Speculation, Inquiry, and a Quest for Purpose


Some Potential Benefits of Space

The cognitive costs of context-switching are all about the brain work of choosing to ignore certain elements of your environment to focus on different ones. It's like having to go through everything in your field of view and review it for relevance whenever you change tasks without changing location. An immersive environment—be it for reading, writing, watching movies, making music—could reduce...

Diary 03

When it comes to prioritization, I'm rigidly hierarchical. Family always comes first, and that means writing must sometimes take a backseat. Reading is much easier to do when balancing those responsibilities, and that's the other thing I've been doing this past month.

Diary 02

I realize now how suspenseful it may have been to end a diary entry with, “I just tested positive for COVID-19,” and not follow it up with any kind of reassurance later. For that, I apologize. COVID hit the Hayes household and although it was disruptive and unpleasant, no one suffered any serious symptoms, and we’ve all made full recoveries. A month has gone by—a month in which...

Diary 01

If there's one thing I've learned from the past several weeks of travel, reading, and family visits, it's that my diary will quickly swell to an unmanageable size if I don't relieve the pressure a little more regularly.

In Search of a Foundation

In one year, my son will be old enough to start kindergarten, and I will have to decide what to do with myself. I could get a job, go back to school, double down on writing, or just curl into a ball and cry about how we're all doomed. What should I do?

A Quick Word on Scheduling

A few posts back, I mentioned that I would be posting a new essay here every week. While I did enjoy the rigor of that production schedule for a time, it quickly became an obligation that encroached on other projects I so desperately wish to complete. I strayed too far from my original intent for recommitting to my weblog, which was more to share my work process than grasp at finished thoughts to...

Current Projects: Winter 2021

I quit my day job in 2018 because I was fed up with how other people were spending my time, and I wanted to see what I would do with it if no one was buying it from me. At the time, I was rewriting a novel I had (foolishly) self-published back in 2016, finishing a second one I started in 2015, and trying to find a way to make writing more of a central focus in my life. By the end of 2018, I had...

Opening the Garage

Here, let me show you my workbench. For too long, I’ve been working with the garage door closed, making my machinations invisible to the curiosity of any passers-by. That closed-off outward appearance might even make it look like I haven’t been working on anything at all. But I have. And I’d like to share some of it with you. Let me start by showing you my tools and—in time—we...


Life is dissatisfying because everything is temporary, and we try to hold on to things. Mindfulness is the condition of being free from attachment or desire. Mindful practice leads one to that condition, or at least creates a condition where mindfulness can happen. However, the last obstacle to achieving true mindfulness is the desire to attain true mindfulness and the expectation that true...

Speculation, Inquiry, and a Quest for Purpose