Make Art with Friends

I do an annual retrospective in December of every year and try to come up with a theme for the next year. I decided that I wanted to make more “art” in 2023, where “art” is loosely defined, but includes code, blog posts, podcasts, t-shirts, and sketches.

A sketch of a small wooden figure with a wooden do nothing machine (in front of the actual figure and machine)

I knew that this theme would not be good enough for me to actually do it. 2022 was a year of relative low non-code output for me.

I reflected on why coding had been relatively easy for me to do and working on my other interests was not. I realized that I had mostly coded in collaborations, but did almost everything else alone.

I set out to change that.

I decided to combine the goal of being more prolific with a goal to collaborate more and wrote a phrase on the first page of my 2023 journal: “Make Art with Friends”.

With that theme in place, I sought out like-minded groups. That’s how I found Toastmasters, which is an organization where people practice public speaking together.

I’m using the Toastmaster projects to drive my writing, and I’m hoping that practicing them will help me sound more natural and extemporaneous. It’s helping. I used my most recent speech to help restart my podcast and released Episode 16 of Write While True a few days ago. Next week’s episode is built from a different speech.

I am trying to play more infinite games, which are games you play for the enjoyment of playing them, like a game of catch. At Toastmasters, we are constantly throwing the “floor” to others to give them a chance to play.

It’s just more fun this way, and that’s what’s making the difference for me right now.