I've been neglecting something. My language documentary: Spread the Word. I think it is because I've set it up in my head as this huge project that requires a lot of planning and effort. It's this intimidating black box lurking in my mind. Like when you're doing a math test and your teacher, Ms. Finkelstein plants herself to the side of you and watches you struggle with a problem. You're pretending like you know what you're doing. But you don't. You see her out of your peripheral vision – you feel her intrusive presence – and you can't even focus on the math anymore. What even is an obtuse angle? What is a trapezoid? You're sweating. All you can think about is how stupid Ms. Finkelstein thinks you are. She's probably snickering to herself, she'll have a laugh about you with her husband over dinner tonight, probably.

Anyway, Ms. Finkelstein is like this documentary. Because it's sort of always in the back of my head, and I really should be working on it, but it's sort of scary to actually do it. This metaphor is pretty bad.

Anyway, it really sucks that I haven't been working on the documentary. Because I am genuinely excited about it. Creating a word is a really cool concept to me. What I've learned is that I am most productive on a project when I just work on it everyday. Which sounds obvious, but what I mean is that I have to just go for it, film something, do something. Something is always better than nothing. And once I get some momentum, I can always come up with bigger plans and do more ambitious things. What I'm saying is that it's easier to just start filming, start with something, and then build from there – come up with crazier and crazier plans. If you start off with a crazy plan and do nothing but plan, all you'll be left with is a plan. Which is cool, if you're into plans. But I'm into films.

So. What I'm going to do is simple. Everyday, I'm going to work on the language documentary in some shape or form, do some filming. I need to actually make the first episode, and I do have a decent amount of footage right now, so if I shoot a few other things, that should be enough for a good first episode.

Some things to shoot:

  • Researching linguistics - linguistics research portion
  • Finding the word - rationale for it
  • Skits? About my relationship with language? With friends?
  • Exposure therapy sequence
  • Acting out trendy words in public
  • Talking to a linguist
  • Stream of consciousness, rabbit hole form

This weekend I'm going to make a music video. But starting Monday, this will be my primary focus. Everyday I will shoot something. This is my commitment.


Mind Straw #10: July Twenty One 2023