One of my favorite general pieces of advice is "you can decide what you want but you can't decide what it will cost you." You can decide to be a builder and an engineer but it probably won't come with the adulation you feel for Jamie Zawinski or Alan Kay. And if you talk to most people who are admired and have a lot of adulation, even if it's deserved, it's not something they tend to say they relish. They tend to still relish the work they valued for themselves and feel the adulation is overblown or doesn't actually give them anything of substance.
The kitchen now, for me, is a place of ownership and control and (very very low-level) mastery in a way it has never been before. Plop me in the middle of it and I am certain I can make something delicious in 20 minutes given whatever is at hand. I have never felt this way before, and may never have gotten to this place without forced isolation. I’ve cooked every meal here for the last two months. It has unlocked a delight and culinary eroticism that was hitherto a great self-mystery, but now I get it I get it. The kitchen, food, owning this space — this is the grit of life. And I realize how “sheltered dumb” this sounds, like I’m some ding-dong that just discovered that water is delicious when slaking thirst, but — ye upon your high horses — I have been “cooking” (almost) daily for decades. The point is: I had never taken whatever that next step was towards full ownership.
This reminds me of meditation practice (or any practice, for that matter) as well. Once a week for decades gets you almost nowhere (I know, I’ve done that); allows at best for you to say “I do meditation” and acquire the requisite mats and towels, sitting pillows, singing bowls. Whereas ten hours a day for ten days straight can provide you with a tool for life.
Not just big-loop repetition, but tight-loop, highly iterative, sustained repetition.
— Craig Mod, Boules, Earning Tools, Photography News, Repetition
In my experience of writing, you generally start out with some overall idea that you can see fairly clearly, as if you were standing on a dock and looking at a ship on the ocean. At first you can see the entire ship, but then as you begin work you’re in the boiler room and you can’t see the ship anymore. All you can see are the pipes and the grease and the fittings of the boiler room and, you have to assume, the ship’s exterior. What you really want in an editor is someone who’s still on the dock, who can say, Hi, I’m looking at your ship, and it’s missing a bow, the front mast is crooked, and it looks to me as if your propellers are going to have to be fixed.
Systems and rules in music allow you to come up with things that your sense of taste would never have allowed you to do. But then your sense of taste expands to accommodate them! For instance, I'm sitting here now looking at something that my Stained Glass machine just made on my monitor. It has color combinations in it that are so weird. I would never dream of putting these things together. But, soon they start to look pretty good, and then they start to look really good.