Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.


Tag: work

Weaknotes for w/e 7 December 2019

Lots of work this week, plus a visit to the doctor and a trip to IKEA. Not a lot of time for much else. I’m still watching The Irishman, as it happens, but it’s not unusual for me to watch films in chunks over days so I wouldn’t read too much into that.


Weaknotes for f/e 24 August 2019

Nothing to report from the two weeks previous to this one just gone. I was ill for a few days over the big wrestling weekend in early August (TakeOver, SummerSlam and the G1 Climax final, as if you didn’t know) and the non-drowsy decongestant I got for my sinusitis messed up my sleep pattern completely. So it’s mostly a blur. It simultaneously feels like a lot less and a lot longer than the actual time that’s passed. More…


Weaknotes for w/o 28 July 2019

In the middle of another long work stretch, eight days that ends this Wednesday evening. But it also includes a press screening on Tuesday so it’s not all bad. I’m looking forward to having a couple of days off to unwind later this week. More…


Monthnotes for April & May 2018

April was quiet enough. I enjoyed WrestleMania weekend, even if I wasn’t moved to write much about it. My Twitter thread is here, though you might need the context of the show itself to follow along. As always, the NXT TakeOver show was the highlight.

As I mentioned previously, April saw a few actual trips to the cinema for me, to see Rampage, Lu Over the Wall and The Breadwinner, the last of which is one of my favourite films of the year thus far.

I started upping my rate of movies watched in May, which I’ll elaborate on in a separate post. I’ve also been watching more streaming TV as of late. More…


Wired: The Nintendo King and the Midlife Crisis

Not as sad a tale as you might expect, though it does raise questions as to what creative people in the digital realm will do when time goes on. What will we all do, in fact, as the notion of work changes from security to mere sustainability? #link


Monthnotes for March 2018

My second feature for Bandcamp Daily was published mid-month, this one on a selection of bands exploring new directions in grindcore. Again, it’s not a definitive guide, nor meant to be one; it’s a selection of artists across a spectrum that have caught my attention over time, and which fit the brief. I’m very happy with how it turned out; cheers to my editor Jes Skolnik for their work in that regard. More…


Monthnotes for February 2018

I already covered the beginning of February in my previous notes, and there’s little to report for the rest of the month. Time flies; sometimes there isn’t much to show for it work-wise. And sometimes the weather slows the country into shutdown mode. So let’s turn to some personal projects. More…


Happy Scribe

Another automatic transcription service (not that I’ve tried the others I’ve linked here yet) but this one’s based in DCU’s start-up incubator, where they’ve got some top notch machine learning talent. Also they charge, about €5.40 for an hour of audio, so the quality had better be good. #link


Poynter: Burned once, publishers are wary of Medium’s new subscription offering

Sigh. ‘Pivoting’ is great for start-ups and VCs, who must believe it’s a virtue to be so nimble. It’s not so good for their employees or contractors, those who supply the necessary labour, who can’t possibly be expected to follow suit. And it’s all in the service of an ad market that doesn’t have a metric for (and therefore, doesn’t understand) the way advertising works now. [c/o Kottke.org] #link


Douglas Coupland: ‘The nine to five is barbaric’

“The future will not have the nine till five. Instead, the whole day will be interspersed with other parts of your life. Scheduling will become freeform.” Ah, the privilege of having a career one loves to the point where work/life balance is no longer a relevant concern. #link


Tara Flynn on ‘the work of art’

“Where the craft lies, what people forget to value, is the work no one sees. The binned drafts. The recycled clay, the choreography that doesn’t click. It’s heartbreaking and nobody knows or cares; why should they? Except that is where the work is. That’s where experience blossoms. The sheer doing it everyday is the 'genius', not the flash of inspiration that can lead to acclaim. Not the jammy gig, big commission, showy role.” #link


Stop trying to save bad work

Mike Monteiro (he of the magnificent beard and the NSFW Twitter page) contributed this list of 10 New Year’s resolutions for designers to .net magazine. But many of them can apply to other creative endeavours, especially the third:

The most common question I get from designers after pointing out what is wrong with their work is, “Can I save this?”

You are not Jesus and comps aren’t for saving. If something isn’t working, start over. Otherwise the goal you’re working towards is saving your work, not solving the problem.

Also, comps do not have feelings. You are not abandoning them. (You have no idea how much therapy that sentence took. Seriously.)

This urge comes from not wanting to feel like the time they’ve spent on that comp is wasted. The only possible way you can waste time is by being dishonest with yourself about its value. If you just spent an hour on a comp thinking it was working, then that was time spent honestly trying to solve a problem. The minute you realise the comp isn’t working and you start trying to “save it”, you’re no longer working towards good design. You’re working towards ego salvage. You gonna bill for that? That’s what I mean by dishonest time.

Substitute ‘drafts’ for ‘comps’ and X for ‘design’ and you’ve got a spot-on pep-talk for people in any creative discipline (especially writers).