My free 6-month subscription to Sirius satellite radio runs out at the end of this month, and I’m seriously addicted to Unfiltered Politics, Tim Farley’s @morningbriefing and Stand Up with @petedominick so soon I’ll have to start paying for my politics.
I was enthralled with Seth Godin’s blog today and the topic of being a scientist. Science was one of my worst subjects in school; I could not memorize a formula to save my life and hated knowing there was only one right answer for every question. According to Seth, scientists tell you how things work out. “…it’s so easy to say, “of course it worked…” and then make up a reason for whatever it is that just succeeded,” he writes.
The practice, Seth writes, is to start making predictions in writing. “You don’t have to share them in public, but the habit will push you to understand your instincts and to sharpen your ability to see what works (and what doesn’t) without the easy out of having to explain what already happened.”
I’ve actually been doing this lately as I’m working on my novel, re-writing scenes where I thought I knew what I wanted to happen and changing things around, letting my characters develop on their own, which I see sharpens my skills for what will be successful. By doing this, Seth predicts I’ll learn two things:
- It’s really difficult to make predictions, because success often appears to be random
- Based on #1, it’s probably smart for you to initiate more projects that aren’t guaranteed winners, because most winners aren’t guaranteed.
And a bonus, the more you practice your predictions, the better you’ll get at discerning where the science is.