1. Reframe, Reflect: at least once a week
Hyper Island taught me was the power of reflection. Through a few questions, I could distance myself from the task at hand, and little by little - document, observe, and untangle. Reflection wasn't confined to just the project, but many times, on life itself. Often we are faced with conflicts that have its roots in the emotional. I emerged from reflections usually triumphant, having cemented a learning or simply closing the loop.
2. Go analog: buy a notebook you like
For this project, I'd grappled with the best way to capture my learnings. A public blog was the first choice, befitting for an era of sharing and gloating. Then one day in a random coffee shop, feeling lost in space, time, and my topic, I rapidly filled six pages in a Field Notes notebook. A deep sigh and a tired right hand later, I knew the answer for me was going analog. The rapid motion of ink on paper, the indecipherable scribbling , the feeling of presence and mobility, all made the exercise joyful.
3. Know how you work: find the best circumstances
One of the biggest lessons of working solo on a long project is knowing how you work. Without the natural rhythm of a workplace, how does one persevere? It didn't start pretty. Wandering from the study to the kitchen became a mournful affair. Coffeeshops were not quite the answer either. It was a profound loneliness from a lack of real interactions. I found my perfect set up accidentally, when I lived with my mother for three weeks and injected myself in her routine of cooking, feeding, dish cleaning, and interacting with an elderly she took care of. I would often write intensely for half an hour, then help around the house, then write more.