I’ve been wanting to post something for a while now – and I’ve started like 5 blog posts with different topics, but soon saw how they got derailed from the topic I wanted to talk about – it got me all confused – and then I realized I simply had nothing to say and felt the necessity post just to keep the page fresh.
But fruit that rots fast can hardly do. It’ll spoil the whole page in a few days – the topic becomes stale, and I become unsatisfied with it rather quickly.
Can’t recall ever having thought about this topic before – freshness. I love anything that’s fresh. It makes my soul sing. A brain nerd would call it a dopamine hit, I guess? I love fresh ideas, fresh takes, fresh food, fresh people, fresh socks. I love the smell of fresh coffee, cool and clean air in the early morning, a fresh cup of water from the stream, fresh content with fresh ideas and fresh takes by fresh people… FRESH!
Maybe the effect of me loving the freshness is also why I always wanted to rush releasing the new songs or posts. And why I kept refreshing and refreshing the adventure story. The first version of the story stopped being fresh to me, personally. The song I created 2 weeks ago stopped being fresh to me… So – the best thing I thought then – that I could do – release it while I still feel it’s fresh to me – otherwise I’ll be too late.
Now, whether someone else will find it fresh after 2 weeks (having no prior contact with the material) is another case. Some content we produce will seem “fresh” because it is a sort of a “take” or commentary on current, relevant events, politics or culture. We often write or create things, or even simply have an emotional reaction to things that are acute. They will become irrelevant in a week – just like daily news.
The same is with books about culture, politics or business – and blog posts – they are relevant only for a short while – or if it is a recurring issue within the population (e.g. a topic about Narcissists) – it will be read by many – but only once. I’ve read all the things in psychology that I thought were relevant to my situation back in the day – but I see no reason to go over any of those materials again. Which doesn’t mean it has no value to someone going through what I was going through in the past.
It’s just a phase. Like daily news is just a phase. Possibly, if you knew the contents all all the newspapers throughout time – millions of articles – in the end, they, too, would not produce anything new – it’s probably the same 100 things people keep talking about every day. Someone doing a corrupt thing, someone getting exposed doing it, someone being suspected of this and that, someone shooting another person.
All the scandals – played out the same way, like in theatre – started by the same old motivations or situations – and ending up where they always do. It gets old after the first time.
My work, too, has become a little old to me. While during the first year the tools and the base material was interesting to work with, because I was still working out how to work with it, what to do with it, what could be done with it – by now it’s all settled and there is not many ways I am interested in spicing it up with. I’m guessing that some other dude in my position, wanting to keep things interesting, would prefer to learn 3D and then start over-doing the marketing videos with fancy stuff.
I mean, there’s nothing wrong with that – but I personally don’t find it so interesting. I don’t think there will be any benefit in making more expensive advertising videos – all it will end up achieving is loss of my time and energy and a skill that I likely won’t be interested applying anywhere else. 3D stopped being fresh to me even before I started getting into it.
Some things are new and alien to us – and yet – they don’t feel fresh and attractive to us. And some things that are fresh to me might not be fresh to someone else (e.g. what Jordan Peterson created was fresh to me, and it was not fresh to many others – maybe these people knew Jung or got to those ideas through some other mediums – which is fine – but it’s true – JBP stopped being fresh to me after the first round, even though the ideas were great and I gave them quite some time and space in my head – but I am unlikely to return to his work).
So, what makes something fresh, attention-worthy – and something not?
Our awesome circle has accepted the funny thing NNT has said, paraphrasing – a good book gets better on the second read. Most books I never even wanted to give a second chance – because they got over their point and I didn’t think it can give me any more than it already did. But take the Bible, for example – or Nassim’s work – indeed – on a second read, there still can be surprises.
But whether I can tell that this will be the case after the first read – that is beyond me. Picking up JBP possibly would have me find ideas in it that I had forgotten about, too. It would surprise me again as it did the first time. But why am I not returning to some books now, then? Well, the problems they are talking about are no so interesting to me at this time.
I don’t think I will pick up a book just because, or start learning something just because. I’ll leave the learning and reading to when a topic interests me – and usually that happens when I feel stuck. I need more ideas. I need to test more things…
But that’s not the case with fiction… What makes a piece of fiction fresh? And what would it be that gives a piece of fiction a value of re-readability? Writing the stuff myself, I don’t believe I can handle it the same way I do when reading other people’s work… Unless I forget my own work with the same pace – but instead of getting surprised on the re-read, “oh, what a clever thing I have written,” instead, I get surprised by, “oh my, what a low-effort chapter that was.”
And “move to trash” it is.
But then again, maybe I forget – what seems low effort to me now may not have been low-effort to me back then. And it may not be so to another reader. Maybe I’m still growing. Or maybe creating something fresh is just not attainable to anybody. I hope it isn’t so, though.
But whether it makes sense to hope to arrive to that point – where I will still be surprised by the ideas I wrote weeks or years ago – I’m not sure either. Can there be a clear end to a problem?
Well – YES – if the problem is something clearly defined…
May be my problem with not achieving long-lasting freshness is because I have no yet found a very clearly-defined problem?
So, is freshness really my problem? I could keep fresh by saying something that sounds new or profound every day, if I really worked at it. Maybe freshness isn’t the problem at all – and maybe it wasn’t freshness that I liked about the Incerto – and maybe JBP was interesting for something else than the freshness it didn’t have. The problem I might really have, that keeps me spinning, refreshing, iterating, trying again: they can be fresh, but my ideas are not yet ripe enough.
Didn’t pass enough iterations – I can post something fresh – but it will stand still, rot and die. So, in a way, all these posts that have gone to trash – that’s nothing to frown over – and all these chapters I have failed to release – again, nothing to be sorry about – it’s just the good old iterative process – sorting out the fruit that’s raw and sour…
No fear in posting something that’s not fresh – but finding out that the thought was unfinished.
I’m posting a lot of unfinished work. But maybe that’s fine, for the time being.