quite worried, for my plane crash was beginning to seem extremely serious, and the lack of drinking water made me fear the worst.

@March 24, 2022 8:14 PM (CDT)

  • lowest-hanging fruit
  • #PhrasesToPlayWith

@March 24, 2022 7:00 PM (CDT)

  • Bathroom short stall, what do I know that no one else knows? Why do I choose that stall?

@March 24, 2022 6:26 PM (CDT)

  • Potential curation: JBP, how he introduced the bible to me. Opening perspective: good Minnesota boy, “we don’t talk religion nor politics.”

@March 24, 2022 4:08 PM (CDT)

  • Prompt: what’s here now? I am. I am here. Simone’s cat too. I hate house cats. They don’t deserve to be a felines. Felines are stealthily and fierce and I wouldn’t trust my baby around them (if I had one). House cats are none of those. My mom has five house cats. Two of them don’t leave the den because they’re too fat. I don’t ever leave it either because I never enter it. On the floor in the den, there are five entree sized paper plates with blue flowery trim. They are filled with piles of slop called cat food. The den smells and will cause you to vomit on the spot. But don’t worry. The five house cats will bombard your insides to lick it up before anyone knows. Embarrassment saved.

@March 24, 2022 2:55 PM (CDT)

  • note to the world: if I respond interesting and I dryly nod my head, I’m being Minnesota nice and I really wish I did something else but I’m stuck in this pattern. Sorry.

@March 24, 2022 8:49 AM (CDT)

  • tiny guilt, after you listen to someone a little too long

@March 23, 2022

Met Michael for heros - my hero didn’t disappoint | Met WOP team at night. | Charlie drove from Houston day of because of my hail mary. | Feedback Gym Admin: the joys of sharing little wins with each other. Ep-Pa
Crowd Work

@March 23, 2022 4:54 PM (CDT)

  • I’m trained at feigning curiosity, my equipment vacant questions, my brain pumped with liquid willpower, the syringe labeled listening serum.

@March 23, 2022 2:31 PM (CDT)

  • “I don’t have all the answers. I do, however, have some.” - the writer I want to read #tweet

@March 23, 2022 1:34 PM (CDT)

  • “Machine Slaves” - coined in 1940s | “Digital Slaves” - coined 2022 by Mike Woitach

@March 23, 2022 12:20 PM (CDT)

  • voice is found in images. but also an ‘I don’t give a fuck attitude’, one which is present with, this is what I have to say and offer you. I won’t overextend myself to please. Rather I’ll follow my curiosity and emotions. That’s never worrying about grammar.

@March 23, 2022 11:36 AM (CDT)

  • a strong voice comes from unrushed writing. Below, rushed writing I would’ve wrote, Today I met the DEAN. This diary isn’t for “note-capture”, it’s a space to play and create. A place where it’s a sin to rush.
  • Don’t rush. Wait with a single word, verbs especially evocative, until an image arrives. Look at a verb like a Victorian looks at a naked table leg. ‘Met’, flesh on flesh, calloused palm to calloused palm, an impossible feat before this moment
  • Don’t rush. Ask what is the event like? A flat 2D form (the Dean on zoom) manifesting into Lazarus, my favorite coffeeshop. It’s like for a year I had a painting, a portiert of an artist on my wall who I admired, and today he clawed his way out of the picture. Today I could see he had a shadow.

@March 23, 2022 11:16 AM (CDT)

  • It would pump me up if you joined my group. Like an air mattress for a loved one. Not like steroids to feign strength.

@March 23, 2022 11:12 AM (CDT)

  • The DEAN and I pressed palms today. It’s surreal and reminds me of my poker days, meeting poker players from all over the world. But now instead of meeting famous degenerate gamblers who are gifted at taking money from people who couldn’t afford to lose it (like I did), I’m meeting writers. People I admire.

@March 22, 2022

@March 22, 2022 11:14 PM (CDT)

  • Jimmy wrote about Narcissus, the man who fell in love with himself (not realizing it was himself). It’s fun to imagine a modern day tale of Nihilisus, the man scrolling online, rejecting every idea he sees, until he lands on his own. And not even realizing it's something he wrote, he falls in love.

@March 22, 2022 7:21 PM (CDT)

Notes from JB Web3 Article, my first article on Web3

  • Discord chats are like the modern day version of hanging out in treehouses and building things.
  • A DAO is a liquidity pool governed by share holders.
  • Web3 is a profile, identified by a wallet address. Within that address, the creator mints his creations and accumulates them over time. Some become valuable and perhaps even will have a demand in Openseas or another NFT marketplace.
  • Surnames were developed as a way of taxing an individual. (Surnames didn't exist in ancient Greece, rather they had first names with place of origin -- Homer, Aristotle, Plato; obvious to me now, wasn't previously)

@March 22, 2022 2:46 PM (CDT)

  • In 15 minutes, I run the Feedback Gym, manage a space for discussion for 20 minutes of time. That frightens me because I have this horrible defense that flares, it’s hideous and leaves me feeling guilty. My defense, this awful thing, is I ask questions and listen. NOT out of curiosity. Out of a desire for someone to like me. I listen with an agenda.

@March 22, 2022 12:35 PM (CDT)

  • What energizes you mentally? Spiritually? What drains you emotionally? and so on... (from book: The Power of Full Engagement)
    • Physical energy is vital to daily functioning. Sleep, Diet, Exercise.
    • Emotional energy allows you to react to situations with a broad set of feelings and not just let the world push your buttons.
    • Mental energy fuels your attention span. Willpower.
    • Spiritual energy what motivates us to act — a set of values and a purpose beyond our self-interest.

@March 22, 2022 11:11 AM (CDT)

  • Margie Lawson has a color coding system for editing, called EDITS. The system focuses on types of language on the page, ie description, dialog, action, internalizations, and visceral responses (like irritation pinching all my insides or my hands start to sweat).
  • Margie always said be selective with "pink" (these visceral responses). Too many will, not only overwhelm the reader, but also will desensitize them to your truly emotional moments. She says, you may write 3-4 pages without a visceral response, then hit the reader with 3 or 4 of them in a row.

    Maybe that’s a good way to think about images too. Which ones do we want the reader to wallow in?

    What if your style infuses every sentence with an image, creating this psychedelic journey, but then at the most important moments, you slow down the ride so we can wallow in the most important image such as a newsletter being unpredictable. It’s like you’re Willy Wonka taking us through the anxiety-ridden ride (Tunnel of Terror?), followed by tranquility. (Also reminds me of the end of 2001, a space odyssey, with the colors of light followed by the white room and dying man.)

@March 21, 2022

I ran feedback gym (previously I’d lurk and hide, now facilitating)

@March 21, 2022 10:08 PM (CDT)

  • The more I write (especially log), I read phrases like, one question pierced my soul, and see animation. In this case it’s a question mark dagering into a ghostly figures heart.

