Matthew Gifford

Doing the work

Inspiration vs. discipline

I ended a previous post with a quote from Chuck Close:

Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work.

I’ve since been doing a lot of thinking about that idea. I now see that whenever I’ve been able to overcome my struggles with perfectionism, procrastination, stage fright, and imposter syndrome, it’s because I’ve forced myself to just do the work. Waiting for motivation/inspiration is a trap. Discipline is key. It’s becoming a core principle for me. To the point where I want to have it tattooed on me. Seriously.

I recently came across this list of ten rules by Sister Corita Kent:

So much truth there.

While we’re on the subject of discipline (and of my personal shortcomings)…

Twitter is a drug

A couple weeks ago, I wrote a story about why I’m cutting back on my Twitter usage. It got a decent number of hits, but few people actually read to the end. If you have a few minutes, please read it and let me know what you think about what I wrote and/or how I wrote it.

If you don’t have time to read the story, here is a summary: Twitter had become an addiction. I stopped using TweetDeck. I only open Twitter if I have a purpose.

The surprising result: I don’t miss it at all. I was on a hamster wheel, chasing after an endless stream of information that was almost 100% worthless. Who would miss that?

My mind is clear of all the junk information it was constantly exposed to. Research indicates that information on Twitter might be more memorable than other sources of information. Take a look at your Twitter timeline. How much of it is really worthy of remembering?

My focus has improved. I have more time to spend on things that are important. It’s hard to see any downside with this change, other than losing my primary source of news. But I’ve been able to fix that by subscribing to a few email newsletters (Today in Tabs, Medium Daily Digest, Benedict’s Newsletter, A List Apart, Brain Pickings Weekly, and Silicon Florist, among others) and a daily visit (which is actually an aggregation of links posted to Twitter).

Mobile for August

A couple years ago, August’s aunt let him borrow a Calder-style mobile for his room. He loves watching slowly twist and turn as he goes to sleep. Soon we’re going to have to return it, as she would like to put it in her coming baby’s room. Of course, August is not very happy about this change. So, we’re going to build a mobile to replace it. I’ve been a fan of Calder’s mobiles for a long time, so I’m very excited about this project. I’ll be sure to document it.

Reminder: Oregon is amazing


I hope you found something here interesting. As always, I’d appreciate it if you write a response or comment to let me know what you’re thinking about.

March 1, 2015

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