Procrastinating writers, and other random thoughts

This weekend was spent, again, by not writing. Though I did turn in something to the publisher on Friday. As much as I’d love the idea of making a career out of writing (and editing and publishing), I’m a terrible procrastinator, much like many writers. I’ve explored the idea of a ‘writer’s block’ elsewhere on this blog. Tonight I revisited this article in The Atlantic. The idea of churning out crap in one’s first draft and then revisiting and reworking it is admittedly quite excruciating. Writing is also a terribly lonely pursuit: desk-bound for hours on end, staring at that fucking blinking cursor and toying with words and sentences for long stretches of time. Not something I’d consider fun. I’d much prefer going on my ramblings in the city, looking at people and feeling the rhythm of things happening around me, getting lost in thoughts.

And onto the random thoughts:

  • Can this blog turn into a publishing project?
  • Can this blog turn into some sort of an ‘art’ installation?
  • When will I work on the book I proposed to a publisher back in 2015 and got accepted?
  • Genres of writing, something in between fiction, non-fiction and academic writing (see The archaeology of an imaginary city by Dung Kai-cheung)
  • If only I could write for publishing the way (and at the rate) I churn out emails, blog posts, notes, and reports. What’s the best way to put the pressure off writing for publishing?
  • That PhD that I started back in 2013 but never finished (on hold)
  • Another book that I’d like to write
  • The writing/editing work that I should really be getting on with

On (design) criticism

Some tentative thoughts on design criticism, in a raw and unedited form. Although written for a largely Chinese-speaking audience, English was thought to be more appropriate for retaining cultural/language authenticity and my thought process.

TL;DR: A ‘debate’ on social media prompted me to contemplate on design criticism. Social media is deemed not such an appropriate venue for design debates and discourse, a medium that promotes emotional reactions rather than rational discussions. Design as a profession would benefit from discussions beyond aesthetic preferences (which cannot be debated) and venture into what makes something works, and less reliance on celebrity opinions and hyperbole (subjectivity) and more on logical analysis and research (objectivity). Related frameworks here and here (Chinese).

(First drafts written on the Adler Gabriele 25 and Alphasmart Neo, final draft on the Adler Gabriele 25)

(Edit: all pages slightly corrected by hand, rescanned and reposted)