introducing work in progress

In building a business, creativity, learning, personal brand by Jay Clouse

Earlier this year, I wrote about reducing entropy — a concept from physics that relates to the disorder in a system. Over the last week or so, I was reminded of the presence of entropy, both through conversation with some friends of mine, and watching my external world (my system) trend towards relative disorder.

So I’ve been fighting back over the last several days; in physics terms, I’ve been putting energy back into the system to get things in order. Things as simple as cleaning my apartment and getting a haircut to more involved like joining a gym, upgrading my laptop, and sitting down at my computer and working on some of my more ambiguous goals.

It’s a funny paradox — I took a break from writing to hold the space to direct my creative energy elsewhere…but, what I found was that by holding almost too much space, I was constantly in a state of, “Well, I’ll work on that in tomorrow’s open block of time.”

I think you see the dangerous pattern that can become.

So, I’m back to writing to provide some structure to hold space within. To be honest, I truly feel a lower level of mental clarity and even mental health when I’m not writing. It’s not easy — in an interview I listened to recently, Zach Braff said, “There’s nothing worse than needing to write, and nothing better than just having written.”

Dax Shepard also said, “Writers are like people who decided to do homework every day for the rest of their life.” I agree with both.

But writing gives me a medium for working out my thoughts, forces me to produce, and gives structure to my ideas.

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So to that point, I am sharing a change to this newsletter. To be honest, I’ve always hated the name, “the daily.” In fact, I came up with that name in a total hurry because I wanted to reboot my mailing list and realized I needed to create some sort of brand and consistency around the writing.

I rebooted last March, and never thought I’d stick with it for almost a year and a half.

Over that time, I’ve asked people how they would describe my writing — because I was struggling to “define” it myself. I got a wide, wide range of responses, and that’s probably because I write about a pretty wide range of ideas.

But for the most part, it comes from the experience I have on my journey to learn, grow, create meaningful work, and connect with people.

It’s about my relation to the idea of “work” and my work specifically. And, as you’ve read, my work is a work in progress.

At the same time, the work that I do with others, is work literally in progress. I work to help them make progress on their project, to progress their thinking, etc.

So I’m renaming this newsletter work in progress.

I’m not an expert. And while I plan to continue to share my thoughts and experience here, I am just one data point. Take the things you like, challenge the things you don’t, and choose your own adventure.

While I recognize that I may forfeit the posture of “expert” or “thought leader” by branding my writing as work in progress, it feels the most real. So I don’t care!

I’m excited to be back sharing and connecting with you here.

PS: I’d love your help in sharing this newsletter. If you’ve enjoyed the newsletter to this point, please consider sharing work in progress on social media, forwarding this, etc. Click here to share.


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