On Writing Daily

In September, 2019 I began writing a novel. One thousand words per day, six days per week. By Thanksgiving the manuscript was complete. The next day I started a second novel, and completed the manuscript this week.

I stuck to a plan suggested by Stephen King in On Writing, and have found it works well for me.

The process has been a joy for the past six months. No matter what’s going on in my life I know I’ll sit down by the end of the day and write a thousand words. Most days this takes me about twenty minutes.

Yesterday I picked up the first novel and started editing it. This was the first time I’d read it since November. For the editing process I exported from Ulysses > PDF > Apple Books, and began reading on my iPad Mini. Using a stylus I was able to cut out paragraphs, add a few notes here and there, and start reading. It was a lot of fun! Most of what I wrote needs to be removed or changed entirely, but there’s a nugget of a story that I’m coming to love.

To keep up with the original plan I also started writing a third book that I’ve been thinking about for a few months.

This is partially why I’ve been so silent here for the past few months, I’ve been investing a little time each day into larger projects, all of which I hope to share some day.

Default third-party apps for iOS

Bloomberg today shared a report that Apple may be considering opening up third party apps as the default options on the iPhone.

This would be a welcome change. There are a number of instances where I switch between the default Apple app and a competitor:

  • Pandora vs Apple Music vs Shopify
  • Google Maps vs Apple Maps
  • Gmail vs Apple Mail
  • Chrome (even though it has Safari rendering engine) vs Safari

Being able to set these as defaults connected to Siri, would be amazing. One simple example is pulling up an address and having it default to Google Maps.

This is of course all hearsay until Apple announces it, but I would welcome the change.

On Writing

Writing for me has become a creative outflow to process my thoughts. Sometimes it means taking the time to write something out in order to better understand a thing and process it. At other times it means spending that time to write out the thing I wish I could read, that I wish someone else had written. Or, it means writing the thing I hope someone else hasn’t thought to read yet.

In the last few months I’ve picked up writing with a new interest. This has been writing of a more personal nature, which has been the reason for less writing here.

Writing has also become far more interesting when I have something I really want to share!

When it makes sense I’ll likely share more details.

I’ve found that looking forward to writing each day brings a sense of interest and fulfillment on a personal level, it’s a way for my brain to process and push out some of the thoughts that may hover around throughout the day.

A new office chair that makes me sit correctly

My process for buying a new product is, from an outsider’s perspective, rather slow and uncertain. I often spend months thinking about a product and trying to figure out the best way to incorporate it into my personal or work life. My new office chair was no exception.

For six months I researched chair options, read reviews, watched videos, and scoured sites where various office chairs were highlighted.

Long story short, I landed on the Capisco Chair by HÅG. I may write about it more later, but I wanted to give a quick review of my experience one week in.

The first full day in the chair was a bit challenging. My legs and butt had to adjust to seeing in a chair in a more active upright position. Normally I slouch, or pull a foot up to sit under, and switch between a bunch of non conventional seating options. By the end of the first and second day I was sore and tired of sitting.

However, as the week progressed I found it got a bit easier to sit.

This chair forces you to sit straight up, and also means you’re sitting more directly on your butt. I basically can’t slouch anymore.

This is probably the first time in the three years of working from home that I’ve actually spent a week sitting with a decent ergonomic posture. For me that’s a good thing.

I’m hoping to write more about this as time progresses, especially since I found few detailed reviews on this chair during my own research.

Sharing your story

I had a lovely chat today with Brian from WPSessions.com. While chatting we got on the topic of knowledge sharing, as that’s a large part of what he does each day.

One thing that strikes me, time and again, is how much insight each of us have on specific areas of interest. Over a lifetime we’ve learned things that have proven valuable in both our personal and professional lives. Those things eventually become so ingrained that they feel completely natural, and obvious.

However, for those who are starting out their journeys, these things are not obvious at all. I’ll use an example I’m more familiar with. Over the last decade I’ve spent a lot of time doing design of one type or another. As a part of that I’ve developed a number of frameworks or processes for how I get stuff done. That’s become second nature to me, as a result of learned habits, tons of reading, and watching how others do things.

When I try to break that down to share with someone else, it’s tempting to skip too many steps, and not actually be helpful.

What is often more helpful (I believe this was something I picked up from the Calm book), is sharing insights from something you’ve recently learned, as opposed to something you’ve known and graduated from years ago.

For anyone interested I’ll be sharing some insights on the design process I follow for some of the work I’ve been doing on WooCommerce. You can watch the talk for free at WooSesh, or read a similar article I posted on the topic.