guilty of being ...

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Friday, March 31, 2006

"Hey, clearly failure doesn't deter me!"


While digging back through old posts I've stumbled across the above sentence twice, and both times it jumped out at me even though it was a throw away line buried deep in the entry. I think it sums me up pretty well. I'm rather proud of it, except for the "failure" part, which I guess is kind of a downer, that I keep butting my head against walls long after any normal person would have equated wall with pain and found a new path. I started to say it's a testimony to my passion and my drive, but well ... it's kind of a ... well, a testament to my pigheadedness, really.

Oh, but that wasn't what I was going to write about. I'm getting sidetracked.

I was -- am -- here to talk some more about analog stuff and moleskines and GTD stuff.

This entire thing confuses me, actually. I've had horrid handwriting all of my life. I hold the pen funny. Before I've written two paragraphs, my hand is cramping. My handwriting gets so bad that I literally can't decipher it myself when enough time has passed that I can no longer recall the context.

When writing checks I feel such a gut-gnawing need to Get The Damn Thing Written NOW that by the time I get to my signature, it's one of those squiggle lines like a celebrity would do. Would you believe I actually had a teenaged checker at the grocery store hand a check back to me and tell me to SIGN IT AGAIN? I mean, really, I was stunned. Who the heck did she think she was? (I signed it again.)

So why do I keep getting drawn back to writing by hand, on paper, with a pen?

I don't know. But I do.

It first started when I couldn't bring myself to buy an outlining program to help me keep track of plot points and things. I kept downloading trials and not really connecting with them, and finally I decided to try going back to index cards, and then I read Save the Cat and everything clicked. Index cards and a system that made sense to me -- that built on what I already know and do.

So I posted about it, and digger27 left a comment complimenting me on my analog approach, and I didn't know what he meant.

So here's the irony. I went to his blog ended up going to 43 Folders which took me to Getting Things Done . So his simple comment set me off on a renewed obsession with fountain pens, paper and all things analog ... and he only posted one more entry on his own blog before disappearing. (Digger, if you're still around, thanks a lot, guy! Sheesh!)

I think I'm sidetracked again.

Okay, so about the Moleskine. Diane isn't only the person who first introduced me to them (Thanks a lot, girl! Sheesh!) but she also pointed me to Fred, who devised a really cool system for using a Moleskine as an analog blog. It could easily be adapted to be a simple way of indexing anything you record in your Moleskine, not just blog-type items. (And yes, I know it doesn't look simple, but honestly, it is. It's just a blog on paper -- with contents, an index, etc. and with his system, it's even easy to cross-reference between subsequent Moleskines and other external references. Tres cool. (Oh yeah, Frédérick lives in that most romantic of North American cities, Quebec City, dreamy sigh.)

But even if you're not interested in using a Moleskine (yet, sucker), I think you may find his post of January 28, 2005 entertaining. He asked why people love their Moleskines, and the responses range from thoughtful to funny as hell. I admit a special fondness for the transcript of when Satan invented junior high school.

And yet another exploration of the allure of paper.

And then there's Gary Varner's Love is a Many Moleskine Thing. Holy cow, I knew something odd was going on when I started craving pens and journals (and I don't even keep a journal). Now I know the truth. Do you see how many freaking Moleskines he has going at any given time? This is worse than crack!

Speaking of which -- as if that's not enough -- it's just an entry level drug which leads us to the hard core, wallet-draining addiction to Levenger.

Oh, sure, I'd ordered from them before, but had always cast a perplexed eye at things like their 3x5 cards and accessories. Surely there weren't that many people who actually used them. I always assumed they were sucker-items, things that looked cool and enticed you to buy them, then look at them and say, "What the hell am I going to do with this stuff...?"

Meet the Hipster PDA.

Who needs expensive digital toys when you can do it all with index cards? No, wait -- I'm not kidding! Check it out! And there are pictures. Lots of pictures. (While you're at it, check out "gtd" on flickr, too.)

