What I learned last week (#146): syllable schemes

Learned last week: food wars, dune inspiration, warming up, and more!

A weekly selection of what I was reading, drawing, writing, and doing.


Quote I enjoyed:

“Learn to love slow progress. Learn to forgive yourself for the inevitable backsliding. And of course, expect to be uncomfortable along the way.”

Steven Kotler

👆That about sums up how to avoid being unhappy in life. Unfortunately for me, I am not very good at putting this into practice.


Book excerpt I was thinking about:

“Discipline is hard—harder than trustworthiness and skill and perhaps even than selflessness. We are by nature flawed and inconstant creatures.” (Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto)

Related to the above quote for sure. We are, by nature, inconsistent.


Eminem speaking about his craft:

The way they break down their syllable schemes is crazy, hadn’t thought about it in quite the same way before


The Vegan Food Wars of DC

As a flexitarian (I eat fish and eggs semi-regularly) this was super interesting. I am really happy to see more and more plant-based options, no matter if those look like meat or don’t. I love the Impossible Burger/Beyond Meat burgers. 👍

The Vegan Food Wars of DC: https://www.washingtonian.com/2021/10/07/the-vegan-food-wars-of-dc/


Backstory of the inspiration of Dune:

There has been a lot of talk about the new Dune film this week and it sounds like for good reason. I enjoyed reading about Frank Herbert’s inspiration for the book in this thread and thought this review was good.


Profile of the director (and process) for Dune:

The “Dune” production designer Patrice Vermette told me they used Google Earth to look for the right location for the scenes on Arrakis: a desert with rock formations that the Fremen would use as refuges from the searing, inimical heat. They found promising candidates in Iran, Chad, Mauritania, Libya. “Pretty difficult,” he admitted. They ended up in Wadi Rum, “like a trade show of rock formations,” but it lacked dunes. The team collected samples of sand from Jordan in water bottles so they could match its color to another location, and ended up in the vast dune fields of the Rub’ Al Khali desert in Abu Dhabi.

The Man Who Finally Made a ‘Dune’ That Fans Will Love: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/13/magazine/dune-denis-villeneuve.html


Start small, start simply:

Ok so shifting gears now. A great reminder that being good at anything (like writing) is a gradual process. We understand this about lifting weights, but why does it feel so hard to treat the arts in the same way?

Let’s imagine you walked into a gym.

Would you go to the weights and pick up the heaviest weights? Not likely.

Would you head to the bike, jump on, and ride for an hour on your first visit?

What you know, instinctively, is that you need to warm up.

So are you doing the same thing with your writing? I bet not. I bet you put yourself in front of the screen and start trying to write something great.

I’m not a fan of Ed Sheeran (I’m not NOT a fan, the music is just not my jam) but this quote and video are great:

“When you stick on an old tap, it runs out muddy water for about a minute and then it starts flowing clean water,” said Sheeran, “songwriting and doing gigs is like that.”

Ed Sheeran & Creativity: https://chrislema.com/ed-sheeran-creativity/


Obligatory mention of how important habits are:

My favorite topic. These notes about artists nighttime routines are interesting. I find that looking at the next day’s tasks is a good way to “shut down” as well:

Hanna Lee Joshi, Illustrator: “I just recently started a night time ritual of planning the next day’s tasks. I’m glad I have picked it up. I find this routine helpful, as I can hit the ground running the next morning. It adds a little more structure to my day. And as a freelancer, I find this really vital.”

11 Artists Share the Bedtime Rituals That Keep Them Creative: https://www.skillshare.com/blog/11-artists-share-the-bedtime-rituals-that-keep-them-creative/


What I wrote and drew about this week:


What I did, was reminded of, or was thankful for last week:

  • After a couple of introductory lessons, Sam and I are all in for Taekwon-do now. We both had two lessons last week and have proper uniforms and everything. I even got to do some real sparring last week. Once some actual kicks start flying at your head shit gets real!
  • We took the kids to McDonald’s on a Friday-night whim. Ordered via a touchscreen and had the food brought to the table. Two happy meals for £6! Seemed crazy cheap. It was strange to see how it works now, but even stranger was that most of the dining room was made up of delivery drivers with their food warming bags waiting for the orders to come up.
  • I started playing Metroid Dread in short bursts in the evening. I didn’t realize how much I missed playing this style of game. Early impressions: The game is not easy, but it is fair, rewarding, and really well done. 👍🏼

Last but not least, check out what I’m up to now.

2 Comments

I’m learning in my OU course on Creative Writing that there is a lot that can be learnt and practised to make me a better writer. Rarely is a person that innately talented to be able to knock out masterpieces from the beginning.

I saw that you joined a course on writing ages ago but I can’t remember if that was a post on your site or somewhere else. Hope it is going well and that you share a lot about it in the near future.

Comments welcome!