Weeknotes S06E02: Getting into the swing of things

we play with live ammo here

I had the gentlest of slap-downs today from someone with more experience than me, and it was deserved, so I’m going to talk about what happened. This is almost certainly the first time I’ve talked directly about something happening on this blog ever, so forgive any rough edges.

I was rewriting a presentation for my boss, taking on board some feedback we’d had about it. I was footling about in the speaker notes, writing in my usual overly flamboyant style and exaggerating the message. It was purely for my own workings – if I explode all of the words I can around a topic I can pick out the ones that actually matter. I’ve got a slide that’s six words long, and it took me one hundred words to get there. If I’d had time to write more, I could have written less.

Anyway. The gentle slap down was a colleague reading it and saying, dryly, “You have captured the direction but directed the style.”

Or, as I took it, “The idea is great. The execution is dumb.”

The reason I’m talking about this is because in the space that I work I’m so close to the centre. I am writing this as a reminder that working in a high trust environment means not letting playfulness be the enemy of good work: that despite my mother’s insistence I still sometimes forget to tidy my toys away after playing. And I can’t forget that now.

It’s a minor blip and the rest of the presentation is really excellent, and I’m so excited to watch her present it. This time just with the direction.

pity the addict

I took the smallest sip
A little lip-full
of coffee

it was wicked
and sweet
and strong

and the memory of it makes me tremble

Weeknotes S06: Trailer

A new season already?

Yes. I was offered a new role and it seemed like way too good an opportunity to pass up.

I’ve noticed in my weeknotes that I’ve not been talking about what I do day-to-day. Instead I’ve been focussing more about how I feel, and talking around what’s happening rather than addressing it directly.

I’m think I’m doing it because weeknoting about what I’m doing would confer the awesome power of communicating it publicly. With that power comes the great responsibility of doing it thoughtfully, with consideration to all of the other moving parts that rotate around my corner of the world. Working in teams where those moving parts are complex galaxies of their own gives me pause. Now as an existentialist[mfn]I see you roll your eyes[/mfn] this feels like living in bad faith. Do I truly think everyone should act in this way? Don’t I believe in openness?

The standard answer, of course, is that things are complicated. And this might be true, but it might also be a way of escaping the responsibility of making a decision.

Nonetheless, at least for the next season, there’s not a lot of work stuff that I’m going to be able to talk about. I’m going to try other things, including some creative bits and pieces, but I suspect there will be less blogging from me in these coming months – or, if I keep it up, it’ll be unfocussed writing.

Advice to my former self

I don’t do resolutions because I don’t really have a sense of time that’s as long as years – my understanding of the future is “forever” or “next week”, so the closing of one year and the opening of the new one seems to me as perplexing a thing to mark as the end of the week. It just passes. The past, though, is an interesting place. I’ve lived there and although my memories are rose-tinted I nonetheless have learned some things. Since in the next 12 months I’m turning 30 – a phrase that is deliberately vague – I am writing these things now because they will inevitably cause amusement for my future self.

Continue reading