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Mysterious fatigue, perfectionism, posts that want to be books, everything-connects-to-everything-else syndrome...are you SURE you're not me and I didn't write this in a fit of eloquent delirium? Man, do I envy that Sam Kriss...pulling off those loooong, heavily researched posts with multiple tangents with such style, and somehow making everything hang together...and most importantly, hitting send on the damn things.

Anyway, great to hear you're doing better, and look forward to seeing what these new rough-edged posts look like.

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Thanks, Wabi Sabi (Not, I am guessing your real name? If it is, though... cool name.) Yes, we are kindred spirits, I suspect. (I like your Small Dark Light mission statement; much of it resonated with me.) Best of luck on your own endless voyage around the sun.

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Appreciate that Julian, and good luck to you too! This is a pseudonym alright, but happy to be adopted by someone from the proud Sabi clan if such there be, and if they'll have me...

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The Rick Rubin quote reminds me of St Paul's instruction to do everything you do as if you're doing it for the Lord. Heavy stuff.

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Yeah, heavy indeed. But the more you can carry, the stronger you grow.

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I so relate to the perfectionism part. I’m serializing a utopian novel and with every chapter I feel like “now I have to figure out what the ideal government looks like” before I publish it. But now I’ve realized that I can just publish a rough draft, get comments and feedback from my subscribers, and that will make the final book so much stronger than if I tried to solve the whole world myself while I was writing it 😝 It’s like I’m crowdsourcing the editing of my book in real time!

Anyway, can’t wait to read more rough drafts!!!! And I’m glad you’re feeling better!

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Thanks Elle. Yes, crowdsourcing the edits gives you superpowers. I've found it so interesting, to get multiple reactions to a piece. There's a kind of gestalt opinion which emerges. I have found that I am too hard on mainstream science, and often forget to point out its many merits and strengths, because I take them for granted. But that means readers assume I dislike mainstream science. So I'm adjusting my writing to make it clear that my approach to science isn't "no!" but is in fact "yes, and..." – like in improv comedy.

And good luck with your utopian novel. (Have you read Ursula Le Guin's "The Dispossessed"? Its subtitle is "An Ambiguous Utopia"; well worth a read, if you haven't already.)

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Here's some more information on it, to help you decide if it's for you. Cut'n'pasted from Wikipedia:

"The Dispossessed (in later printings titled The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia)[1] is a 1974 anarchist utopian science fiction novel by American writer Ursula K. Le Guin, one of her seven Hainish Cycle novels. It is one of a small number of books to win all three Hugo, Locus and Nebula Awards for Best Novel.[2] It achieved a degree of literary recognition unusual for science fiction due to its exploration of themes such as anarchism and revolutionary societies, capitalism, utopia, and individualism and collectivism."

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Yes, she is very much on my reading list. Here are all the utopian novels I'm studying this year: https://ellegriffin.substack.com/p/study-utopian-literature-in-2023

My latest chapter might even be considered in her vein though I'm hesitant to put any kind of anarchy/capitalist label on it: https://ellegriffin.substack.com/p/how-do-we-get-there-from-here

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Ah, you are way ahead of me! That's a heck of a list. I've been meaning to read Island forever, and recently listened to a very old Alan Watts radio broadcast about it, which renewed my desire. Sounds like it's not exactly a novel, more an essay on utopia, illustrated by fiction, but that's fine...

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Yes, all of the utopian novels are kind of like that unfortunately (I'm hoping the modern ones, Like Ursula's, aren't because I'm starting to get bored 🤣) I feel like you are doing a good job striking the balance of an interesting story, plus scientific commentary. Do you feel like you are leading with plot or with research?

(Also I love Alan Watts, somehow the oldness of those lectures just makes them sound even more magical!)

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I like the improv approach. And thanks!!!

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You're very welcome. And good luck...

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Hullo Julian —total n00b here. Very glad to meet your work and find its author recovering.

In spite of just making your stack’s acquaintance, I’m absolutely thrilled to find you deciding to ramp up enjoying the work and turn down the perfectionism.

If you ever need an advocate for this process, you’ve got one in me. I’ll keep my pom poms handy.

As for your quest about the Egg and the Rock: I’d like to quote E.L. Konigsburg From The Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler on the subject of pawing through egregious volumes of aforementioned mixed up files, “The search often proves more profitable than the goal.”

Please continue doing this thing you’re doing. I believe in your process.

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Thank you Rachel. Turning down the perfectionism is proving harder than I expected (even when taking into account my past failures to turn it down). I'm on my 11th draft of a post that I thought I could bang out quickly... But it's nearly there now! And it has, I think, greatly improved over the past few days, and drafts, so at least my drafts aren't making it WORSE...

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Good to hear you’re progressing! Do you have any habit shifting mechanisms to help turn down the perfectionist? Some # of hours or # of revisions then you publish and prove to yourself and the world at large that your audience is still here? :)

Hope the crocuses are still thriving!

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Nothing that works consistently, I'm afraid. I just can't hit "Publish" on something I know I can still improve. Urgh. I've been trying to write simpler, shorter posts, but with mixed success so far. (They grow inexorably longer and more complex...)

And the crocuses are now dead... but the wild tulips are in bloom!

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Nice to hear from you. Seems you are back in your groove. Let 'er rip.

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Thanks. Yes, I do feel my energy returning, and it is A SPLENDID FEELING. We don't know what we've got till it's gone, as a great philosopher once sang.