@March 21, 2022 7:10 PM (CDT)

  • short metaphors
    • day 1
    • just do it
    • stop it
    • practice analytically, perform intuitively

@March 21, 2022 6:49 PM (CDT)

  • Salman, “I really love this book (Science of Storytelling). The first chapter is mind-blowing. It talks about how all of our perception is based on models, and we basically process everything to fit into them. So if you understand this as a writer, you can “package” your words to more easily fit into models.”

@March 21, 2022 1:39 PM (CDT)

  • carcasses
  • rotting mail
  • #vocabList

@March 21, 2022 11:00 AM (CDT)

  • Megan’s concept of blooper bingo: have a bingo card of vulnerable acts around publishing.
    • Publishing an opinion you regret.
    • Being hazed by a clear and blatant white dude.
    • Accidentally placing typos in sentences that completely reverse or scramble their meaning.
    • Losing a friend.
    • Alienating someone else.
  • A digital personal journal or diary is a great place to practice this. Write an entry that would cause you to lose a friend. Write something you've never told anyone. A journal is private enough that it's unlikely your friend will see it, but yet it's public and published

@March 20, 2022

@March 20, 2022 9:00 PM (CDT)

  • As for life path I’ve diverged from my high school friends. Although I love them and chat with them weekly and they still make me laugh and laugh and laugh, I at times feel distant from them. The group discusses sports, sports betting, and DOBIS, and I struggle to find my voice. So I remain quiet, retreat into my mind where I befriend the voices in my head. Soon the trip passes. I’m at the airport. I spam text each of them individually. “Great seeing you my friend.” “I love you brother.” “Let me know how the promotion goes.” And on and on, praying to god this feeling of guilt goes away. In the air, ten thousand feet above ground, I can see the entire city of San Diego, all of its one and a half million residents in a single view. The hum of the aircraft soothes me, to the point of me tucking my chin and sobbing. I wish I participated with my friends more.
    • Written @April 4, 2022 10:34 AM (CDT) about this weekend trip
  • Finding myself has been a lifelong journey. Around this group of guys, I used to wear spearys and polos like them, and play fantasy football also like them. That identity is no longer important to me. I reenter the group cynical and pushing against all of them, simply because I rather wear a baggy sweatshirt than a polo shirt. I question my own identity and I learn I hate who they are. I hate these friends I love dearly. It’s easier to hate them than to express myself from unfamiliar feelings and desires.
  • One guy in the group also didn’t wear spearys. He didn’t love sports nor sports gambling. He left a career as a lawyer behind to pursue a career as an actor living in LA. Yet his feelings towards his friends didn’t change. He still laughs with them. But rather his tone of laughter changed. [reminds me of Aaron Davis too]

@March 20, 2022 3:53 PM (CDT)

  • Stage in essay writing process: essay with many associated sections but the images are too big of leaps. Next Stage: take most visual image and let it infect all the other sections

@March 20, 2022

  • Sida, a doctor, telling the story of doing surgery on a Gorilla. I want a career that creates stories.

@March 19, 2022

Justin Bottle Service; we tear up together. “Empath”. | Shelby and I kiss to warm up

@March 18, 2022

Bars with Sida | Break off from group if you want to socialize with others

@March 18, 2022 1:00 PM (CDT)

@March 18, 2022 11:50 AM (PDT)

  • Playing Torrey Pines. Fight jets flying over, so cool. After three time, the noise becomes annoying. After fifty, it becomes part of the unique experience

@March 17, 2022

in San Diego, a woman rejects me and I run to the beach. When the critical thoughts ease I’m proud I introduced myself

@March 17, 2022 4:08 PM (PDT)

  • shiny dime is the one thing you coat in meaning and give back to the reader

@March 17, 2022 4:04 PM (PDT)

  • the highest form of intelligence, the most successful species, tells stories, gives meaning to the otherwise meaningless. What does that say about the universe

@March 17, 2022 10:37 AM (CDT)

  • Lists inspire what to write. (1) what do I already talk about and am fluent in (2) what am I interested in right now

@March 17, 2022 10:35 AM (CDT)

  • Next to my front door my suitcases are packed, zippers sealed. Yet apparently I’m not ready to leave. I stare at my phone, the Uber app asks me to Confirm My Ride. No turning back. I pace my apartment as if that’s going to cure my persistent apprehension. It doesn’t. It just makes me late for my flight.

@March 17, 2022 9:09 AM (CDT)

  • When editing, focus on a single sentence or paragraph and rewrite it many times. It would be a successful session if all you do is write a new, fun paragraph.

@March 17, 2022 9:03 AM (CDT) [[Stories Told]]

  • Poker Black Friday, waking up to 90% of my wealth frozen

@March 17, 2022 8:54 AM (CDT)


@March 17, 2022 8:26 AM (CDT)

  • In 2020 I boarded a plane and left Mexico. It was the hardest decision of my life. I returned home, moved in with my mother, where I didn’t have to think about anything besides that one single choice. Never “what’s for dinner” because I ate whatever my mom decided to cook. I wore the same sweats until the stench made the decision for me to change. The below freezing temperatures decided I’m not to go outside. All the was required of me of to sit with my decision to leave a woman I love.
  • #StoryTold

@March 16, 2022

Walk with Paul, I’m no longer an isolated writer nor a lurker, I’m in a pool of citizens of the internet

@March 16, 2022 11:16 PM (CDT)

  • Out of politeness I stay in a conversation and I didn’t want to be in. How can I never do that again? Game plan: “Ok, well… [interject] I’m gonna focus on my writing. [new action] It was nice talking with you. [compliment]”

@March 16, 2022 10:31 PM (CDT)

  • Giving Feedback: when low on time, focus on POP, CRIBS, Shiny Dime
  • @March 17, 2022 4:29 PM (CDT) [from Steward call]: gDoc comments quantity over quality. Circle quality over quantity.

@March 16, 2022 6:32 PM (CDT)

  • When you struggle to find the overarching story — tell a 2min minute version of it in otter, then distill that into one sentence. What words are cruical.
  • ^ in my uniqueP: ‘No one writes like you write”: ‘less filtered voice through daily doses of true expression’

@March 16, 2022 6:11 PM (CDT)

  • the travel experience to popular cities will only improve with time. to small cities, however, it’ll degrade with time

@March 16, 2022 5:44 PM (CDT)

  • non-transaction relationships

@March 16, 2022 5:23 PM (CDT)

  • my note taking system: a dump of ideas and writings that are searchable

@March 16, 2022 5:04 PM (CDT)

  • Writing isn’t to make money, it’s to make opportunities.
  • each year the pool of entrepreneurs increases. here, unlike in the business world, your career and education aren’t how you network. writing is.
  • what type of people to you want to attract from that pool?
  • ^ inspired from a walk with Paul

@March 16, 2022 2:30 PM (CDT)

  • Paul informs me that in my Punish-the-Pause essay, Xi is a last name. Who’s a naive American 🙋🏻‍♂️

@March 16, 2022 1:56 PM (CDT)

  • In the last week I read and gave feedback to 32 essays. Today I read my first that I had nothing to say. It had many problems — many of the transitions jarred me, almost every sentence could be shorten, and it didn’t teach me a damn thing. Yet it was perfectly stumblely and vulnerable and raw. Absolutely raw. Any change will do harm.

