I never know how this works to say he is a great man means what exactly? What makes one great? Not wars, at least not according to Yoda.

“I was struck from the very beginning that there is a totally independent and new voice in writing.”

Werner Herzog on Harmony Korine

And yet I can’t understand his scribbles, but at least I am having a cracking good time in this crazy mixed up town. Sleep wants me, but I don’t want sleep. It’s overrated at best, so I resist.

Jack Kerouac was a cool cat, at least in his prose. I adore him above all the other Beat Generation icons. His words speak directly to the soul of who I am. On the Road, a classic yes, but give me The Dharma Bums or the Book of Sketches to really get me going.

I’m calling on you now Jack. I want to feel the extraordinary in the ordinary, experience the wind howling across the fog drenched landscape as I walk mile after mile, drifting, searching (for what, for anything but certainty).

People kept asking you how you did what you did, so you laid it for them, and me, in way only you could.

Like Ginsberg did when writing Howl, I’ll post these on my wall:


Thanks for these Jack.

“Belief and Technique for Modern Prose.”

1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
2. Submissive to everything, open, listening
3. Try never get drunk outside yr own house
4. Be in love with yr life
5. Something that you feel will find its own form
6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
7. Blow as deep as you want to blow
8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind
9. The unspeakable visions of the individual
10. No time for poetry but exactly what is
11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest
12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time
15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
17. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself
18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
19. Accept loss forever
20. Believe in the holy contour of life
21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
22. Don’t think of words when you stop but to see picture better
23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning
24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it
26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
27. In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
29. You’re a Genius all the time
30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven

I stumbled upon the “stock and flow” conversation again today. Quite timely really as I’ve been reevaluating where and on what I spend my time on when I’m on the Net (actually as I wrote that last bit, I thought, hold on, the Net is always on…am I ever really off of the Net (as my watch just dinged me to let me know I have a new notification, but that is a discussion for another, I think).

Robin Sloan, the guy who wrote the original post, defines stock and flow as:

Flow is the feed. It’s the posts and the tweets. It’s the stream of daily and sub-daily updates that remind people you exist.

Stock is the durable stuff. It’s the content you produce that’s as interesting in two months (or two years) as it is today. It’s what people discover via search. It’s what spreads slowly but surely, building fans over time.

*stock and flow btw is an economic concept that Robin adopted as a metaphor for writing in the connected world.

As Robin writes:

Flow is ascendant these days, for obvious reasons—but I think we neglect stock at our peril. I mean that both in terms of the health of an audience and, like, the health of a soul. Flow is a treadmill, and you can’t spend all of your time running on the treadmill. Well, you can. But then one day you’ll get off and look around and go: oh man. I’ve got nothing here.

That’s the situation I’m trying to avoid – having no stock – because I spend way too much time creating flow. And there’s a good reason for that. Flow is quick, as quick as a retweet or a share. Creating stock, on the other hand, takes time. Time to sit and think. Time to digest and make sense. Time to craft the sense-making into something readable to others. And, finally, time to share.

That’s a lot of time.

And who has time?

Of course, if I cut out the time I spend on flow, I’d have more time to spend on stock. But you ignore flow at your peril too:

This is no time to hole up and work in isolation, emerging after years with your work in hand. Everybody will go: huh? Who are you? And even if they don’t—even if your exquisite opus is the talk of the tumblrs for two whole days—if you don’t have flow to plug your new fans into, you’re suffering a huge (get ready for it!) opportunity cost. You’ll have to find those fans all over again next time you emerge from your cave.

Somewhere in all of this, there has to be some balance.

And that’s the trick isn’t it, balancing the two – stock and flow.