29 Mar

Creative Wells and Buckets of Satisfaction

Banner - LightI can’t code and write.

I can code well enough, and I can write well enough. But I can’t do it on the same day. Coding and writing fill up the same creative well in my mind.

It doesn’t really matter if I’m writing fiction or non-fiction, or whether I’m coding JavaScript or Visual Basic, or any other language. If I code I get the same creative kicks that I get out of writing. Read More

08 Mar

Knowing What Keeps You Sane

Banner: Meditation at the lakeshoreWe humans are pretty good at finding the negative sides of our lives. All the little annoyances that litter our days. Those tiny angers we encounter on the road, at work,  at home.

We can’t avoid them, no matter how we try.

But that’s OK. Our brains are made that way. What makes life good is figuring out those parts that keep you afloat when everything else is dragging you down. Read More

30 Nov

Going in the Wrong Direction

Banner - Computer Charts

I’m switching web hosts, and nothing is working.

The problem is that I’ve changed the domain registrar, the people who make sure this web site is in the global internet address book, together with my web host. Unfortunately, the address change hasn’t spread to the rest of the internet.

So whenever someone types wiltgren.com into the browser, they’re being directed to my old web host instead of my new web host.

It’s a very minor thing. Just a little switch of direction. And yet, it make everything I do flawed. Read More

16 May

Why Do you Do what you Do Do?

Why do you do what you do?

Why do you do what you do?Ours is not to reason why, Ours is but to do or die[note]Contrary to popular belief, this has nothing to do with the US Marines, Iwo Jima or the Battle of Ypres. The original quote, “Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die”, comes from the poem “Charge of the Light Brigade” by Tennyson, and translates to: “damn, what idiots”.[/note].

What a load of bullshit.

The ability to reason why is central to human experience. It is what drives us to purposeful action and what separates us from the animals – experiments have shown animals to be able to reason (horses, for example, can do arithmetic on the level of a 4-year-old), be optimistic or pessimistic (shown in both birds and mammals using colored coded learning/unlearning models), and learn to read and write (dolphins can learn a symbolic language and use it to communicate with humans, as do chimps). However, no experiment has managed to show that animals have the ability to self-analysis.

Humans do. And it’s one of the most powerful tools we have when it comes to productivity. Read More

04 May

How to Build Creative Habits Using Triggers

Trigger-Habit chain

Trigger-Habit chainTake a look at what happens when you wake up in the morning. I’m pretty sure that you do most of visiting the toilet, washing your hands, brushing your teeth, dressing, making breakfast. It may not be exactly this but I’m going to make you a bet: no matter what you do in the morning you do the same things in the same order every day.

That’s because your morning routine is a ritual.

I don’t mean a chanting, dancing and sacrificing small animals type of ritual. I mean a habitual ritual, something that, once triggered, leads to a series of actions in an unchanging sequence. Read More