@March 16, 2022 11:29 AM (CDT)

  • I have an appointment at 1pm. The maid arrived now, is late. I’m afraid if I ask her how long she’ll take, I’ll cause a sense of urgency. I hold it in. I’m skilled at holding it in. I believe by bearing these thoughts, she’ll do a better job cleaning. I sacrifice my present moment for a future.

@March 16, 2022 10:44 AM (CDT)

  • the imagination is already on the page, unless you’re too busy to recognize it. the english language is RICH with the imagination because of the density of idioms and metaphors and even cliches. All of these are opportunities.
  • ^ One of my advantages as a writer is a lack of vocabulary. The only way for me to express certain thoughts are in idioms and metaphors and cliches — but I don’t stop there. I create the connect by playing with that.
  • Example, I wanted to describe: while writing suddenly I switched from editor mode to imagination mode. I pictured a light switch, and wrote, “I write a few more until within me a switch flicks.” There is a specific word for that event that I don’t know it. But now, I recognize this opportunity, when a switch flicks, electrical current streams. Easy, “I write a few more until within me a switch flicks as my mind streams current to my imagination.”
  • Although it isn’t a great sentence, it’s a good example.
  • Also I’m jealous of people with large vocabulary— you paint awe-inspiring landscapes and scenes. I have to imagine.
  • @March 16, 2022 12:54 PM (CDT) a student writes, “The breaking point came to-a-head” ... imagine the possibilities in there. A human body physically breaking, snapping in two, like a sheet of carbon-fiber being tested for tensile strength, for one. What can you do with to-a-head?

@March 16, 2022 10:40 AM (CDT)

  • Logical sentence: It’s a pleasing sentence. Emotional sentence: It pleases me. Depending on the emotional ebb-flow of the paragraph/essay, choose which fits. In this case, I just wrote my first sentence after struggling for 45 mins. It’s a relief and energizing. An emotional sentence is best.

@March 16, 2022 10:35 AM (CDT)

  • “I’m pleased.” ... when I say please, it’s a bid for the other to please me. What a pleasing connection.

@March 15, 2022

@March 15, 2022 8:55 PM (CDT)

  • at my desk I stand when diverging (like reading an essay). I sit when converging (like circle post).

@March 15, 2022 8:16 PM (CDT)

  • Spiky view: Something that does more harm in the world than fossils fuels is Social Media that displays “Online” status.

@March 15, 2022 7:25 PM (CDT)

  • When you capture a thought, what do you see that others don’t? #tweet
  • Like the protesters, I see the people with a motive, beyond a mask of “saviors of the world”. Others likely would see them and think go them. I see a missed opportunities to express One Love for all. ... In this example, my perspective is it’s not them (Russia) vs us (the rest of the world). It’s a message that we’re all in this together.

@March 15, 2022 7:11 PM (CDT)


The ending jump from dropping the axe to feeling a hand on your shoulder gave me chills.

@March 15, 2022 6:08 PM (CDT)

  • I brought my dog to doggy day care. The entire ride, I reached to the back seat and held his paw

@March 15, 2022 5:56 PM (CDT)

  • At the driveway to the Texas Capital protestors line up in baby blue and yellow. I’m at a red light. A sign reads Honk to Support Ukraine. I’m gonna honk, of course. The light changes green, and I get a gitty, about to join a cause with other people. When my hand touches the steering wheel, I hear, “Stop the genocide in Ukraine.” I pull my hand back. I love humans, but I hate political language more.
  • It is a genocide in Ukraine. Putin’s goal is to destroy Ukraine at all costs, as if it’s an ex-wife who remarried a football star. He’s scared of the idea of it. But why not chant, We love Ukrainians. Stop acting like the savior of the world.

@March 15, 2022 2:06 PM (CDT)

  • flow state is simply when you no longer have to make a decision
  • Hemingway used to stop a writing session mid sentence. There was no decision to be made, and his imagination reignited.
  • @March 15, 2022 9:36 PM (CDT) I’m making comments in on my essay before my final revision. I used to make comment like, “consider rewriting this”. But thinking about Hemingway, I see the importance of making the decision now. I comment, “try, rewrite this 10 times. is it better?” A tiny exercise, no decisions to be cooked. all the flow to be tasted.

@March 15, 2022 11:23 AM (CDT)

  • I read an essay on Occam’s razor. We have a basis towards complexity, the simple solution is too obvious [reminds me of Zodiac where the murderer is “too obvious”, convinced the director is trying to misled us]. The essayist gave a fun example of someone instead of buying liquid dish shop from the corner store, then are melting a bar of soap down. And as an engineer, he dissected four killer ways to avoid this kind of behavior and make the simplest decision, which were great and intellectually interesting and fun to think about. But us engineer fall victim to Occam’s razor often. The simplest way to make a decision is to ask a friend.

@March 15, 2022 10:32 AM (CDT)

  • The movie Don’t Look Up made an impression on me. How human damn tragic would it be if the earth around year 4,540,000,000 lost all life, all this beautiful life. Have you ever watched a goodledoodle play?
    End of the World

@March 15, 2022 9:59 AM (CDT)

  • On a daily basis, I talk with people who have a vision for the world, which is silly because I do not. I’m just here surviving. Again dishes are piled up in my sink. Black mold multiplies on my bathroom sink drain, reminding me it’s time to move to a new apartment. And I’ve thought about emailing my accountant every day for right days in a row. I got a streak going. The finish line is death. Before I cross that tape, I’ll have a vision. That’ll make surviving less lonely.
    Unique Perspective
    Bold Opinions

@March 14, 2022

Phil (internet friend) and Maranda surprising me at yoga, wow what a community is developing...

@March 14, 2022 8:26 PM (CDT)

  • When my dog pants, his tongue looks like a deflated whoopee cushion

@March 14, 2022 7:16 PM (CDT)

  • Divergence: what you don’t know. Convergence: what you do know.
  • Well, Joojo said it better: Catdog

@March 14, 2022 6:22 PM (CDT)

  • Whenever you leave an essay or draft, make all the decisions for the next stage, so you can enter flow. What exact sentence will you write into prose?

