Monday, February 11, 2002
By Paul Ford
I must be doing something right.
I'm seeking to make something of myself, working my contacts, finding that all that banging my head against a wall has finally
started the bricks crumbling. I'm trying to take advantage the help offered over the last 5 years. But, after years of false
modesty, I'm ashamed of all this ambition bubbling up like a long-submerged infection. Yet if I don't do something with it,
I know it will turn to resentment, jealousy, and arrogance.
I'm feeling this way when a friend, a talented pro photographer, calls and listens to me, and says, “here's what we'll do.
I'll come over and take some black and whites. You'll look good. And when they need your picture for a magazine, you can say,
'I have professional shots, and I can give you an exclusive scans or 8x10 glossy.' They'll ask you to send them over. They
want to save the cost of a photographer, so they'll probably use them. And I'll get the credit.”
To have a friend who believes in you enough to want to invest a small part of her own career in you is quite a thing. I feel
very proud and good. She's known me since I was 18, back when I was a miserable boy. She's remembered my birthday for 9 years.
I've forgotten hers for 8. I have the date memorized now. It's 3 days after my birthday. I'm getting better. I'll get it right
There are many people I need to thank right now, who are holding my hands and pulling me up from the pools. But she's put
up with more than almost any of them. She waited. I'm grateful. It seemed worth noting.
Ftrain.com is the website of Paul Ford and his pseudonyms. It is showing its age. I'm rewriting the code but it's taking some
There is a Facebook group.
You will regret following me on Twitter here.
About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit
things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.
If you have any questions for me, I am very accessible by email. You can email me at email@example.com and ask me things and I will try to answer. Especially if you want to clarify something or write something critical. I am
glad to clarify things so that you can disagree more effectively.
: RSS1.0, RSS2.0
© 1974-2011 Paul Ford
Recent Offsite Work: Code and Prose.
As a hobby I write.
Facebook and Instagram: When Your Favorite App Sells Out.
Why I Am Leaving the People of the Red Valley.
Welcome to the Company.
“Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?”.
Forgot to tell you about this.
“The Age of Mechanical Reproduction”.
An essay for TheMorningNews.org.
People call me a lot and say: What is this new thing? You're a nerd. Explain it immediately.
Recorded Entertainment #2, by Paul Ford.
Recorded Entertainment #1, by Paul Ford.
Nanolaw with Daughter.
Why privacy mattered.
0h30m w/Photoshop, by Paul Ford.
It's immediately clear to me now that I'm writing again that I need to come up with some new forms in order to have fun here—so
that I can get a rhythm and know what I'm doing. One thing that works for me are time limits; pencils up, pencils down. So:
Fridays, write for 30 minutes; edit for 20 minutes max; and go whip up some images if necessary, like the big crappy hand
below that's all meaningful and evocative because it's retro and zoomed-in. Post it, and leave it alone. Can I do that every
Friday? Yes! Will I? Maybe! But I crave that simple continuity. For today, for absolutely no reason other than that it came
unbidden into my brain, the subject will be Photoshop. (Do we have a process? We have a process. It is 11:39 and...)
That Shaggy Feeling.
Antilunchism, by Paul Ford.
Tickler File Forever, by Paul Ford.
I'll have no one to blame but future me.
Time's Inverted Index, by Paul Ford.
(1) When robots write history we can get in trouble with our past selves. (2) Search-generated, "false" chrestomathies and
the historical fallacy.
The Moral Superiority of the Streetcar.
(1) Long-form journalism fixes everything. (2) The moral superiority of the streetcar. (3) I like big bus and I cannot lie.