July Update – Current Employment

July Update – Current Employment

July 15th, 2013
posted by

Current Employment

Early this year, I left Chess.com after just over four years spent teaching, entertaining, designing features, marketing, and working with the chess community. After such a long period of working long hours, almost without a break, I decided to take a bit of a break and consider what I wanted to do next with my life.

Although I am no longer as optimistic as I was then about my talents, my child-hood dream was to be a writer, and I concluded that this was the time to dedicate myself to that endeavor.

It’s been a couple months now, and here are two things I’ve found:
– Working on two projects at once is working out just as well as I imagined: I don’t lose my focus by having 8 things to think about; nor do I get bored and frustrated being forced to plug away at a single thing all the time.
– Writing is even harder than I imagined, and in both 4-hour and 3-hour blocks I noticed a sharp decline in productivity along with fatigue towards the end. Best has been 1.5-2 hours at a time. After 20-30 minutes of garden work, I’m good to get back at it.

The two projects I am currently working on are:
– A collection of essays, as is pretty obvious from this site itself. I am publishing drafts of the essays up here for feedback.
– A novel, in collaboration with a friend. We alternate writing chapters between meetings where we plot out the next several chapters, discuss character developments, and give each other feedback on what we have written so far.

The other projects that I have in mind to possibly get to at some point include:
– a non-fiction book about the chess world (for which I have more than 50% of the first draft).
– a collection of rap songs on social issues
– a collection of rap songs about the chess world
– a collection of short stories (fiction)
– a novel

I should add that not only has writing proven extremely challenging, but it has been interesting and rewarding!

The other project that has been taking some of my time is learning to grow food– one of the first practical skills I’ve ever sought to acquire. First we planted seedlings in egg cartons; then friends gifted us a bunch of small starter plants. We build a planter, and some other make-shift plant boxes, bought some soil to help get started, and then tended the plants carefully for two months. Almost all of them have been thriving– lettuce, tomatoes, onions, mint, basil, squash, green beans, kale… It has been a deeply satisfying experience both to nurture cute buds all the way to adult plants nearly my size, and to gather food in our yard and eat it. I feel much more like a living being, using my body and mind, than I did before leading a 99% intellectual (and largely online) existence.

This entry was posted on Monday, July 15th, 2013 at 10:35 am and is filed under Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “July Update – Current Employment”

  1. Jing Says:

    Good job David, I look forward to reading your novel !

  2. Anna L Says:

    Good luck with your projects David! I’m glad you’re doing well.

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