@March 14, 2022 11:04 AM (CDT)

  • It’s important to [[hold the reader’s hand]], I’ve heard that... well maybe I’ve only heard it once, but a voice in my head has said it hundred of times. What does it mean? In the physical, the transitions are clear. Our train cabin arrived to our destination, let’s step off to go to Grandpa’s house. In the mental, the story is clear. Grandpa is sick and only has 2 days to live. Also in the mental, the language is clear to the reader. If I call grandpa by his full name Richard Mark Ellory, the child wouldn’t understand. If that’s an artist choice, connect grandpa to that name. Also in the mental, the number of stories is limited. We step off the train car to see my dying grandpa and an asteroid falls and crashed into the earth wiping out the entire neighboring village. Okay, wtf. The best authors are takes the reader’s hand so that they don’t have to think. Soon you’re pulling them through your story world.

@March 13, 2022

I meet David at Chubs which semi-achieves a goal I set this year, “have coffee with David”

@March 13, 2022 10:48 PM (CDT)

  • Decisions don’t matter. Either we make the wrong decision and learn from it, winning in the long run, or we make the right decision, winning in the short term. The only wrong decision is indecision. Yet indecision feels safe. Let me hang back and think about it until I’ve mapped every scenario, then let me imagine myself trotting about in each of them when I circle back to the start. And I trot about some more. This is what hell is like to me. Reliving every moment of indecision that I’ve ever experience. Just as it was. Plus a few extra flames.
  • Delegate decisions And too help others with decisions.
  • #tweet

@March 13, 2022 10:48 PM (CDT)

  • “What does authenticity mean to a chameleon?” - Phil

@March 13, 2022 10:22 AM (CDT)

  • My second brain is too scattered. I have no one place to go to search. I must change this.

@March 13, 2022 9:04 AM (CDT)

  • Today I woke up 1 hour later than usual. I felt well rested, which is a nice silver lining to started the day late, until I realized it’s daylight saving time.

@March 12, 2022

@March 12, 2022 6:22 PM (CDT)

Live stream walking around SXSW

  • ear muffs are fem
  • Beautiful women says ohhh she’s adorable. I gush and before I have time to ask her a question I’m halfway down the street. What would happen after a question?
  • To attend tomorrow
    • Doodles
  • It’s lonely walking around big events without others.
  • Audrey and Leia say to check out the NFT exhibits on the other side of south Congress

@March 12, 2022 5:39 PM (CDT)

  • Although I'm still experimenting with my essay process, here's it today:
  • In the beginning I choose a topic or a story, and in digital chicken-scratch I dump relate ideas into the document. For a select few, I rewrite the chicken-scratch in prose, searching each idea individually for visual seeds. This creates 4-5 scenes or images. Then through editing, one of those images naturally infects all the others, and the essay develops a consistent narrative.

    Sometimes I'm unable to find that single infection, like the essay I just published; all the images are taxing to keep track of.

@March 12, 2022 4:30 PM (CDT)

  • the creative is a decisive decision maker.
  • after a decision, the mind silences and the imagination screams

@March 12, 2022 10:46 AM (CDT)

  • The West cares about decision-making. The East cares about awareness after the decision.
    East v West

@March 12, 2022 10:30 AM (CDT)

  • Today is crossfit for writing. I‘m not prepared digitally (I wanted to have a topic ready and a few notes), but I am mentally, beyond sipping my coffee. This morning I did DDP Yoga with a friend and worked through a lot of emotions.
  • Life has been tough lately. My friend passed. I didn’t attend his funeral. Russia invaded Ukraine. Taxes. Always fucking taxes. My finances would benefit from a reallocation. I’m still single and lonely. Each of these needs action and reflection. Yet instead, I write and read, to forget all that exists. Oh, and with all this in the background, writing is a chore and unenjoyable. It’s a ridiculous way of living, that we monkeys choose.

@March 11, 2022

@March 11, 2022 4:39 PM (CDT)

  • To change: first focus on the decision. once a committed decision, secondly focus on how that makes you feel, and whatever you do, no matter how painful the feelings, how matter how convincing the brain, do no not renege.

@March 11, 2022 1:00 PM (CDT)

  • the best part about indecision is you don’t feel a thing
  • @March 12, 2022 8:20 AM (CDT) Lisa, my story coach, repeatedly said, “we couldn’t make a decision without emotion.” I’m able to decide but then my lack of emotional awareness prevents me from committing to it. So rather, “We can’t stick to a decision without emotional awareness and acceptance.” The mind will run away, first from the emotion then from the decision.
  • From Story Genius by Lisa Cron

    Damasio frequently writes about a patient he had, a man by the name of Elliot. Elliot was a successful guy: he had a great job, a loving family, and he was a role model at work and at home. Unfortunately, Elliot also had a brain tumor. Tests revealed that, thankfully, it was benign, and a team of skilled surgeons were able to remove every smidge of it, but not before it had damaged some of his frontal lobe tissue, which was also removed. He recovered from the operation, and on the outside appeared to be hale and hearty. But on the inside, Elliot was no longer himself. His life began to fall apart. He lost his job and his family, he embarked on questionable endeavors that made no sense and ended disastrously, he lost what money he had to con men, and he was finally taken in by his parents. What happened? Was it a previously undetected failure of moral character? Was he just lazy? That’s what several professionals thought, and so his disability benefits were cut off. That’s when Damasio was brought in to answer the question: was Elliot’s behavior willful, or was it part of an underlying medical condition? Damasio ran a large battery of tests, and what he ultimately discovered was that Elliot had lost the ability to feel emotion. His “objective” knowledge, however, had not suffered at all. He still tested in the ninety-seventh percentile in intelligence. He could enumerate, in great detail, every possible solution to any problem you could pitch at him. He just couldn’t pick one. He’d go into his office and wonder, should I do that thing my boss really wants me to do, or should I reorganize my file folders again today? And if so, would it be better to use the blue pen or the black pen? At lunch he’d go from restaurant to restaurant looking at menus, but he never went in, because he didn’t know what he felt like eating. Turned out even his extreme analytical intelligence didn’t do him a bit of good when it came down to making the simplest—and most basic—decision: what to have for lunch. (Location 929)
  • character trait description: indecisive

@March 11, 2022 12:38 PM (CDT)

  • Unless your essay rides a narrative thread from start to finish, I will forget your message.
    Hold the reader’s hand

@March 11, 2022 11:51 AM (CDT)

  • Two types of declarations. (1) fact based opinion. Example: Chicken scratch is cancer of the imagination. (2) story based opinion. Your writing bores me if you're not using your imagination.
  • ^ in Logloglog, I want to practice story based opinions.
  • Logs are surface level until I write a story.

