Trent Hazard Writes


Writer. Futurist. Analyst. Developer of intelligence systems and processes. Lives at the intersection of technology, security, and very bad intentions. @TrentHazard Guestbook

Standard Notes and Writing

Life hasn't left much time for personal projects and writing. Most of us are in that same, very large, boat. I'm not giving up on some of my more ambitious ideas so incubating them well enough to ensure long-term survival is key. That means setting aside rare downtime to organize my thoughts around these projects, recording them, and taking small steps forward where and when I can. Standard Notes is perfect for this. 

As a futurist and analyst I frequently write about the topics that interest me. However, I don't get to write about those topics in a way that interests me. I write for executives. My job is to deliver bad news (and only bad news) about terribly confusing problems in the clearest, most easily understood, manner possible. It's often quite boring but it's also a very solid living.

Some of the social, political, and security problems I research are also quite disturbing. There are days I just want to quietly walk out the door and into the sea. It's not the kind of environment that ideally positions one's mind for additional creative labor at the end of the day. Drinking and lazy escapism are significantly more attractive alternatives until you realize what dangerous traps they can be. 

So, I choose to attempt productivity. Failure is the likely outcome but there is some nobility in trying - or so I tell myself. Anyway, noble work is never wasted. We just have to be comfortable with a payoff that may be delayed and extremely unpredictable. 

Which brings me back to Standard Notes and my project. I want to transform my insights and analysis into short stories - very short stories. This is a model that I could never sell to my employer but the format is incredibly effective at unlocking the reader's imagination and allowing them to fully grasp the problem that I am trying to illustrate. Standard Notes is helping me break the idea generation, research, and creative steps into highly granular yet organized pieces. This means that I can grab my phone to capture random ideas. Over time that note can become a place to store related research and my evolving thoughts. Eventually, that note becomes a story outline and, with luck, the story itself. 

I have about 30 of these stories incubating right now. Each in a different stage of development. Of course, the process isn't unique to Standard Notes but Standard Notes makes the process efficient. Capturing small disconnected efforts and maximizing their impact will eventually result in something far more substantial. Eventually.    

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