And welcome to the weekly newsletter from Surplus Jouissance Projects - [S][J][P].
Surgery recovery continues, everyday things feel better, but I'm still far from feeling "normal." The surgeon told me that it takes about six weeks before start to feel normalish. I'm at just over three weeks now, so I'm hoping that three weeks from today, I'll be able to confirm that the surgeon was right.
I've got a ton of stuff going on this weekend, so this will be a shorter version of the newsletter that highlights two things: writing & podcasting.
I struggle to write. It's not an easy thing for me to do. One of the reasons for this is that I over plan (i.e., overthink) what I'm going to write, and overplanning leads to not writing anything. Another reason is that I'm chronically dissatisfied with what I write. I never think it's good enough or that it "could be better." This leads to constant revising.
Many people I know who have been published say that one of the best ways to get better at writing is to write every day. I've tried to do that in the past and even stuck to daily writing for a few weeks. However, given enough time, I'd get too busy and skip a day of writing, then I skip another day. And I'm sure you can see where this is going, yeah?
My guess is that building up writing endurance is similar to building up cardio endurance, it takes a long time of consistent work to build up, and it only takes a short time of slacking off to lose whatever you've gained.
Last year James A. Reeves, who is an artist and writer whose work I admire, did this thing where he did this amazing reflective writing every day for a year. And he put this journal online for all to see! He wrote every day for a year! He generally wrote short personal reflections that showed those who read it the head noise playing in Reeves's skull. Reading it really showed me how you could do something really good with very few words.
Here is a great example:
Somewhere between Knoxville and Chattanooga, we ate bún xào in a parking lot. Then we hacked our way through Atlanta traffic, its tailgaters and stunt drivers declaring their political opinions on their bumpers. On a sleepy Sunday street in Macon, I ate an artisanal shade-grown burger the size of a toddler. In Florida, we got stuck behind a van with decals that advertised the latest conspiracy theory. Good to know the person in front of you is profoundly insane, the one who’s operating six tons of steel at eighty miles per hour. An oncoming car flashed its headlights to warn us there was a cop ahead. This gives me faith in the human experiment. The highway logic, the conversations between cars: all of us speeding through the night, each with our own theories and points of view. I’ve missed this.
On July 5'th, I wrote down what I was thinking. It was not as short or well-rendered as what Reeves tended to do, I'm not a good enough writer to do that kind of thing. However, it was as honest a depiction of what was top of my mind that particular day.
The thing I wrote the first day was sent out as an email, so I kept sending what I wrote after that. I've grouped these posts/emails under a tag called journal.
These emails were also posted on the [S][J][P] blog, but only people who are members (i.e., only people who have signed up to get emails from me) can read them. I'm doing this because I don't want to have these thoughts out on the open web for anyone to see. (The titles of these posts/emails show up between two verticle lines | They Look like This |.
But if you're reading this, that probably means you're one of my people, and I don't mind sharing these thoughts with you. Although every now and then, I might write one that is for everyone, those post's titles will not be in between the vertical lines. They will have two slanted lines before them. \\ They Will Look like This. (I'm trying to invent a bit of shorthand that you can use to see what sort of thing has landed in your email inbox at a glance.)
I don't know how long I'll keep this up, but I plan to try to write something short about what is top of my mind M-Th, and then do one of these newsletters on Friday. If you have thoughts or opinions about that, please let me know what they are.
I've released three strange episodes of InForm: Podcast.
- 047 Going Old School, which is like the very first episodes of InForm from 2018.
- 048 An Interview w/ Winnie about Starting Analysis.
- 049 An Interview with Duke Novak about Winnicott.
I can't wait to do episode 050 with Jared when we can both have the available time to record it!
One thing I want to do on that episode is answer listener questions. So, if you're a listener and you have a question, send it my way! (If you don't mind, please put InForm Question in the subject line. That will help me find and save the questions.)
That's it for now.
Till next time, please, make glorious mistakes!