@March 10, 2022

@March 10, 2022 6:01 PM (CDT)

@March 10, 2022 6:00 PM (CDT)

  • Salman mention session, Nina Simone quote, “I hope to be so completely myself, that my audiences are confronted with what I am, inside and out. In this way, they have to see things about themselves.”
  • “all of me”, “true self”, “authentic self”, “completely myself”
  • What moment do you avoid because you’re scared who you’ll be? For me, I’m dog sitting for a friend. Doug is his name. When we go for walks, I see a group of neighbors playing with their dogs, and I know Doug would enjoy. Yet, I avoid the group. All of them know each other and have group dynamics. I rather be an outsider
  • #tweet

@March 10, 2022 10:51 AM (CDT)

  • A Story gives meaning to an otherwise meaningless thing.
  • The cat sat on the mat is not a story. The cat sat on the dog’s mat is. The cat’s action now has meaning.
  • The man walked his dog - not a story. The man walked his dog, the leash wrapped four times around his hand - a story.
  • This too works in phrases. I want to write how I’ve been quarantined for a long ass time. Option one: Quarantine day #196. Option two: Day #196 of Quarantine. Option two is superior since it first assigns Day 196 meaning and attributes that to Quarantining.
  • #tweet

@March 10, 2022 9:58 AM (CDT)

  • Today is Ben’s wake and I’m 1279 miles from his resting body. Today will be painful. I chose pain by staying in Texas. I really fucked this one up.

@March 10, 2022 9:19 AM (CDT)

  • Fourth Type of Writing: giving feedback

@March 9, 2022

@March 9, 2022 10:43 PM (CDT)

5 whys, why did I join WOP

  1. Why did I join WOP? Make MORE Friends - in the time between cohorts, I met Simone and Michael and Tommy and Michael and John and Catalina and Melissa and Anthony and Chris and many and many more. People to share writing with. I enjoy their writing, they enjoy mine.
  2. Why did I join to make more friends? I don’t have people in my life like the type who join WOP. The type who want to discuss ideas and the writing process.
  3. Why did I join to make friends who enjoy discussing ideas and the writing process? My friends back in Minnesota like sports and doing business (DOBIS) and the Bachelorette. I want different friends.
  4. Why did I join for different friends? I am a host of different personalities. One personality likes to hang and drink with my Minnesota friends. Another personality likes to write and discuss niche topics and ideas. Meeting different friend who also like discussing those topics will bring this personality — which I have been hiding from my Minnesota friends — out.
  5. Why did I join to bring this niche personality out? So next time I see my Minnesota friends, I don’t hide my writing interests. Because I’ve discussed it so much with other writers, I have awakened this personality and I can own that.
    Write of Passage

@March 9, 2022 10:32 PM (CDT)

  • Productive Writing is Writing in Prose
    • replying to feedback, making notes, trying to do it right there on the spot
    • messages, recyclable

@March 9, 2022 10:31 PM (CDT)

  • essay compliment. a man told me I had great posture. it wasn’t true... rant, bring the personality out. but I wanted it to be. rant my effort to have good posture. the best compliments are motivational

@March 9, 2022 5:46 PM (CDT)

  • My neighbor wrote a book, I’m loving the people I’m surrounded with - they inspire
  • image

@March 9, 2022 2:30 PM (CDT)

  • Good description for when I am in “telling” mode: “I felt like it was written with longer, run-on sentences, more emotional detachment.” I need to watch for this.

@March 9, 2022 11:37 AM (CDT)

  • Eastern Philosophy the only thing to change is where our focus and attention go. Western it’s our decisions

@March 9, 2022 11:23 AM (CDT)


[[Essay Formatting]]

@March 9, 2022 10:27 AM (CDT)

  • Feedback received: “had some trouble understanding what was factual and what was surreal”. What kind of reading experience does that create and is that the experience I want to offer?
    • Factual: concerned with what is actually the case rather than interpretations of or reactions to it.
    • Surreal: having the qualities of surrealism; bizarre.
    • Reading these definitions, it’s clear to me that I want to have clear lines. My goal is to share a personal story. I want the reader crawling into my skin as I’ve lived this experience. For that, they have to know what are the facts of my experience, and what are personified feelings.
    • The important objective facts are my decisions made. Those are based from my perceptions of reality which when emotions are involved are suboptimal. NEVER Actions. For example, in my WIP, I wrote I told my girlfriend monsters were outside. That’s not the truth but reader now wonders if it is.
      Magical Realism

@March 9, 2022 8:49 AM (CDT)

  • For giving feedback on circle, rather than "summarize your gDoc comments", it's better to narrow your comments down into a single piece of feedback. If you had to recommend a single thing for the writer to focus on, what would you recommend. ^ I've noticed my [[best circle comments focus on single most important change]] and give details around that. (Whereas gDoc comments tend to range from line-edits to CRIBS to structural notes)
  • Summarized Feedback (on circle) focuses on a single recommendation. What’s the one most important thing to recommend? [[Writing good circle Comments]]
    • Message that builds to the last line
    • Before and after perspective
    • POP, what is lacking
    • Restructure showing them headings
    • Points to double down.
    • Single favorite sentence
  • two types of reading a draft: technical approach, human experience approach - Michael Ashcroft

@March 8, 2022

@March 8, 2022 9:04 PM (CDT)

  • In current form, for me, the essay struggled to build towards a conclusion. The problem is you give the answer to the question up front before meaning has been given to those words. I think of the FAQ question as an open loop. While the question is on my mind, I'm unresolved, and I'm soaking up all the information, scavenging for the answer. Then in the conclusion, the writer closes that loop and gives me resolve by telling me the answer to the opening question. Everything I’m taught along the way, enriches and gives meaning to that answer. This is sort of like what David said in yesterday's lecture, "What Robert Caro does, he writes [the last sentence] of the entire book down, then the entire book is a march to that last sentence" What if you open the essay with this section, "How to Improve Journalism And What’s Missing" like Bagel the Younger commented. This opening sentence hooks me, "The news institution is in a greater state of crisis than ever before." I want to know more. Then reorder these interesting sections that you've already written, so that they build to towards your definitive answer. Somewhere near the end, you declare, "the guiding ethics for the industry I once deeply admired aren’t being pursued like they used to. And I left. The last thing I ever want is to be part of a propaganda machine when the reason I intended on being a journalist in the first place was to be fair to both sides of a story."
  • #tweetThread

@March 8, 2022 8:17 PM (CDT)

  • Feedback Question: what single sentence was your favorite? [[Asking for Feedback]]

@March 8, 2022 8:12 PM (CDT)


@March 8, 2022 6:36 PM (CDT)

  • This is a lovely anecdote to your writing journey. It read like a stoic wrote it. These are the facts of my situation. I accept them. And yet I'm pursing this journey to change those facts. Could you double down on that?

