I recently read this article about creative contexts by Michael Nielsen, which discusses how valuable creative contexts can be, particularly when embarking on ambitious solo projects. I'd encourage you to read the full essay, as I found it included several interesting and novel ideas.

Further down in the essay, Michael says this:

Shortly before starving to death in the Alaska wilderness, Christopher McCandless wrote in his diary "Happiness only real when shared". I think this is true of many things in life. It's true of creative work. For me, such work often is in part truly for myself – and it's good to connect deeply to that part of myself. But also it's invariably for others as well. It may only be for a tiny few other people, sometimes just a single person! But having extreme clarity about who am I making it for, and why, often helps enormously.

This is one reason I don't really like notes as the note-taking crowd (often?) construes them. They often feel like they have no audience. It seems to me you should only write such notes if you are truly writing them to figure something out which you really need to figure out, or for future you, as a matter of genuine urgency. Or for a collaborator, or friend, or someone you admire. Too often they seem to be notes-for-notes' sake, with no real audience. The consequence is that they have unclear epistemic standards, and little sense of what it means to be a "success". What are they actually for? When I share things with people whose good opinion I value, my work becomes for something. And so I want to tie my creative context also to a goal I believe in for an object to ship, and who I'm shipping for. I want to hold a very high value on shipping something. While at the same time allowing that goal for shipping to change and adapt as I better understand what the project wants to be. This can all be tricky to manage!

I've written myself about my intention to ship (or share) my work much more frequently this year. The above makes an additional point on the value of frequently sharing work publicly: that sharing work regularly can become the motivator to drive you forward to making constant progress.

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