Just jotting some quick thoughts after fixing a few things on the site. I updated some of the CSS on the single book notes page to better differentiate the individual posts. And I fixed some heading styling that was off. And I added the individual posts’ feature image which I forgot to include in the template I wrote months ago.
A bunch of small things that add up to a little bit of a better reading experience.
But the reason I mention it is that, for whatever reason, I feel like I accomplished something. Especially compared to the likely alternative of scrolling Twitter repeatedly or refreshing NBA and MMA reddit.
In his book Creative Quest, Questlove talks about maintaining his hard drive of mp3s—tagging, correcting titles, de-duping files, etc.
When I’ve had the opportunity to do that, or when I have met people who do that, they find it immensely gratifying. They notice things they wouldn’t ordinarily notice. Their senses sharpen. Their heart rate slows down. Many mornings, I try to do something equally Zen-like, and most of the time that means going into my MP3 catalog and pruning it. I notice song titles. I notice how things are organized. That starts me toward thinking about my own work in a structured creative context.
A little bit of digital gardening.
It’s a form of gardening, maybe: Is that a better metaphor? To end up with beautiful flowers and healthy plants, you have to be in regular contact with them. You have to prune. You have to tend. That’s the duty of the curator.
Nearly every day.
Maintaining the collection defines most of my days. When I wake up in the morning, I spend about two hours scaling down and cataloging. (Even as I am writing, I’m Shazaming all the titleless “Track 1” files in my collection—almost nine hundred at the moment!)
In today’s stream-everything world, maintaining mp3s seems like an archaic practice.
In today’s social-everything world, editing some CSS (and guess-and-checking a PHP template) on a personal blog seems like an archaic practice.
But it’s satisfying.
(Check out some book notes here.)