@March 8, 2022 3:55 PM (CDT)

@March 8, 2022 2:35 PM (CDT)

Therapy Session

  • Ruminating v Thinking: Ruminating disconnects from your partner. Thinking stays engaged.
  • A mind that ruminates is searching for answers to make feelings easier.
  • Make a decision and instead of questioning it, feel the feelings that come along with that decision. Accept them. (Ruminating attempts to escape those)

@March 8, 2022 1:01 PM (CDT)

  • As for playful, it's difficult to give suggestions on an outline. On a first draft, however, I could look for how you naturally are playful and simply point that out. Here's generic advice, I saw this from a past student on circle, perhaps these prompts will help. [[POP]]

@March 8, 2022 11:49 AM (CDT)

  • Stories give meaning to otherwise meaningless objects and behaviors
  • Stories give meaning to an otherwise meaningless life — be careful what story you tell yourself!
  • An essay gives meaning to an otherwise meaningless last sentence.
  • A story I tell myself: Tommy asked me, “Do you have interest in doing a guest feature on your Ready Made Phrases concept?” I saw myself presenting to students, and the meaning I gave to the otherwise meaningful image was “I don’t do that.” That’s the meaning I assigned to me presenting.
    The Last Sentence

@March 8, 2022 10:30 AM (CDT)

  • Slight change in words makes all the difference: community is not safe Versus monster’s are outside. Which is more relatable. Which do we innately understand?

@March 8, 2022 8:52 AM (CDT)

  • Trapped Emotions, this term is hard to hardest. For me, what’s more clear trapped personalities. Example, you’re in yoga and asked to do “happy baby”, an vulnerable pose for those of us who haven’t been abused. If you have, it’s a nightmare as you’re on your back, legs spread way, sensual parts freely exposed. When you’re in that pose, fearful personalities arise, and before they are experienced, we release the pose and trap them inside.
  • Personalities, rather than emotions. This might be a thing. It’s a thing for the more cerebral of us.

@March 7, 2022

BBBS acceptance email

@March 7, 2022 10:40 PM (CDT)

  • nice compliment: The Eratostenes section was so strong and is the message of your essay. It's well written, it's an interesting obersvation, and it's a reminder I so desperately need in my life.
  • The problem I had was, the title made me believe this would be an argument against minimalism. But you make two or three points in favor of minimalism and only one, albiet a strong one, against. I think this is find IF the order changes of your points. How is this? You open the essay RAVING about minimalism -- how common it's becoming, all benefits in this information obese society, and even the rise of Minimalism3.0. But then, that's all great, but check out this Eratostenes guy. You tell us his story, the most interesting part of the essay. And by the end, I'm convinced, I'm going to the soccer game.

@March 7, 2022 10:17 PM (CDT)

  • essay problem: no conviction in what they’re saying

@March 7, 2022 7:16 PM (CDT)

  • That was a lot of feedback. Very overwhelming and I’m quite warm right now”

@March 7, 2022 7:15 PM (CDT)

  • Personal: what can only you write about
  • Observational: double down on the most interesting one
  • Playful: fun language

@March 7, 2022 7:10 PM (CDT)


@March 7, 2022 6:29 PM (CDT)

  • My Writing System
    • What’s most on my mind?
    • Write in digital chicken scratch stories and ideas
    • Order the ideas into an outline
    • Write each idea out into prose, have fun and play with it.
    • Write a first draft
    • Edit
    • Edit
    • Edit

@March 7, 2022 6:13 PM (CDT)

  • It’s 6pm and I have a shit ton of energy. It’s all from giving feedback, DMing people, and meeting on zoom

@March 7, 2022 5:36 PM (CDT)

  • Personal: what stories come to mind? what realizations? where were you when you first learned about this idea?
  • Playful: target words like Tastemaker or Prolific Breadcrumb. Images are strong with these

@March 7, 2022 4:11 PM (CDT)

  • I’m unsure my thoughts on this style — but it’s unique formatting

@March 7, 2022 4:00 PM (CDT)

  • No matter who is eating nachos, we all have particulars -- relatable particulars  -- that could be called out and joked about.

@March 7, 2022 3:00 PM (CDT)

  • Approved BBBS! After 2 interviews, 3 forms with my SSN, 10 finger prints documented, and 3 months since my initial inquiry — I’m officially a “Big”. Now the pairing process. My excitement of this email instantly was deflated when I read “If a FEW months have passed and you have not heard from us, feel free to reach out” A few months! Jesus guys.
  • image

@March 7, 2022 10:34 AM (CDT)

  • My practice throughout WOP8 cohort: every essay I give feedback, leave with one declared writing opinion. 🙋‍♂️
  • @April 25, 2022 9:58 PM (CDT) Tommy Feedback method: identify a pattern for the student to learn from

@March 7, 2022 10:22 AM (CDT)

  • A well written essay softens a person so that in the final sentence, they hear your message. What a fucking magic trick.
    The Message
    The Last Sentence

@March 6, 2022

@March 6, 2022 9:56 PM (CDT)

  • A friend unexpectedly passed away. Bien Sieg. He was younger than me. I’m sad and confused.
  • I need to find a wife now. Like right now, like I need to walk outside and find a woman in the street and make her my wife. Enough pussy footing.

@March 6, 2022 5:50 PM (CDT)

  • we tend to weaken our points by feeling the need to say more words when silence is the real statement: Example, in writing: This puts me in the top 1% of the population in terms of financial education. If not higher.
    Bold Opinions

@March 6, 2022 4:19 PM (CDT)

  • It’s interesting to see the different mentor styles
    • Presentation, here’s what I’ve learned, Style
    • Presentation, let’s all relax together and rethink writing, Style
    • Let’s have fun, do drawing exercises

@March 6, 2022 3:24 PM (CDT)

  • I enjoy this game Doug and I play. I crawl under the bed and he dives his fluffy head under the headboard and tries to “chomp” my hand. It’s like a cute furry jaws shark trying to bite me. I also get to effortlessly lay there. #tweet

@March 5, 2022

WOP Steward is frickin awesome

@March 5, 2022 7:36 PM (CDT)

  • Not Show v Tell. Logic v Emotional. “Followed by a maniacal laugh,” is a telling statement. He laughed, manically, raising the temperature of my skin. This distinction helps for understanding when to tell, when to show. Meaningful moment contain more emotion, so too the writing.

@March 5, 2022 4:06 PM (CDT)

Log Thread of Giving Feedback, me learning to give good feedback

  • @March 5, 2022 4:06 PM (CDT) Feedback for Rik, “What is coaching” essay. [8/10 feedback] When you identify the core message (or in the case of FAQ assignment, the core answer to the question), it zooms out and focused on the overall structure of the essay. What is distracting from that message? What enhances it? When was it most clear? Those are the crucial point of feedback to offer. What I said to Rik: But the last section, "Types of coaching", distracts from that nice message. Remove that section and conclude the essay sharing how you do it as a life coach, is my advice. Give us a personal example of you helping a client "sift through their files which represent their memories, stories, etc." This would drive your message home and make us want to “experience” that with you.
  • gDoc in Toggle

    You had some nice playful moments with deprecating humor.

    The best moment for me was when you described the coach and the student around a table. That's when your answer to the question was most clear.

