Cadence & Composition

One of the reasons for creating Yellow Brick Letters is to force me to publish. I am loath to complete and release anything because I see it for the utter dreck that it is. In my case this is not merely a bad habit, it's a character flaw. Deep down I would be happy never to publish anything. Writing for me is first and foremost a process of how I learn and understand the world around me. But as such, that process never ends because what you understand today will likely turn out to be completely wrong tomorrow. Whatever I write is always in the process of becoming something else. Publication arrests and creates a snapshot of that process which will be out of date before anyone ever has a chance to read it.

The adage that if you don't publish it's not science is correct. YBL is a compromise that allows me to continue to compose as an evolving process and establish a publishing cadence so that others learn from my mistakes.

YBL is designed to turn my cognitive bug into a feature by treating everything published as a continuum of snapshots of texts which are constantly evolving.

We announce issues a full calendar year before they will be published and each issue begins as a stub; a blank slate with a tenuous theme and little else. Over the course of a year, letters will be added to the pipeline for each issue. Letters begin as stubs and then are expanded into notes and then into drafts and then finally at the end of the quarter for each issue all letters will be frozen and released. That doesn't mean that more revisions won't be added in the future but each revision will be given a new release number.

Science and scholarship is messy and anyone who has tried to write anything more complicated than a thank you note to grandma knows what an utter trainwreck most writing is right up until it is published. YBL will capture that process of ideas evolving over time and slowly coming into focus.

It will take some time for this process to accumulate content; especially for the first issue. But I hope that once things get going, publication will begin to form a regular organic cadence as the project progresses.

Screed is ostensibly a blog that provides context and running commentary that will make this larger process legible to those reading YBL.