Segments to Projects

Day 274 Week 40 Q4  Saturday October 1, 2022

Howard

Creative Outliers tend to dabble. They are a curious bunch prone to exploring. Not all explorations yield paydirt. Explorations are like searching and then searching more and again, and hey, there is even a word for that Research.

In the process of exploring, many partial emanations may emerge. Partial results can be on the way to more complete results.  In fact, it is rare that there are ever complete results before there are first many partial results.  Scribbles become notes, and notes become drafts, and abstracts become papers, and of course, the same is true for far more than writing. Literally, all works begin as partial works. It is on the way.  So if it is so prevalent, what is there to talk about?

Well, there is the fact that the path from more partial to more complete is interesting in how this creative process differs from person to person, which is no surprise for creative outliers may even change inside of yourself and perhaps frequently. But there is at least one potential trap here. As a group, we are curious and, therefore, may have the tendency to try different approaches to problem-solving, and in fact, many even try so many different approaches that this becomes the dominant activity. 

In other words, we can be seduced by segment creators and never get the entire project done, as exemplified by these novels or pieces of music which have been being worked on for years and years when other ones take only months, but the segments may take only minutes and here is where the trap lies. We create a partial something relatively quickly and effortlessly some of the time, and the diminishing returns to complete the entire project do not produce the same adrenaline rush that the new learning curve does. 

Am I the only one here addicted to learning curves? They are a perfect foil for not making progress. There is always a new tool or technique that one needs to acquire or master just a little bit more. And in fact, you can spend your entire life doing this and even become a tool maker for whom the final project and result is the creation and perfecting of tools. Or you can be an editor and not a writer and an arranger and not a composer. And a coder creates apps for others to use, which is dangerous because then you can create your own world and go and live in it indefinitely. And hey, you could even get paid for it and this is fine, except you may not have set out to become a programmer, editor, arranger, copyist, publicist or even entrepreneur. You might have been trying to become an inventor or a novelist.

What does this have to do with the difference between segments and projects, after all, programs are projects, aren’t; they? Well, yes, they are, but what if instead of becoming a programmer instead you learn a little bit about ten different programming languages instead? It certainly seems like you are doing something, and perhaps you may be if you actually get around to using any of these languages to create a program.

I guess what I am saying this early Saturday morning, ostensibly a weekend day of rest, is getting really good at segments while definitely on the critical path toward completing projects is not the same thing, is it? And I guess it is time now, for me at least, to move from segments to projects and finally generate a cohesive body of work instead of an infinite number of segments. 

What’s that you say surely you have completed projects before? Well, certainly, I have earned living for decades doing so, but in both the technical and business realms, not the current realm, I am not breaking into like those others but sort of sliding into for what feels like years now.

It has finally become time to stop getting ready and get on with it. Yeah, I finally said it. Does this mean I am turning pro? Not exactly it means I am turning productive instead of only exploratory.

But I am sure none of you have this problem at all and are all excellent at having instant insight and then diligently working toward your clearly defined goal. Some days I feel that way, and other days, not so much.

Break Time is Over.