Engine of More: Getting Started
These are the facts.
I want to write a book
I think the book is about Hackerspaces
I really don’t know how to write a book, but think writing more and regularly might help
I’m calling this series of writing Engine of More* as names seem to be important to me to get started, if a project doesn’t have a tidy name, I can sometimes not start at all. I’m going to explore some fears and “what is it” type ideas in this post.
What is this blog post about? With no real fanfare and no firm plan, I want to get into the habit of writing a lot more. Writing in the hope of improving, in the hope of spreading some ideas and ultimately in the desire to make a book about Hackerspaces. I really don’t know how to write a book or even where to start. Over the last 3 or 4 years, I’ve amassed dozens of pages of writing about Hackerspaces, some of which you can find in older blog posts here on bricolage.run.
I’ve long had a desire to capture some of the experience and insights I’ve had into the Hackerspace movement. Much of these thoughts and ideas have come to me over the last 10 or so years I’ve been engaging with the UK Hackspace Foundation, founders of hacker and maker spaces around the world, through dozens of visits to hacker and maker spaces and hundreds of conversations with those who engage at all levels with that environment.
My own personal experiences of co-founding the Nottingham Hackspace, of course, do bear on this as well, but only in part. I also co-founded the Derby Makers group and have been a member of the Bristol Hackspace and worked closely with the UK Hackspace Foundation too. I’ve witnessed and conversed with founders who have gone from enthusiast beginnings, difficult starts, total burnouts and even rebirths of their own initial vision. In my time as a entrepreneur selling laser cutters I’ve conducted business with a wild variety of workshop spaces and seen some of the nuances of both for-profit and not-for-profit workspaces, how the conduct themselves and the truths they hold closely in their ideals.
I can already see from this writing that I’m trying to justify my credentials to write a book about Hackerspaces. I suppose that is one of the 2 or 3 fears I have about writing this book. I suffer greatly from imposter syndrome. Everyone else (as it sometimes seems to me) has received instructions on how to calmly conduct themselves in all situations, never revealing emotions and always looking and seeming the part. I often feel this when I encounter organisations that have stemmed from top Universities or trendy companies (Cambridge & London based for the most part), who seem to have a handbook and training on funding and academia that I somehow missed in my formative years. I fear that people will accuse me of being negative about the Hackerspace movement. That I will seem bitter or just plain down on the whole thing. A thing which, at the face of it, brings many people joy. I’ve often tried to share my ideas about hackerspaces and they often don’t land well (in my perception) and I tend to find this frustrating. I am also conscious that, to some minds, the book shaped goal in my head looks like a “How to make the perfect Hackerspce” book, and I don’t know how to do that. Many of the ideas I’ll be sharing in it have not been adopted or practiced and have not made contact with “the enemy”. I also worry that the people who will engage with my writing are not the people I seek to impress.
I seem to have written quite a bit more than anyone might reasonably read here.
Note: Each post will have a square thumbnail picture. I’m going to use pictures from my own camera roll and they’ll have little to no relationship to the post. Todays picture is spray paint can tops in the Montana shop at Sneinton Market in Nottingham https://montanashop.co.uk/