Documentation has always felt like a chore to me. I either forget or not do it at all, to me it just doesn’t feel right for some reason. Is it laziness? Is it an unwillingness to share all my ideas or to see my mistakes? What am I afraid I’ll see? My weaknesses? Am I still afraid or frustrated by my own mistakes and weaknesses?
During my undergrad I seldom took notes in class. Whenever I did I ended up with unintelligible information, from different subjects spread acccross the same pages.
That changed over the last two years. Working as a “charity mugger”, before going onto the “field”, it was important to memorise your pitch, practice, make notes of any information given to you by senior staff and by clients. Clarity was key in order to perfectly deliver a pitch and sell. My note making process became quite extensive and that habit spilled over onto my other practices.
For music, I always make sure to record sounds, noises and rehearsal sessions with my band, because you never know what you might get inspired by. I properly file and name audio tracks, grouping them together by dates and obviously backing them up onto external hard drives.
I have a similar process for photography, where I take pictures of whatever looks nice or intrigues me. Most of the time they end up just clogging up the space on my phone or some hard-drive, never to be used again. Every so often I’ll use an old photo of some dead pigeon from back in 2008 or some weird angled photo of a door or something.
It’s interesting because I say that I find documentation to be a chore when I essentially do that on a daily basis without even thinking anymore. If I have an idea I write it down, if lyrics comes to mind I write them down, if I need to do something I write it down.
With social media for example we have a sort of documentation of our lives, interests and opinions since the creation of our pages. Facebook offers a sort of timeline of what you’ve posted from the beginning of your page creation to now offering a good opportunity for introspection.
Obviously social media is not a complete reflection of who is behind the screen. It is also rather easy to customise your page to look and feel and come across a certain way.
Personally I tend to share my thoughts on there and every so often I like to go back to the beginning and see how my thoughts and opinions progressed over the years.
I’ve also carried and opened various blogs since the age of 16. One time I had a blog for writing pieces of poetry, another one for photos and daily entries, like a journal.
Even though I have taken part in various documentation technics this idea of documenting my work and what I’m doing feels new and different. Even though it is not really. So why do I attribute it as being a tedious task?
I remember in my first year of university, as part of one of our modules, we were asked to keep a record of our progresses for the building of a remote control car. We made sure to also write about the difficulties we were encountering on the way and how we dealt with them.
I remember thinking how annoying and tedious this process was. However this offered introspection and the opportunity to get a clear view of our thought process and how we dealt with problems and issues that rose during the building process. Our documentation gave a clear view of our progress but in other instances this was not the case.
If the documentation is not regularly carried out then we get a cropped idea of what happened and our vision becomes blurry.
After writing this entry, i’m actually looking forward to this ongoing documentation of my work.
It is not only going to be good practice but also enable me to understand myself in a different way and offer some clarity concerning my work ethic.
From what inspire me, to how I get inspired, to how i work and even how to use that as part of my work, the documenting part will offer new ways of seeing and doing things.
Clarity is power, purpose is drive.