Saturday, April 09, 2016

When You Cannot Create, Curate

Sometimes you just die.
I’ve been using a relatively primitive, long-aborted format for playing digital music, namely, the Sony MiniDisc player. This version of the Walkman came and went shortly after Christmas 2003. Although there are many reasons the format didn’t take off in the USA (although I understand it did relatively well in Europe), I’ve always preferred Sony’s proprietary .oma music coding format over the relatively thin sound of MP3s.

However, in this Year of Accelerated Entropy, my last player is getting creaky, creating dropouts in tracks, all the while making that old disc-reading noise of scraping metal that can be heard when you’ve got the volume turned down out of consideration for sleeping housemates. (I’m not a fan of headphones.)

So I’ve been building an MP3 library. As I’ll take nothing less than 320 kbps quality, I’m ripping all the tracks myself. Assembling the tracks band by band, then the single tracks by one- and two-hit wonders, is also taking time.

Might as well. Ain’t no writin’ goin’ on. Some days, I’m too zapped to bother with editing. It’s been a rough season, with many starts and stops since the mini-traumas and melodramas of early March.
My Sony HiMD players, and a sad, dusty keyboard.

So I might as well sort my digital images, too. My external hard drive is already seven years old, which is a disaster waiting to happen. Therefore I have created an array of high-capacity flash drives for backups to my backup. I’m deleting a lot of files from my eight-year-old laptop as I go. I’m also going through my flash drives, deleting duplicate images and making sure everything else is sorted and labeled.

I have to do this, because I have to do something. When I find I cannot create, or even curate the content of my writing, it’s best to find another project to manage altogether, preferably one that requires a strong sense of order.

The best part of all this is I have to do this anyway. Which means my internal Imp of the Perverse will resist it. Therefore, whatever is broken in the creative part of my brain gets fixed real fast.

It is indeed perverse. I have to go with what works, though. We creative types are neurotic by nature. The smarter ones learn how to make their neuroses work for them.

In times like these, the expression “work smarter, not harder,” applies.