    But the last section, "Types of coaching", distracts from that nice message. Remove that section and conclude the essay sharing how you do it as a life coach, is my advice. Give us a personal example of you helping a client "sift through their files which represent their memories, stories, etc." This would drive your message home and make us want to “experience” that with you.

    It's clearer to me what a life coach is, thanks to you.

  • @March 5, 2022 4:16 PM (CDT) good feedback is declarative statements, not commands. Not: Give us a personal example. Instead, a statement: a personal example would drive your message home. @April 25, 2022 9:25 PM (CDT) And even better, a subjective statement: I recommend to add a personal example to drive your message home.
  • @March 5, 2022 5:24 PM (CDT) Feedback for Vangelis, Great feedback is letting the author know something unique that’s in their writing. “Vangelis, you write like a greek philosopher without preaching and while maintaining a modern day conversational voice. It's unique.” [[Giving Feedback]] The way Vangelis made a point was interesting as well. Opening Prespective: when someone asks me how I’m doing, I tell them I’m fine, but in reality it’s so much more complex. Vangelis showed us that complexity through him philophying about that question, then he circled back to the same answer to the question. But now the answer has a deeper meaning.
  • gDoc in Toggle

    Vangelis, you write like a greek philosopher without preaching and while maintaining a modern day conversational voice. It's unique.

    Your essay is literally about the assignment question, which I'm unsure if that was intentional but was delightful. You go into great detail with curious exploration about this question (What is the definitive answer to the question that people ask you most often?) -- like philosopher exploring it from every angle.

    I struggled at first because I didn't expect someone to write an essay about the assignment question. It's very meta, which is great, if that's clear in the beginning. (Maybe this is the cause of your stated fear, "it's too literal".)

    You make a strong point in the beginning about definitive answers are one-dimensional. Then the middle is you, in a one-dimensional way putting on your philosopher hat, and exploring the question. Then in the end, you circle back and answer the question like a human, "I'm fine". But now we the reader know all the complexities underneath that surface level answer. That's cool!!!!

    Could this message be more clear?

  • @March 5, 2022 7:36 PM (CDT) good feedback goes beyond sharing your understanding of what the essay is about. what’s your opinion on how they executed it? Can you name something specific about their message that didn’t work for you?
  • @March 6, 2022 6:16 PM (CDT) But my struggle, Nick, was the context at the start of the essay. As I read I expected an essay about about the stock market being crazy like the title and your opening questions. What if you changed the title to something like, "How did I go from financially illiterate to launching my own personal finance business?" Then open with "I worked in sports..." Focus the essay on your personal story.
    Premise of a joke
  • @March 6, 2022 7:22 PM (CDT) An introduction would help me. An introduction provides context for the entirety of the essay. It's like an entry ticket into your essay's arena that sets expectations for the night. With a good introduction, transitions from sections -- like an outdoors person in tech to a woman in tech -- the reader won't even notice. Our entry ticket already told us what to expect.
    Premise of a joke

@March 5, 2022 10:59 AM (CDT)

  • I like artists who live until an old age #tweet

@March 5, 2022 10:04 AM (CDT)

  • Voice
    is personalities exaggerated — thoughts, judgements, annoyances, feelings — exaggerated without using cliches

@March 5, 2022 9:10 AM (CDT)

  • listen for the other’s perspective and ask questions that help empathize with that worldview

@March 5, 2022 8:32 AM (CDT)

  • When I was in my twenties, people who married in their twenties were misguided, I had thought. Now I appreciate this quality in my friends, like Tobi. One of @visakanv's rules for life is "get married young", life is easier with a teammate. The grass is always greener on the other side... like in Scotland where Tobi lives.

@March 5, 2022 7:40 AM (CDT)

  • Quality of grass for dogs is like toilet seats for humans from heated seats to porta potties that you have to squat over or else contract a virus that’s mutated while sun has steamed the container up.
    Life Capture

@March 4, 2022

San4, a friend living in Russia reads my text to his wife “it means a lot”... scary to hear him struggling and stuck

@March 4, 2022 12:02 PM (CDT)

  • what things do you describe? Go to Amazon to inspire observational writing, find technical and niche language that’s only used in that industry. Example, “Table” sort high price and see this, “Designed to ornament a part of a room”, “George I Style mahogany, golden Madrone burl veneered and brass line inlaid bureau bookcase,” #DavidFosterWallace

@March 4, 2022 11:36 AM (CDT)

  • Personal: noticing things in yourself. Observation: noticing things in the world.

@March 4, 2022 10:49 AM (CDT)

  • What are you asking the reader to do with the words you write?
  • Imagine their perspective sitting at a computer, reading your essay. Line by line, you make a request for their attention to be directed somewhere. How big of the ask is it?

@March 4, 2022 10:14 AM (CDT)

  • Offering help is easy. Asking for help isn’t.

@March 4, 2022 9:51 AM (CDT)

  • when a fingernail is bothering you and you want to bite it off but you see dirt underneath and you’re too lazy to stand and clip it off so instead you try and write while checking it ever few seconds so you log about it and by logging about it you see how you’re a mental patient and you stand up to clip it but can’t find the clippers so you say fuck it and bite it off and rinse the dirt from your teeth with mouth wash
    Life Capture

@March 3, 2022

My calendar slotted with Full Day of WOP

@March 3, 2022 7:16 PM (CDT)

  • Tonight’s movie: Don’t look up.
  • Jonah Hill’s character is great
    • “Chief of Staff boy with the dragon tattoo.”
    • Nukes strapped to drones. “Nice”
    • “Smoke show smoking. I can’t think of another president I want in playboy.”
  • @March 3, 2022 10:06 PM (CDT) ugh, quite the surreal ending - quite relevant to the times. “We really did have everything, didn’t we.” as a comet destroys the earth. Fucking sad and scary and fucking Putin needs to wake up and see the beauty in front of him before of us humans makes a mistake because we will. The mistakes aren’t the problem. The problem is how we forgot how good we got it here. We really do. And every single fucking species depends on us.

@March 3, 2022 6:55 PM (CDT)

  • Before WOP, Aug 2021, writing was exorcism. I wrote novels, alone, uttering gutteral sounds, ahg, ugh,, kaaa. NO ONE read my stories, I had nothing to share. I spent my days ideating and thinking of new scenes for my novel. #tweet
  • After WOP, I write from my life, my everyday experiences. I take them and write stories out of them. And I share these with friends and family.

    That decision, what a brave soul I was, to concede 3 years of trying to write novels, a speculator failure. And now writing isn’t exorcism, it’s only painful.

@March 3, 2022 3:24 PM (CDT)

Feedback Gym w/ Jimmy

  • Two Types of Arcs: didactic/logical arc and story/emotional arc. A logical arc resolves a question. An emotional arc resolves a feeling. #tweet
  • I tend to dump many fragmented emotions onto the page. I jump from image to image. My editing process shapes those into an arc, I start off with anger and I end having resolved that emotion.
  • Example of emotional arc gone wrong: I open an essay ranting about Putin, expressing my anger at him. Then I jump into a story about distrust and how I resolved that feeling of distrust. My anger was opened without closure.
  • Hold the reader’s hand on the emotional journey. Where are they, what are they feeling? How you resolved that emotion?
  • Why does the reader choose to make a jump with you? Give them reason.

