Links and Notes - May 8th 2021
Matt Gemmels short stories
Matt is a writer living in Scotland. I don't remember exactly how or when I subscribed to his blog but I think it was during a past life of his where he used to be full time into software engineering. At some point, I stopped using my feed reader but then I returned to it towards the latter part of 2020. And in January 2021, Matt made a change to his posting schedule where he began publishing what he refers to as "Flash Fiction" for free. Ultra short stories of around 1000 words, he publishes them once a week on Mondays. I'm here to say that if you haven't subscribed to it, you absolutely should!
I won't pretend that the stories are absolute crackers. Most of them are alright. But the library of ideas in there is amazing. Each story is a promise of something bigger. A greater universe. And I have so much appreciation for people who are able to consistently deliver decent content the way Matt does. I care about it the same way I cared about how Dave Winer and Rubenerd maintained their own blogs. In both of them, I saw a version of myself that I aspired to be. Someone who blogs daily and who treats their blog as their own little garden. A space on the internet to call their own.
Matt Gemmel is that but for fiction writing. I hope to be a fiction writer in the children's category someday. And one things I've seen in myself is that the amount of stories I can come up with increases in proportion to the number of stories I am creating. From my past post:
I have a whole heap of stories that I've already made up. And to keep adding to them, I have to accept that the ability to create stories is a muscle that cannot afford to wither. So I guess I'm about to add to the list of things that I create regularly.
Matt Gemmel is good inspiration to remind me to live up to this goal.
Controlling length of these blog posts
I've been thinking about the time I use for these links and notes blog posts. While it isn't much, it's definitely variable and I want to keep an eye on it. I love the idea of blogging daily but I need to keep in mind that I have a habit of putting up arbitrary barriers for myself. For example: If it isn't more than X words long then it can't be a blog post. Or, unless it contains a nuanced argument, it shouldn't be a stand alone blog post.
These kinds of limitations are silly. This is my blog. I can publish however I darn well please. And thanks to these limitations I've been placing on myself, I've noticed that I'm less likely to publish something as an individual blog post anymore. It's all going into the Links and Notes. An example of this might be the section above. In the past, I published my inspiration from Dave Winer and Rubenerd as stand alone blog posts. Now I'm putting it into Links and Notes.
I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. On one hand, it means that I am hitting publish and getting ideas into the world. On the other hand, it means that these links and notes posts require an unbounded amount of time to publish and that's really something I can't afford to give. So it might be time for me to come up with a non arbitrary limitation on these links and notes posts. I probably wouldn't go with word counts; there are days where I've blasted past 1000 words in less than 30 minutes. I'd probably set a limit on time instead. I'm not sure, but spending a maximum of 60 minutes on these posts seems like a fair limitation to set on myself.
This might seem ironic given that I just said that abritrary limitations are silly. Except that this isn't arbitrary. I have so many things I want to do. And to do it, I have to be ruthlessly calculative about the resources I have. Seeing that time is shortest in supply, it makes sense to start making limits there.
Potential in the My First Million Podcast
Shaan  from the My First Million podcast tweeted this out today:
Building on ideas is such a challenging thing and it's such a rare skill in this world. If I was ever presented with the hard choice where I could either pick being an idea machine with average execution skills vs being an average or even poor idea maker with excellent execution skills, I'd pick the latter 10 out 10 any day of the week. I think this tweet from Shaan really highlights the potential that awaits a person like that.
Not to say that the person who sent this mail to Shaan has average to low skills in generating ideas. The point is that instead of being busy coming up with their own ideas, they took one of the many that showed up on the podcast and went ahead and built it and that seems to have created a very respectable amount of value in a very short period of time. I mean, 3000+ USD in MRR from just February 2021? That's amazing! I wish could be that person!
D-Cell game, the publisher of Unbeatable, a game I recently mentioned on the blog, released a demo-ish version of the Unbeatable game. It's called "White Label" and is set as a side story in the same world from the main game that will release somewhere in 2023. It's a clever idea to release something like this that seems to grant the full experience of the main game but in a small enough a dose to leave people wanting more. The reviews have so far been positive. I look forward to downloading the demo and trying it out myself.
This blog doesn't have a comment box. But I'd love to hear any thoughts y'all might have. Send them to [email protected]
Probably worth adding that while Shaan can be goofy and interesting to listen to, there's a growing probability that his edgy Twitter persona is going to dump him in hot water soon. 🤦🏽♂️ ↩︎
Posted on May 08 2021 by Adnan Issadeen