Ah, Memorial Day weekend. It’s always great to get this three-day weekend at the end of May to mark the beginning of summer. For most professionals, they haven’t had a holiday since February and are ready for this long weekend. So far, so good for this year’s Memorial Day weekend. The weather has been great and I’ve used the time to kick back and read Jeff Tweedy’s memoir, Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back): A Memoir of Recording and Discording with Wilco, Etc.. For anyone who’s a fan of Tweedy’s band, Wilco, I couldn’t recommend it more. It paints a picture of a man who’s worked hard, struggled, and created lots of music that’s enjoyed by a lot of people. There were a couple of passages that I marked that I’d like to share. I feel like the wisdom in the quotes below apply to any skill, not just about song writing as Tweedy is talking about.
Really the thing that pushed me to start writing songs is the same thing that compels me to keep writing songs today. I listen to music–new records, old favorites, the radio, anything–until I feel like I can’t take it anymore, I have to make something or I’ll lose my mind. It’s as simple as that. Even when I believe I’ll never be able to make something even remotely as perfect or beautiful as what I’m hearing, I can’t just sit there and let that challenge go unanswered.
I used to assume that the people who were great at writing songs were just more talented than everybody else, and that they always had a very clear understanding of what they were trying to accomplish and the intent behind it. As I’ve gotten older I’ve concluded that this is rarely the case. The people who seem the most like geniuses are not geniuses. They’re just more comfortable with failing. They try more and they try harder than other people, and so they stumble onto more songs. It’s pretty simple. People who don’t pick up a pencil never write a poem. People who don’t pick up a guitar and try every day don’t write a whole lot of great songs. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
On the technical learning side, I went through Zoran Horvat’s Tactical Design Patterns in .NET: Creating Objects on Pluralsight. The course is long, but very interesting. Horvat dives deep on object creation techniques that lead to a more maintainable and productive code base. The major object creation techniques covered are constructors, factories, builder pattern, and the specification pattern. Each style of object creation has a place where it’s best suited. I watched the course at 2x speed, but there are many areas of the course that I probably should have turned it down to 0.5x speed. It’s some dense material at times.
Online Course(s): Tactical Design Patterns in .NET: Creating Objects
Online Course(s): Using React Hooks
On the Next…
I want to get back to reading some more technical content. I’m thinking that I’ll focus on looking through Jon Skeet’s latest version of C# In Depth. On top that, I’d really like to get back in the swing of doing some technical writing. I’ve got an idea for a series of posts called “20% Development” where I’d aim to find the 20% of content that covers 80% of all use cases for a series of development topics. I feel like that would be an interesting series and I’d learn a lot and potentially help others do the same. I don’t know if I’ll prioritize that, or the work I’ve been neglecting on the tesla2024.com site. I’m looking forward to what’s to come and I can’t let the challenge to create go unanswered.