Warning: This is a therapy post. I’m currently sitting in a mess. Literally. I estimate that I’m about 30% done with a move that will happen in a few days. The mess that surrounds me is the things that haven’t yet made it into a box or bag. And that’s the problem. As I look around at this mess laid bare, I can help but think of how it’s weighed on my mind over the last four years that I’ve lived in this apartment.
Dateline: Kutaisi, Georgia—07 Mar. 2017 I woke up this morning and pretty much decided that today would be a lazy day. The blisters had healed some, but today wasn’t the day to put them to the test. I was awake by 8:30 a.m. and stayed under the covers a bit to enjoy the benefit of a duvet heavy enough to cause a foot cramp if I pointed my toes at the ceiling.
Dateline: Tbilisi, Georgia—03 Mar. 2017 Today was all about getting settled into a place for the weekend. And more sleep. Lots more. I’ve also learned that some streets just don’t have names and that’s okay. Up and out Nana, my host, had today off work as it was Mother’s Day. Here it’s an actual holiday, not just a greeting card sales promotion event. Most retail businesses I saw were still open.
Dateline: Istanbul, Turkey—01 Mar. 2017 If yesterday was about trains, today is all about the planes. Specifically the Turkish Airlines 777-300 that flew me into Istanbul. Boeing 777-300ER safety card. It's the biggest plane I've ever been on. The inflight entertainment system had screens in the back of every seat. I wasn't sleepy at the beginning of the flight, so I watched two movies I had been putting off seeing, Jack Reacher Never Go Back and The Accountant.
Dateline: Toronto, Canada—28 Feb. 2017 One of our great philosophers once said, “A journey of a thousand miles starts will a single body scan.”1 Today was an air-travel day. I started out on a train and will end it during my second flight of the day. I’m also playing fast-and-loose with a definition of what “today” is. Since I’ll do most of the “night’s” sleeping on the long-haul flight to Istanbul, that will end my “day.
Dateline: Phoenix, AZ USA—27 Feb. 2017 I’ve decided to cash in my chips and hit the road for a while. This trip is one of those where I’ve been thinking about it for a while, but only bought the tickets a few weeks ago. It will also give me a chance to test out some of my MVW strategies, as I’ll be traveling light. I’ll be leaving tomorrow (28 Feb.) and my trip begins with a 28 hour flight.
As I’m putting together this series of articles about becoming a Minimum Viable Writer, one thought keeps coming back to me: why bother? I briefly touched on this in the last article, but feel it deserves more explanation. On some level, MVW might seem like just another backup strategy or a guide about how to work more efficiently on the road. The MVW concept covers that and more, but it has also grown into a mindset for me.
The MVW is a writer who can work in any situation while maintaining almost full productivity. The question becomes how to get there and what’s needed along the way? I envision the MVW as someone who is hardware agnostic as possible. There’s no harm in having a favorite platform or writing app, but when the chips are down, the MVW can get by without. Also lurking around the edges of the MVW idea is the question, why bother?
I like to work on a variety of computers. Only one of them is a non-Apple product. It’s a cheapo Lenovo laptop I got three years ago at Black Friday sale for $300. The original Windows 8 didn’t last much longer than the first battery charge. Now it runs Xubuntu Linux off of a small solid-state drive I installed. Overall, its 11″ screen and poor battery life make it a mostly pathetic specimen soon to relegated to the scrapheap.
With all of the changes that are happening in the world as we dive headfirst in to 2017 I’ve started to inventory my needs as a writer. My name for this project is the MVW or Minimum Viable Writer. This is a play on the idea of a “minimum viable product” that is popular in the culture of tech startups. It’s an idea rooted in the concept of doing as little as needed to launch a product or service.