@March 3, 2022 1:52 PM (CDT)

  • This is my first day with a full schedule since university 9 years ago. I need more of this. In the time between meetings I have urgency to write and work unlike I’ve ever experienced before.
  • It’s a feedback loop. Meetings with others, provide energy to hustle on your own before meeting with others again.

@March 3, 2022 10:45 AM (CDT)

  • Magical Realism
    is a journey, not between reality and fantasy but in the space between them. Magical realism isn’t transitions and doorways back and forth between reality and fantasy, but rather a single doorway into the space between reality and fantasy. That doorway, ideally in the first paragraph of the essay, we escort the reader from a personal story into a magical one. Once they’ve walked through, they float through our words.
  • At the door, the reader has a choice to walk through or not. The writer decorates the door with a floor mat of the solar system, a snake plant, some incest, and playing behind the door is the song of The Muses of Mount Parnassus, so that he has no choice but to make the leap and read on.
  • A bland door, one without even a floor mat from amazon, gives the reader no reason to enter (our world). Here’s a bland door: I’m watching TV. Putin walks off camera, past his government officials. One of the officials looks familiar. His face colors white and his hair green and lip stick curls up his cheeks. Is that the joker? It is! I’m asking the reader to jump from watching Putin to Putin having the joker as a bodyguard. I gave him no reason to make that leap. Let me decorate the door: As Vlad walked out the office, one of his officials convulsed like he was having a seizure. In his shaking, his face turned white. His hair turned green! When he stilled, he stared directly into me. I panicked. It was the joker. Red lipstick smeared around his lips, up his cheeks. Now I decorated the door with details they recognize (someone shaking and their face turning white, I picture Agent Smith from the Matrix transfiguring to embody someone else.), like bread crumbs to entice them through the door.
  • Once they are through the door (rabbit hole), get wild, like Alice in wonderland.
  • Every transition needs a decorated door [or I like rabbit holes even more, become once you’re down the hole, you stay down]. Why does the reader want to spend his precious energy to mentally jump through your door? Ask that every single transition. Or, What am I asking the reader to do? How much bandwidth does that cost them?
    • Another example of a transition: “I panicked. It was the joker. Red lipstick smeared around his lips, up his cheeks. I hadn’t felt like this since Mexico. ____” Now I talk about my past in Mexico. I’m asking the reader to transition from the joker to this experience in Mexico, but I didn’t give them a good enough reason to do that. Let’s decorate the door: “I panicked. It was the joker. Red lipstick smeared around his lips, up his cheeks. He looked at me and whispered into the camera, “I’m coming for you Arthur. I haven’t heard that since Mexico.” Now it’s more concrete, we want to know more about that sentence rather than some ethereal emotion.

@March 3, 2022 10:45 AM (CDT)

  • First Writing Gym WOP8 crew

@March 3, 2022 10:06 AM (CDT)

Theme in WOP day 2 was

  • “You are alive in inverse proportion to the density of cliches in your writing.” - NNT
  • @March 3, 2022 7:00 PM (CDT) Salman and Will talking Self-Reliance, a fitting book for WOP and finding voice
  • One of my 12 questions: how to exterminate cliches from your writing, and overtime thoughts and speak?
  • @March 4, 2022 10:00 AM (CDT) Will Quote #2 (Theme in quotes around finding your voice) | "If you are writing without zest, without gusto, without love, without fun, you are only half a writer. You are not being yourself. You don't even know yourself.” - Ray Bradbury

@March 2, 2022

@March 2, 2022 6:11 PM (CDT)


@March 2, 2022 1:19 PM (CDT)

  • All art recycles the same messages and we never bore of those messages.

@March 2, 2022 11:24 AM (CDT)

  • Essay Arcs: the editing processing is refinement of an essay arc — weaving in the arc of a feeling such as distrusting to trusting and the arc of a behavior such as avoiding strangers to approaching strangers. The third arc, which I’m speculating exists, is one of perception shown through imagery such as: cold descriptions == distrusting/avoiding while warm descriptions == trusting/approaching. All of these serve a transformation in a belief such as humanity is evil to a belief of individual humans, up close and personal, are good.
  • Beliefs inform perceptions which inform feelings which inform behaviors, which means the editing process unites these, which means I have a lot of work to do. #tweet

@March 2, 2022 10:24 AM (CDT)

  • Copied from Michael Log, I vibe with this idea and how it’s presented
  • Sasha Chapin on writing voice & vulnerability:

    All the writing advice you usually hear is deletion-focused. Like, omit unnecessary words, be concise, don’t use adverbs, stuff like that. This is absolute nonsense, issued by gimlet-eyed vampires who want to sound authoritative at the cost of instructing you to strip all joy and character from your work. Sure, it sounds good: just pare stuff away and that’s how it’s done. There’s a clean simplicity to that. But taking concision as the absolute value results in blandness, or weird stilted put-on sobriety, like you’re trying to talk like a Mamet character who did a bunch of un-fun cocaine. That is the writing beloved by the algorithm and nobody else, the kind of shit that unfortunate souls have to churn out for affiliate marketing blogs. And this advice is suspiciously flattering to the tragic anxiety around exposure that we all bring to writing. What we don’t want to do, what we want to avoid at all costs, is expose ourselves, sound chaotic, be vulnerable, risk being misinterpreted, sound like we’re frothing at the mouth. If concision is the goal, how convenient is that! We’ve been instructed to avoid the very thing we’re generally most afraid of. But we should go in the opposite direction. Because the only single fucking thing I can think of that consistently makes writing memorable is human presence. The sense that we are encountering emissions from a real quivering consciousness somewhere out there. The way that a taste of someone’s genuine voice gives us a sense of their whole phenomenology, their condition, the temperature in their head and heart and flanks. If you need a star to steer by, that’s the one. People are starved for actual human presence. It is always in short supply.

@March 1, 2022

@March 1, 2022 10:17 PM (CDT)

  • The wisdom of a pimp, “But if she [his daughter] goes and that’s what she does [prostitute], man she grown, what can I say, what can I do? This is life we live in, man. I can’t control it, you can’t control it. Can you control life and what’s happening outside this door right now [on skid row]? Cause I know I damn sure can’t. This shit’s rough. Let’s take your camera out there and tell them, ‘hey I’m running this, listen’ No. Everyone gots their own lives, own paths. I can’t stop that, my daughter being a prostitute.”
  • #StoriesTold

@March 1, 2022 6:06 PM (CDT)

  • Porn is a destructive habit because instead of using that energy to construct relationships, you expel it yourself.