Updated: Oct 23, 2021
It’s our 100th post! Well, technically, it’s our 99th and 100th post. It is also my 50th post. So, consider this a special milestone. Before we dive into the topic, gratitude and thanks are in order.
Firstly, I would like to thank God for the ability to think, write and be consistent with matters concerning the blog. I would like to thank Franklin’s family for their encouragement. There was a period where we had no readers due to our apparent ineptitude at advertising. It was at this time that, like a true shaman, Franklin’s mom offered indispensable advice and helped promote the blog. In fact, most of our readers came thanks to Franklin’s mother. I would like to thank my annoyingly able editor, Victor Franklin. I have nothing good to say about you but thank you nonetheless. Okay, with that out of the way, here’s how I write.
My writing is usually a week-long process broken down into three major parts: selection & research, writing, editing & publishing.
Selection & Research: This aspect of my writing is the most surprising to me. As a self-described non-creative person, how I select a topic for the blog is almost exactly how most creative types produce their work. In other words, it is entirely non-scientific. On an average day, I listen to about four podcasts of varying length. Usually, they are one-hour-long podcasts, but quite often, they are about 2-3 hours in length. I listen for my sake and not for the blog. This was a conscious decision on my part because when I began writing this blog, I began to see everything as “an idea for the blog!” I actively worked to break myself of that mode of thinking. Thus, most of the podcasts I listen to are for personal enjoyment. My main selection is:
I also listen to many more not listed here. Consider those informal recommendations. Most times, I get inspired by a train of thought hinted at or fully discussed by the podcast. A perfect example of this is the Noreena Hertz appearance on EconTalk. During the day, I break my academic work by reading blogs. Most are wonky and extremely fascinating, and the rest are classic and mainstream. All are about economics, fight me. (If you would like a list of the blogs I frequent, email me!) Basically, my process for selecting a topic is to listen and read widely and “see what comes to me.”
Writing: I write every day. Most times, the ideas I get just don’t pan out into a full-length blog post, but I write them down anyway to ensure that I wrote something of use that day. Most of these mini writings make their way into the critically acclaimed “Things on My Mind” series. In some cases, an idea sticks and I run with that for a couple of weeks before posting (see: virtue economics, philosophical soft-serve, It’s About Time, Certainty Ratings: The case for Epistemological Honesty.) The rest take me a week to write. I write with the sole purpose of getting as many ideas on the page as possible without editing. For this, google docs is quite indispensable. I write in a document named “Things I am thinking about.” I usually don’t stress out over the length. I try to strike a good balance of depth and width. Most of this occurs during the editing phase.
Editing & Publishing: My editing usually occurs on Thursdays. I take the rough idea and whittle it down, this is my favorite phase because I get to see the genius or stupidity in what I write. I cut out a lot. The things I cut out don't disappear, I hoard them (hoarding is not really hoarding if you can't see the stuff, okay!?) on a document I call “Unused Gold.” Afterward, the piece is sent to the old guard i.e Franklin, who proceeds to tear into my work like a lion into a gazelle. He tells me if I have something good, if it makes no sense, or is poorly written (mostly the latter). This has been the most helpful part of this blog because I now have a rough idea of what ideas are good and what ideas are not. After that, I edit Franklin’s piece and unload the residual rage I have on his work for how mean he was to mine… it’s a healthy process. Then I upload the blog and schedule it for publication at 3 pm Central Time on Fridays. Once the blog goes live, Franklin and (or) I make witty comments on our Facebook page, and then we rinse and repeat. By the way, check out the Facebook page! We put a lot of effort (basically none) into coming up with one-liners promoting each post.
Overall, I would like to thank you for reading. Writing for the blog will probably continue if we had no readers, but it would not be worth it. You make this entire endeavor meaningful and without you, we won’t know what ideas resonate; without you; there’ll be no blog. We'll just be a couple of weirdos yelling into the black hole of the very vast internet. See you next week for our regularly scheduled program.
Certainty Rating: 99.9%