We've reached an important milestone today. The 10th word vomit, out of a planned total 1000. That means I've gotten 1% of the way there! Hooray! It only took me almost 2 months to do, right on schedule (I hope). Having made it to this momentous occasion, it seemed like a good idea to dedicate this word vomit to looking back at how this experiment, as I like to describe it, has been going.
So, I started in the middle of March and now it is the middle of May. Honestly I can't believe it's been two months. I also can't believe I've only done 10 of these. It feels like I've been writing for much longer than that, and have been much more prolific.
I guess that's kind of a downside of this constant word vomit system. No matter where and when I am, I know there's always another one to write. My goal was roughly to do 2 a week, which means as soon as I write one I can only relax for a couple of days before its time to write another.
In that sense it kind of reminds me of university. Having a job now means after work or on the weekends, I can turn off that part of my brain. I simply don't think about my work-related duties. With university on the other hand, there was always something more I could be doing. A constant flood of assignments and deadlines that were never very considerate of your free time.
I'm not saying that's a bad thing however, I really thrived in that environment. In this environment... maybe I'm thriving a little less. Not that I dislike doing these, but I'm always juggling a number of different projects and now that I have this to worry about every 3 days (plus keeping up with regular posts), a few other things I'd like to work on have slipped through the cracks. Sad, but not unfixable.
Speaking of which, regular posts have indeed fallen behind as expected. Unfortunately I discovered I only have so much writing capacity and it seems to get split between these and other posts. When focusing on those, word vomits become less frequent and vice versa. It's interesting because there's often very little overlap in topics; you wouldn't that me writing this now would sap my ability to do a deep dive into different chess openings (just an example, I wish I was knowledgeable for that) but it seems like it does. Strange, but good to know.
As for the pace of these, I think I've been overall pretty satisfied with that. I did a rough calculation, and it seems like so far I'm still on track to hit the optimistic goal of finishing by the time I'm 35ish. Of course my week long break has put a dent in that and I've realized I'll have many more of these to come (probably at least a couple more each year) so finishing by then is seeming increasingly optimistic. Luckily, I very wisely did not commit to that finish line. I think I'll still aim for that pace, but if I could finish by the time I'm 40 that would be quite pleasing.
Overall I think things are looking quite positive at this stage of the adventure. Things are for the most part going swimmingly, I'm writing more than I ever have been before, and there haven't been any major bottlenecks so far. Honestly, the worst part has been nothing to do with this, but the fact that it's taking time away from all the other projects I'd like to do.
There's a concept in economics called a Malthusian trap. Essentially, if the population grows faster than the amount of resources available, then there will be less resources per person. Eventually, it will result in an equilibrium where each person has the minimum amount of resources they need to survive which is what is referred to as a Malthusian trap. Of course real life is much more complex than this so fear not, we are not in any imminent danger.
However, I think the way I pick up projects may work a little bit like this. My productivity is, for the most part, stagnant. In fact, if anything it goes down over time as I get busier and have less time to devote to things like this. However, the number of things I want to do only really goes up. I always convince myself I have time but inevitably end up unable to do all the things I want. Or perhaps I really do have time, but as discussed above doing something like a word vomit just means I'm out of juice for other writing even if I really want to. I've Malthusian trapped myself in an endless cycle of anticipation.
What can I do about this. Of course the obvious answer is to get more productive. Maybe procrastinate less, spend less time playing games and watching videos. I suppose that could be part of the answer, but that's definitely not all of it; as discussed above if I get more productivity I'll just fill it up with new ideas all fall right back into the trap.
I think what I might have to do is be ok with temporarily dropping one thing to prioritize another. Of course I can't drop this, since I have a schedule I'm trying to keep. But, maybe I could take a few weeks off from regular posts from time to time. Or perhaps even take a break from word vomits as long as I commit to doing a whole bunch of them in a row once I get back.
Dynamically switching around my priorities could be the way out of this. Focus on and finish one thing at a time, even if it means being inconsistent with everything else. Perhaps this is less good for someone doing this as a job or trying to build a following. Luckily, neither of those apply to me, and I can do this entirely at my leisure. Well, maybe I'll give it a try and if you don't see many posts for a while this is probably why.