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Some great advice

"Going wide can be overwhelming. So go deep instead."

Photo of a vertical profile of the ocean, from the surface to the deep blue

I recently discovered the blog[archived] of Rebecca Toh[archived], and came across this amazing piece of advice[archived]:

Going wide can be overwhelming—there’s so much to read, watch, think about. So go deep instead. Reread the books you love. Go back to your notes, over and over again. Rewatch movies. Chew over the ideas that have inspired you—allow them to sink roots, become a part of you. Realise that this is an important part of your personal-philosophy-forming-process, so keep digging in. Go deep.

It's good to hear this. Initially my mind went off to the current situation of the world, with COVID-19 and the protests against police brutality and racism. In trying to help with the latter I read 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice[archived] together with my girlfriend, and I selected 18 items from that list that I felt I could do. I want to understand everything that's happening, I want to help as much as I can, and the feeling can be overwhelming to the point where it's hard to know where to start. Focusing on a few things, helping in a couple different ways, seems like a more productive way.

In times where we have practically an infinite number of options of movies to see and books to read, rewatching a movie or rereading a book seems almost like an act of resistance.

Her advice also reminded me of my process for making music. I have plenty of music gadgets at home, and I tend to learn how to play just enough of them. Lately I've been thinking about using just a few of them — the OP-Z[archived], the ZOIA[archived], and my guitar — so that I can master them in the way a violin player masters the violin. Approaching them like instruments, learning them inside-out, and turning their limitations into creative constraints.

(Photo by Cristian Palmer on Unsplash.)

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