And if you don't want to keep your hPDA together with a clip, or any of the other clever (duct tape) (moleskine) hacks there, and if you don't want to get really crafty (a writer's hpda) and how did I miss (this?)--

Levenger to the rescue! As helpfully illustrated by rewl -- here and here.

(Did I mention that there is also a side-addiction to surfing the web looking for blog entries and photos about moleskines, hpdas, gtd? Sigh.)

So all of this is why I received yet another box from Levenger this morning. Why after deciding maybe my tickler file isn't quite working for me (as in, "out of sight, out of mind" -- I keep forgetting to look in the file drawer every morning), I'm recreating it as an index card file which will sit on my desk ....

Why I keep ordering fountain pens because I'm sure -- absolutely sure -- that the right pen (and color of ink -- I forgot to mention the ink addiction!) will entice me to remember to write everything down....

Why after forgetting to do weekly reviews for the past, um, several weeks, I'm going to switch to daily reviews (does that even make sense?)....

Why Sisyphus is my idol.

Because clearly failure doesn't deter me.

And my desk is still clean.

9 Comments:

At 2:09 PM, Blogger Candace said...

Oh great. Now I'm gonna have to spend the rest of Saturday clicking on all the links, and then on THEIR links, and god knows what-all I'll have buy NOW!
[Pooks is the one who got me started on Moleskines, GTD, story-boarding, STC, and probly a couple of other things I'll think of when I hit "Send" -- oh yeah, writing a mystery]

 
At 7:09 PM, Blogger pooks said...

Live to serve, m'dear. Live to serve!

 
At 9:02 PM, Anonymous alexandra said...

Pooks, I feel for you, I use to have several fountain pens, I only have three now and then, do I use them? Nope. ;-)

 
At 11:01 PM, Blogger Cynthia said...

"... cross-reference between subsequent Moleskines ..."

LOL Just when I thought I was edging toward obsession, I see I'm lagging behind.

Let's see, I've keeping --

1 to record the movies I've watched because I can't even remember what I had for dinner.

1 with all the logline rules and my logline attempts.

1 with the storyboard thingy which actually isn't working out for me but it's still neat.

1 to clutch to my heart while I traverse the county in case inspiration strikes me away from home

1 with neat art paper in case I'm suddenly blessed with the ability to draw.

I just bought one of those traveler cases from Ninth Wave which is neat but an ugly color and Earl, who has never commented on my notebook fetish before said, "what's that for again?"

 
At 1:34 PM, Blogger oneslackmartian said...

ohhh, i'm so with you, pooks. you've competely sold me on the moleskin idear that i have 2 coming to me and 2 to my spouse.

i'm also a Saving the Cat fan. i have my own board going right now.

good luck there, p.

 
At 6:22 PM, Blogger pooks said...

Okay, in reverse order -- martian, are you saying I'm now the evil pied piper luring others to their moleskine doom? (I can't be a pusher because I'm not getting a piece of the action, damn it.) Post a picture of your board!

Cyn, I agree about the traveling thing from Ninth Wave. Gads, what an ugly color. That's the only thing that has saved me from buying one. So far. And you raise a question which I may blog on -- watch for it.

Alexandra, I use mine -- love it, as a matter of fact. I bought a couple of others that cost more and I don't like them as much as the cheap one, so there ya go.

 
At 9:56 PM, Anonymous Sam said...

I had to stop reading half-way through because my head was spinning. Linear, sequential sequencing will do that to me.

 
At 10:18 AM, Anonymous joshd said...

I so completely empathize with you.

I mean, here: I've got two computers on a KVM, I type 100wpm, I've got a scanner and a good text editor... why the hell do I use paper so much? Well, obviously I started a blog to ask and answer(?) that question.

Still working on it. And I must go order "Save the Cat" now...

 
At 5:15 PM, Blogger pooks said...

Josh, this is so funny. I've already linked to that entry. I love it!

 

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