No more pies!


Previously I’ve written about having my finger[s] in too many pies. I’m now asking myself why that is so, whether it is a good or a bad thing, and what to do about it.

Too many pies: why is it so?

When I was working for the government to earn a living, I was very focused on my job. There was always too much to do then (balancing work and home life). And I tended to jump into opportunities to take on more and more work projects, so the pattern was always there.

Now I’m ‘retired’ I suddenly have the opportunity to do other things; creative things, domestic things, political things.

Anything and everything takes my interest (pretty much). So I’m finding plenty to do, see, contemplate and critique.

Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

If I have a lifelong pattern of taking on ‘too much’, what are the pros and cons? On the one hand, I’m never bored; on the other hand I have occasional FOMO. On the one, I’m learning about so many things that I knew nothing about; on the other, I can’t finish or resolve everything I start. One, I’m in a perpetual state of excitement from all the stimuli; other, potential adrenal exhaustion!

What to do about it?

That’s the question. I need to be very organised and to have some clear long-term goals. Goals that focus time and energy and interests. Goals that recognise and further support relationships between the pies.

Apple-pie order

Perhaps I start by working on apple-pie order. But then, what about the pecan, pork and pumpkin; the blackberry, blueberry and boysenberry, the key lime and kuchen; not to mention the cream and custard?

I wonder what fish-pie order would look like?


Image  One way to shorten pie. The best way to shorten pie. Cottolene, white, pure, wholesome. [front] by Boston Public LibraryCC-BY-2.0

I love data ♥

Big Data is watching you

Photo by Jeremy Keith (adactio)

I love data. And I love the conundrum of collecting complex data. I’ve been thinking about how to reflect on the past two years (post ‘retirement’) by doing some counting.

In my previous life I was privileged to spend a short time as the Manager of the ‘Next Practice’ team in the now defunct NSW Curriculum and Learning Innovation Centre (NSW CLIC). Amongst other things, our team had responsibility for collection of data in order to research and support educational innovation. I have always loved collecting, processing and analysing data and I learnt a lot from my highly skilled data team.

It’s been roughly two years since I stopped ‘working’. Time for some numerical reflection:

Here are some numbers that are important to me in this new quest to have a bash at a professional arts career. I’m reminded of my Finger in too many pies post, but also heartened that I have achieved some resolution with some of the pies.

Art work

Number of completed artworks 16
Number of artworks in progress >9
Number of arts works sold 7*

* It would appear that I have sold nearly 1/2 my completed works! However, 8 of those works have limited editions for sale. I’m now selling on ETSY so I’d love you to pay me a visit at

Web work

Number of blogs 5
Average weekly blog views >1000*
Number of websites 2
Average weekly web page views >5000

* 90% of the blog views are Chris’s blog Static Capital. Some days he gets more than 1000 views in 24 hrs. Legend!

Knit work

Number of completed knit projects >16
Number of knit projects in progress >5*
Number of swatch experiments >30

* Not counting the stored yarn and patterns that take up more than 50% of my storage space.

Gaming ‘work’

Number of documented virtual collaborations 6
Average weekly hours spent researching in virtual worlds >12
Ideas for gaming projects

Quality data

Quantities of things never make a lot of sense in the creative world. I really need to use visuals and descriptions, analyse relationships and measure both quantity and quality against plans and aspirations. But these numbers are a benchmark for moving forward!

NOTE: My contribution to ‘big data’

These days I’m doing my bit to add to the ‘BIG Data’ opportunities available to contemporary organisations. I do surveys. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram (when I can remember the passwords). I have multiple blogs and websites, and I attend to tags and other metadata. But I am trying to keep my data real and not turn into a netSEO cliché (that’s my term for the mercenary mentality that turns individuals with unique contributions to make into Google-hungry SEO content clones). So far that seems to be working OK!