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59. Research and Development....

So relax. Okay? (I'm talking to myself) My 2021 notebook is only a vehicle for discovering and developing new ideas. It doesn't have to compete for any prizes. Remember the days when you wrote for the sheer pleasure of discovery and improving your craft?

But wait! Slow down! Back up! It's not all about writing a hit song. Writing the next hit song might be a good thing, but the last time I entered a songwriting competition there were over 50,000 entries because these days everyone is being told they can write the next hit song if they have the right app. What about pursuing the purpose of art which is beauty and expression?

I'm also having difficulty trying to formulate who I am writing for other than myself because I don't use social media marketing. The digitalization of society is eroding and fragmenting the shared cultural heritage and experience which brought us together and gave us a common thread in the past. Now we share with whoever is plugged into our social media feed. It's all a quest for friends, who for the most part aren't real friends to begin with because relationships are turned into transactions. Add that to all the bad news we're hearing about climate change, Covid and the general thrust of misinformation, is it any wonder that people are drowning in narcissism and at each other's throats?

So how do you write in dark times like these? Where do you find inspiration? How can you keep it positive? And should you keep it positive? It's a challenge to be sure. I keep being reminded of Daniel Defoe's book A Journal of the Plague Year published in 1722. Yeah, it's the same guy who wrote Robinson Crusoe which also has parallels to our situation. Many of us are kind of stranded on a deserted island with no one but ourselves and our phones for company.

The irony is that the technology which was supposed to connect us is only connecting us with more technology. There's your cutting edge. And that's got to hurt.

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