Writing and living

Since September 2019 I’ve been engaged in the process of daily writing. This writing has been for offline projects, which someday will see the light online. It’s been long enough, so this is an update on a few fronts.

Work – 2020 was a crazy year for many of us, and despite all the chaos around I was able to get work done with a number of amazing colleagues. I’ve been busy with projects at XWP. There’s a lot I could write about there, but at a high level I’m support on projects as a Senior Product Designer, as well as a Senior Product Owner. I’m loving it! Thankful each day for an opportunity to work with a great company.

Fiction – Each day, six days a week, I sit down to write fiction or edit my fiction. I’ve now written manuscripts for four novels, a half dozen short stories, and am partway into writing a fifth novel. All of this has been a length learning process, but one which I’ve enjoyed along the way. I’m now at the point where I need to take my learnings and ship something, and that’s my goal for Q1 of 2021, to publish my first novel. Here’s to hoping for a great update in the near future on that front.

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.