what I’m doing now

(This is a “now” page. You should make one, too.)

Note: I’m doing a “digital declutter” for January 2018, so if you want to get in touch, stick to e-mail.

The family and I are winding down 2017 here in Park Slope, Brooklyn. It’s cold and extremely windy.

Writing

I wrapped my most recent ghostwriting project this month. Meanwhile, I’ve been digging into new proposals and new edits. Business is good.

In terms of my own work, I’ve been struggling intermittently with a novel (swung and missed at NaNoWriMo 2017) and a book of advice for expert-authors.

If I have time to work on my own stuff, I usually invest it in the newsletter.

Reading

I’ve got a number of piles going right now. Trying to winnow down.

A lot of stuff is still on Kindle. One of my 2018 goals is to transition to 100-percent paper. I just retain it better.

In terms of professional development, I’m working through books like Mastery by George Leonard, Ghostwriting by Cecil Murphey, and my favorite, The Chicago Manual of Style, now in its 17th edition.

Personal interest: Taking another stab at Good and Real, a book of philosophy recommended to me long ago, and nearing the end of David Byrne’s How Music Works, among others.

Fiction: Elric. One of those genre classics I can’t believe I haven’t tried until now.

See my Goodreads profile for all of it. If you’re curious about anything I’ve read or am currently reading, happy to share my thoughts.

I’ve also been subscribing to periodicals for the first time in my life. Logic, Nautilus, Lapham’s Quarterly, the New York Times. It’s helping. 2017 was really starting to mess with my mind.

Listening

Nice clean sound and good external noise reduction with my Sony MDR-7506s. I’d upgrade, but I honestly don’t think I have the ears to notice the difference.

A bit burned out on podcasts right now. When I’ve had time, I’ve been listening to Marc Maron’s WTF, Alec Baldwin’s Here’s the Thing, Jocelyn Glei’s Hurry Slowly, and Todd Henry’s Accidental Creative.

I’m incorporating a lot more radio: WQXR for classical and WNYC for information.

I shut down Spotify. Down with algorithms. The only album in my iTunes right now is Kind of Blue. Not sure what to dig into once I’m ready to move on. A new genre?

Playing

I made great progress on alto sax in 2017 thanks to an excellent teacher. Jazz hasn’t really hooked me the way I’d been hoping it would with sustained effort, though. I’m considering a switch back to clarinet for the expanded solo classical repertoire.

Using

I’ve done a lot of work on my toolset in the last few months. Pretty happy with where it stands.

Upgraded to the fantastic 2016 15” MacBook Pro—despite reports, the touch bar is perfectly fine, not a big deal.

DevonThink Pro Office holds most everything that isn’t in Dropbox. Scrivener 3 is amazing, a must for large writing projects. Microsoft Word for client work. MarsEdit 4 has made writing the Maven Game much easier. OmniFocus and Things in tandem for tasks and projects. Airmail for email. Day One for journaling. 1Password for passwords. An assortment of other apps for minor use, but those are the workhorses.

My financial life revolves around You Need A Budget. Can’t live with out it. And now they have a book!

I’ve trimmed things down on my iPhone SE substantially. My goal is to use it as a tool, not as a source of distraction and entertainment. So I’ve got Google Calendar, Weather Underground, Streaks for habits (I like that it limits you to 12 behaviors). Also, iOS versions of apps like Day One and OmniFocus. But no more Pocket, Kindle, Reddit, or any social media apps. The more time my phone stays in my pocket, the better for my peace of mind.

Seeking

Things are good. I am content. That said, it would be nice to see a few things happen in 2018:

  • Joining a nonprofit board aligned with my interests
  • Finishing my own book (fiction or nonfiction)
  • Joining a small woodwind trio or quartet in the neighborhood
  • Getting profiled in my favorite column, the Sunday Routine (unlikely: I met one of the writers and she couldn’t have been less interested in my amazing Sundays)

Updated: 2017-12-25