Weeknotes 2023 W22:
Morning person

Week of May 29 to June 4, 2023
What are these? These week­notes are a reflection on the past week. I write about anything from hobby projects and work to creativity and mental health. I publish my week­notes every Sunday morning. Consider subscribing via email or using the web feed!

Let’s start off with some random bits:

I’m discovering more about the reasons why I’ve been so interested in creative expression: I look for genuine human connection, to touch people on a raw emotional level. That applies both to fiction writing and acting.

Over the past few months, maybe even years, I’ve increasingly had the urge to create things that mean something to people. I want to inspire people with what I create. I want to touch them emotionally; make them feel.

The urge to express myself creatively has even been manifesting itself physically: I feel like I have knot in my heart, a knot formed by the desire for an emotional release, a creative release. Physical manifestation of the need to be emotionally creative? Weird.

I might be a far more emotional person than I ever thought.

What I do at my day job is not at all like that. My job, crudely put and oversimplified, is to take existing product requirements and define engineering requirements and translate those requirements into code. To some extent, that process needs creativity, but nobody’s ever impressed with the changes I make — not because they’re bad changes, but because the whole thing is just not meant to be impressive. I feel like I don’t need to say this out loud, but people generally don’t get emotional reactions with code like they do with art.

To help me express myself creatively, I picked up a few books on fiction writing. Writing is hard, and I’ll take any hints or guidance that I can find. Writing, at least, is something I have full control over: I can do it whenever I want, and I’m not dependent on anyone else.

Acting is quite different. You can’t apply acting skills just by yourself. Time will tell how well I will be able to eventually put those acting skills to the test. It’s a big open question for now.

For acting, I’ve found some line memorization techniques that work quite well for me.

For dialogue, I record the other characters’s lines, leaving room to speak out my own lines. Then I play it back, saying my own lines.

For monologues, I copy the text but write down only the first letter of every word, keeping the punctuation, and keeping each sentence on its own line. Something like this:


For long stretches of words without punctuation, I also add something akin to musical slurs to subsentences, for that tiny bit of extra clarity. With that in hand, I can reproduce the monologue.

I used to be terrible at memorizing anything. Perhaps I just lacked the right technique (and maybe motivation). Also, take this with a grain of salt — I’m not memorizing anything large just yet.

Yikes: I hit a kid with my bike this week.

I rang my bike bell but the kid walked onto the bike path anyway. When I swerved to avoid them, the kid realized their mistake and jumped back — unfortunately right into the path of my bike.

The kid fell over. I checked in with them and they weren’t hurt too badly — just scraped skin, though I imagine it’ll turn out to be a bruise later. They apologized and after a minute or so to catch our breath we both went on our way. I think the biggest damage was the scare.

The irony is that not ringing my bell would have likely avoided the situation.

This is also the first time ever hitting anyone with my bike, as far as I remember. So that’s good, I guess.

Last weekend, in my old village in Belgium, a mysterious unidentified organic substance fell from the sky. It now appears to have originated from a military aircraft. (There’s a Dutch-language news article about it.)

You cannot convince me that this is not an episode from The X-Files. The truth is out there.

More progress on my quest to avoid social media! On my phone and laptop, I have blocked Twitter and set up a strict five-minute screen time limit for Mastodon. An interesting side effect is that because my time is so limited, I figured I’d only visit it when I really needed or wanted to, which turns out to be almost never.

Life without social media is pretty good. You should try it too.

I’m becoming more of a luddite by the day.

Work this week was different but not better than last week (see Week­notes 2023 W21: Anniversary). It’s… a little wild:

I know that communication and collaboration is hard. This week, though, it feels like people aren’t even trying.

The work situation has manifested itself psychologically — I feel quite drained — but also physically: I’ve been struggling with back pain that makes it hard to focus, and on occasional makes it hard to even sit in a chair. I do have a new exercise mat, a foam roller, and a massage ball, which have been so useful. (Maybe I should get those expensed.)

On the bright side: during a long, healthy 1:1 with a coworker, they said that talking to me is like magic. Aaaawww!!! (How can I do more of this?!)


Uhh, nothing, it seems. I didn’t even watch the new episode of Silo (I seem to be not very into it).

Currently reading:

I also bought a copy of Anatomy of a story by John Truby, and Story Engineering by Larry Brooks, but I’ve not started with either.

Fun links:

More serious links:

Week­notes for May 29 to June 4, 2023. Browse the weeknotes archive, get these week­notes via email or subscribe to the web feed.