Day 0.2

I *was* very tired last night after I wrote. I was in bed by midnight and I slept until 10am this morning although I had a little wake-up-with-busy-head session for an hour or so around 6am.

I was reminded that I need to remember to take the big but difficult actions that I know will make progress rather than focusing on lots of peripheral stuff that's easy but doesn't get much done. 

Another $260 came in via indiegogo.

I was also reminded that when I put stuff out there, there are people who don't get it immediately and they ask questions and offer criticisms.  I have to have a way of dealing with that, that isn't just about sweeping it away and saying it doesn't matter.  Yes "h8ters gonna h8" but I gain a lot more from engaging with questions and ultimately understanding the ideas better myself.

Having criticism voiced also drew out some thoughtful writing from supporters. Thank you.

I'm keeping a video diary that I'm not publishing yet.  I expect to weave it into the movie.  I don't think I said anything in tonight's entry that I didn't put in posts today so it's not keeping stuff secret, just that I want to be able to thread the story together including some stuff that isn't released immediately.

Originally posted on Please Look After This Englishman

Other Differences

One of the great things about putting this work in front of a wider audience is that people are engaging with it who don't already know me, like me,  understand what I'm doing, get the way that I work.  That means I have to keep explaining it from different perspectives and not only does that hopefully help them understand what this project's about, it helps me understand better too.

I think there are a couple of ways in which my approach is unusual.  

Firstly this really is an experiment.  An experiment in which I truly don't know how things are going to turn out.  We generally don't do this.  In school when we do experiments, we're actually repeating a specific step-by-step process that someone else has gone through that has a known outcome and an intended educational point.  

I don't really do things step-by-step, I resist structure and rules like that.  If I'm doing anything step-by-step exactly the way that someone else has done it, I'm not aware of it.  

According to his blurb, Paul Smith set out to get as far as he could around the world for free with a target of New Zealand, while holding certain rules about the circumstances under which he would accept help, including that he could only take help from people on Twitter.  

That's not what I'm doing.  I'm improvising a journey through my online social network where some of the nodes are already known to me and some aren't.  Paul seems to have done it to show that it could be done and the extent to which you can find help on the road.  I'm building on that to look at what all these relationships mean and what the value is.  

And while I know that my outcome is that I will return home at the end of the month, I don't know what the overall outcome of the project will be, I don't know how my relationships will be altered, augmented or diminished, I don't know what I'll learn about America, Americans and myself.  At the end, I'm expecting to be able to say something interesting and useful around the nature of social capital, its dynamics and value, but I'm entirely open-minded as to what I might say.

The aspect that makes all of this more novel is that I will also be writing about it as I go.  I'll be doing the equivalent of publishing my notebooks and source materials as I go.  So when I say I'm going to write about my journey the question is how does that differ from any travel writer?  Well most travel writers (film-makers) don't write their book (make their film) in public, they squirrel away lots of notes and draft scraps and then pull them together for publication (screening).   And mostly they don't involve their "audience" in what they're doing until the travelling bit is done.  I've been involving you in this from the start.

For most people out there, this way of working is unusual.  It's not new, but I think that it produces more interesting work than traditional approaches.  It's certainly the only way that I seem to be able to do anything.

Originally posted on Please Look After This Englishman


Yesterday, Emma (@hubmum) asked "is this a charity thing or fund my holiday?"  today the ever-charming Milo (@nerosaid "Social media moron redux Is this a spoof? The guy just wants you to pay for his holiday… What am I missing?"

I know that if someone's prepared to call me a moron, at least I'm doing something worth talking about.  On the other hand, I think it's an interesting reaction and worth answering.  

Do I just want you to pay for my holiday? No, course not. The simple answer, I gave to Emma on twitter yesterday is that it isn't a holiday at all.  "It's a performance, a writing and film-making project" and I'm using the tool of crowdfunding that is increasingly used as a way of people being able to make art projects happen by going straight to their audience beforehand without jumping through complicated funding hoops for big chunks of cash from big funding bodies or corporations.

I guess there are two bits that people have been interested in funding.  The first is the performance.  They'll enjoy watching me make my way coast-to-coast, seeing what happens, where I go, what I learn, being part of the adventure without having to go and do it themselves.

Then there's the writing and film-making – people want  to hear the whole story with some reflection and analysis – some people are particularly interested in the social capital angle, understanding what the value is of working in this way – some people are just taken with hearing a hero's journey played out by someone they know.

That's why I think people are supporting my work, but I'd be fascinated to hear more from those who've already  contributed and anyone who's wavering too.

Originally posted on Please Look After This Englishman