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Hi Julian, the drive to connect everything to everything leading to impossibly long drafts is so recognizable! It goes hand in hand with the overediting and polishing. But while I do agree that publishing faster is good as a feedback mechanism, I also believe that sometimes a post just wants to be long and large, and there’s nothing wrong with chasing your energy to the very end.

Loved the post and Rubin quotes, thank you!

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Give it to us! The raw, the run on sentences, the maybe half baked ideas. We want it, that’s what we are here for. It gives us a ring side seat, seeing your process in motion. It feels like a privilege

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This is so timely!

I was just posting something short and silly about being doomed if you require external validation to create.

The only thing that will always keep you moving forward is something burning inside that must be released into the world, whether it's writing, art, music, or whatever you feel like you must produce or you'll burst.

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I’m one of the people who started following in December, devoured everything you wrote and have been excited to hear more. I absolutely do not care about it being polished; you express concepts and ideas that feel like they have been sitting in my soul not understood, not spoken of, just wisps of a vibe, and here you are aiming to actually give them form! I am so grateful and excited that you’re even attempting it, make it as messy as you damn please!

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Oh, thanks Kath. That's very reassuring. I'm sure I'll please some and disappoint others, if I go in this slightly more dishevelled direction; but it's great to hear that at least a few people are totally on board.

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As someone who has been largely disabled from what is being called Long Covid (for 2 years now), I have learned that inflammation is an important part of how the covid virus/proteins operate in our bodies (or moreso our bodies' reaction to them). If you aren't recovering as you'd like, I highly recommend starting an anti-inflammation diet to see if that helps in recovery!

Also, as someone who has halted all creative endeavors because nothing feels "good enough", thank you for your words! 💜 It's truly helped me process some of what I've been going through mentally.

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Hey Julian! Another qoustion (I had one before, a few posts away) when will be the next fiction Friday? Happy you are better!

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Hi Oscar, not sure, maybe next week? (I'm glad you like the idea of an occasional Fiction Friday...)

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Forth time I write this.

Short:

-Hi Julian!

-Thanks for reading my comment.

- I know you don't have time but...

-I have a comment about Big Bang (one or two comments below). I would appreciate very much if you could read that one too.

- Happy to hear of Fiction Friday.

- Hope you have a good day!

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Hey Julian!

How was your day? Have you done anything nice?

I observed people don't put that kind of qoustions anymore, and when they do, they don't meant it. It is just the protocol.

Anyway I send this message to you directly (and not to Charlie or Emily) because it is a matter of literature.

Short story (I don't have a long one): I started writing a book. But after I read one of your earlier posts, (when you announced that you are going to make predictions) I released that a part of the introduction was (might be) a description of the Big Bang. So I rewrite that part (because it was for a fantasy novel) and translated it.

My question actually is: Can you please tell me if it is a description of the Big Bang.

I don't know what else to write.

Good for you you feel better

And... I like very much your work.

P.S.: when I wrote the introduction it really was flowing from somewhere...

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Hey Julian!

How was your day? Have you done anything nice?

I observed people don't put that kind of qoustions anymore, and when they do, they don't meant it. It is just the protocol.

Anyway I send this message to you directly (and not to Charlie or Emily) because it is a matter of literature.

Short story (I don't have a long one): I started writing a book. But after I read one of your earlier posts, (when you announced that you are going to make predictions) I released that a part of the introduction was (might be) a description of the Big Bang. So I rewrite that part (because it was for a fantasy novel) and translated it.

My question actually is: Can you please tell me if it is a description of the Big Bang.

I don't know what else to write.

Good for you you feel better

And... I like very much your work.

P.S.: when I wrote the introduction it really was flowing from somewhere...

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This is the text

In the beginning it was, of course, dark.

But there can’t be dark without light. That’s what light is for.

Yet to make dark from light you need something. Something which if it is not specific it is nothing.

So all starts specific

We have white plant and black rock. Water with no colour (for the moment being) and the sky is everywhere. From the sky the dirt is made, and it is dirty. Because the dirt was dirty the greenery was green and that let the rock be itself. The sky scared himself blue and the water stil colourless remained.

So the light and the dark have to understand than? No way! The light took part of the sky for the sky was itself could not be totaly conquered. But that meant the dark to follow the light and slowly take control.

But the were the sons of light and dark and they moved colours which made action which declared time!

So, in time, the greenery create one the water another the sky more. But the rock still none.

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"If you're not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original" - Sir Ken Robinson

Embrace the mistakes. You're doing incredible work.

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Good morning Julian,

Glad to know you are on the mend.

Your words give rise to facing my own fear of “oh,could I be a writer”? I have several mind blocks one Being grammar . I think I was day dreaming in that class or maybe most of my classes.Well I digress.... second just fear of the perfection part and that is where your article caused me pause to allow myself to rethink . Still pausing but hey this IS the 1st words written here .

Thank you, Mary T

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Well, if it's any help... perfection isn't possible, it's just a beautiful vision we have in our minds, so you might as well write! Thanks for your thoughtful comment, and good luck...

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Hi Julian. I just now finished reading Connect, and I have to jump in here and say... Wow! wow! Wow! Brilliant, moving... I’m blown away. So thank you!

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I've wrestled with the exact issues and am in my own process of overcoming the mental hurdles I've set up for myself, just so I can share my art with the world. It helps ease the process knowing other artists are fighting the same battles.

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