Watts (chipotle) wrote,

Claws, quills and tribes

The work search continues — as the State of California would remind me, it’s a legal obligation as long as I’m collecting unemployment benefits, right? — but with no nibbles so far. As I wrote earlier, I’m being pretty low-key about the search, still, although I expect to change that after the holidays.

So, what have I been doing? Starting to work on Claw & Quill, the writing community site. Originally it was a web magazine; what I have in mind now is something… different than that. You can see a blurb now at http://clawandquill.net but be aware that the details described there are subject to revision. Or complete change. Or wanton abandonment.

It’s not much yet other than the handful of ideas that I’ve been kicking around for over a year, although now there’s the glimmer of a development environment for them, and a database diagram. This isn’t much progress, but it’s something. It’s as if there’s been an empty field across the street for nearly two years now with a “Coming Soon!” sign that occasionally somebody pastes a new future date on just so it doesn’t look abandoned, but now somebody’s come along and stapled a few building permits to one of the sign’s posts, a notice that a plan’s on file somewhere, and there’s a construction fence up around the field now. Like I said, not much progress, but more progress than there’s been in a while.

Mind you, from where I sit that’s a lot of progress: that entity relationship diagram generated an SQL file and a database and has started to crystallize what’s ahead. What’s ahead is a frickin’ lot of work. I won’t be able to do it all by myself (failing to recognize that has been one of my primary problems in the past), but there’s a lot of grunt work I do have to do by myself — even just to get things to a point where I can start adequately explaining what I’ll need help with.

I’ve been listening to the audiobook version of Seth Godin’s Tribes, which is a book about marketing. Sort of. It’s also a book about leadership and movements, about getting people excited about a new idea and connected with one another. The Amazon page I liked to has a lukewarm Publisher’s Weekly review, observing that Tribes is “short on pages but long on repetition” and that “the book’s helpful nuggets are buried beneath esoteric case studies and multiple reiterations.” They’re right, and Tribes is the sort of quasi-inspirational business book that’s awfully easy to make fun of. It’s also the sort of book that, if you’re of the right mindset or maybe even just at the right moment, gets you thinking. Even as I was thinking none of this is revolutionary, controversial stuff, Godin, I was also thinking of ways to follow some of what he was saying.

I’m not sure whether this is the perfect book for someone who’s been navel-gazing about his life’s meaning for a couple years now, has just lost his job, and already had a big project in mind, or a really dangerous book for such a person.

At any rate, I’ll write more about Claw & Quill a little later, and may end up doing that regularly for those who are interested — either here, or in a separate LJ community, or something else entirely. If you’re one of the ones who’d want to get involved — or at least hear about it — how should I tell you about it?


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