Disrupting My Workflows
How I work with research and writing
In my neverending pursuit of finding the best way to write, research, and create. I give an insight into my workflows, and what I expect the outcome will be.
I joined Roam Research 30 April 2020, after reading Nat Elison’s article on how he uses Roam. The article was such an eye-opener for me and I’m thankful that it popped up in my twitter flow. It could easily be overlooked as I’m not very much on twitter anymore. But this time I caught it.
2020 a disruptive year for me
This year (2020) has been a year of disruptive experiences for me. First I got my Chromebook, and at the same time, I started using Roam Research. After that, I started getting serious about writing articles on Medium. Little did I know when I bought my Chromebook that it would have such an impact on my life, my wellbeing, and my cognitive development.
After I decided to create a second brain in Roam Research in July, I have increased my use of it to maybe 85–90% of my app time. The reason is mentioned in my linked article, but the strongest reason is of course the ‘Networked thought’ that creates relationships between the notes. Which my other favorite app Evernote doesn’t have, so the stored information in Evernote becomes just stored information that is much harder to process. However I have not given up on Evernote yet, it’s still my goto app for many things.
Roam Research has also liberated my process, both creatively and cognitively. I have the past two months published +20 articles here and that has much to do with Roam’s effect on me. Even in the days where I end up with the ‘white blank page scare’, I usually write something that can be a seed to something later on. I set aside 2 hours every day for writing, and I usually do that before lunch because my brain is peaking then. I also apply Calendar Blocking for my writing times so nothing will interfere with them.
what I generally start with is to do some research into articles I have read or that I have seen on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Medium, or anywhere else on the web. I first look if I have any similar story/article in my Evernote, Diigo, Pocket, or Roam Research first, and then I go from there. I also look for similar stories on the web and if I find any new material I clip it anywhere where I can easily find it and process it. I have recently started to use MyMind as ‘read-it-later’ storage. But I more and more prefer Roam Research the place as it is my Second Brain from now on.
Another source of input I recently started to use is using highlights around the web in sources I don't store. The reason for that is that the specific article might not be interesting for just a quote. Here I’m trying various extensions to Chrome. Diigo annotations, Memex Worldbrain, Hypothes.is, Liner and Roam Highlighter are Candidates I’m trying right now. Let’s say the jury is still out on this one. I have also considered paying for Readwise, but I’m not there yet.
Starting with title and subtitle that describes the article as well as possible, I try to be as clear as possible and the thing I have learned is that when I get it right, the article pretty much writes itself. However, those aren’t set in stone, if the article develops in another direction I change these to better work with the subject.
I also set up 3–4 undertitles that are the skeleton of my article, That gives the article it’s pace and readability.
I always write down ideas for articles when they pop up in my mind, having a small notebook in my pocket and a pen at all times, makes it easy to remember the ideas. (I have the worst handwriting but short notes work okay). Or making an audio note on your phone in Evernote.
How to adapt, develop and create articles
All the things I have collected, easily translates to a creative mashup, that I can pull exiting new creative stuff from. Sometimes just a keyword can turn on the creative bells for me. [So keywords can be a part of my creativity]
The writing process can be divided into two or more parts. The first part is a raw article with no extra details. That one is my embryo, that one I can let boil for a while if I’m not certain of my ideas. Even if the idea isn’t fully up to my standard, I still save it because later on, it can find it’s own way. So one of my best tips is: Don’t throw away ideas, they can be a part of something later, and those ideas can be greater than anything in the end. [Abundance] Here my Second Brain comes into great use, as it helps me see connections and neural links in my sometimes nonsense notes.
The second part is where I edit, rewrite, or creatively oversee the article. This can sometimes be painstaking but is just a matter of my confidence in my work. And when I get into a flow, the words just come as fast as my mind can process the thought process. And in that flow, new ideas can come to life and I always try to scratch them down as well.
Before I publish my articles, I let them sit in stew for a while, I usually want to read them through a couple of time before I publish them.
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