3 min read

On Being a ⛲ of 💡s

(a fountain of ideas)
On Being a ⛲ of 💡s

Call it the perks of inattentive ADHD brain, indoor kid syndrome, or whatever but I am a “literal” fountain of ideas all the time always for everything.

(it took me 29 years to not treat every spark of an idea like a precious gem that needed to be polished.)

Most ideas I come up with for businesses, workshops, art, books, conf talks, product features, rearchitectures, keeping myself Organized etc. are momentarily interesting but a few stick and roll around my head like marbles.

Following the time-worn advice to “get your ideas out on a piece of paper so they stop plaguing you” lead to a 780 row spreadsheet. I’m not kidding. Google Sheets struggles to load that behemoth to this day and I’m sure I’m on some Super Spreadsheet Power (Ab)user list.

In a strange way I do have a semblance of a Darwinian college basketball tournament bracket winnowing process. The ideas that persist year after year are the ones I eventually try out in some fashion or another - case in point writing and publishing!

1 idea from The Spreadsheet for writing and publishing “Radical Textbooks”

(not radical in the way you may be thinking more like actually just trying to teach kids not regurgitated garbage from mcgrawhill/pearson

Vision -> Validation -> Revision -> Validation The heart of the textbook: non condescending, engaged, human-related, relatable tech, product focused Skinny Bitch (high school appropriate) Relatable humor, honest, self-deprecating Real-world examples Graphic novels (marbles) Not mandatory supplemental - only free/optional NO SIGN IN The Skimm personal ide That one manufacturing processes book Someecards (irreverent) Don’t make the tone “you have to learn it - get through the classes” Show the amazingness, maintain a sense of wonder/reverence for the material Not convoluting Amy Schumer w/magazine -> Amy gets at deeper truth and human-focused and caring I fucking love science facebook page Cookbooks (old vs new) NEW Really bold women who were criticized Foreword get over feeling stupid ask the questions, you can ask Accessible to middle school & high school Projects guided by project Don’t want to make them like STEM, here’s awesome resources, here’s what you can do with it, do what you want with it, doesn’t make you feel better A resource, reference, more digestible and interesting/fascinating - not a shortcut to passing a class, a way to encourage life long curiosity and self empowerment I looked bad for failing out of ME, didn’t want to ask questions, important to be exceptional because you’re the only representation Aesthetically pleasing texbook Well organized information, well-formatted Writing in a non-dry way - written with a voice “it’s cool” here’s why How-to guides built in and fun projects (stats analysis on number of texts) WHAT GIRLS CARE ABOUT Animals Personal identity Helping people Self-improvement Social Causes Applications in the home Environmental Children Organization Begin with pre-algebra what is out there already what information is essential

Apropos of nothing → I’ve been transitioning to native Mac apps as much as possible (yes there is a bigger convo to be had about my deGoogle and deAmazon efforts and how this intersects). Mostly in an effort to finally finally clean up my digital house which has become an overwhelming hoarder situation (see also my studio art supplies 🤫).

I’ve been living part of my life digitally since my first illicit middle school MySpace profile. By high school I had to turn in assignments via Google Docs and had migrated to Tumblr and Facebook. College was all-in on Facebook and at some point post-graduation I relented and got on Instagram. For years I allowed my social media profiles to serve as my digital photo album(s) and the actual photo repos on my phone were unorganized blobs of chaos.

As I turned away from social media I lost that valuable practice of reviewing photos, organizing, sharing, archiving, and with my penchant for screenshotting things to remember later in a few short years I ended up with a pile of 20,000+ photos to sort through.

me stressin over which of the 5 almost identical photos of Norman to save Forever???


PS I have written code again for fun (at work !!!) what a delight.

Normy Normie Norman