18
November

Big Data and … um … Lions

2 Comments

Back in my gov­ern­ment days, we dealt with a lot of what’s now called “Big Data.” That’s a fancy term for an unholy amount of infor­ma­tion that needs to be parsed so you can get mean­ingful results. Parsing it is no mean feat, and there are tons of soft­ware tools that sift through the data in dif­ferent ways.

And each of these tools was com­pli­cated in its own right. Which meant training. Hours and hours of training. I would lose entire days of work sit­ting through class after class, inun­dating me with infor­ma­tion that I would almost never use regarding tools I would almost never use. Those classes were long, and they were boring, and 99% of the infor­ma­tion I got in them was irrelevant.

But I always went to them, and I always paid attention.

Because, some­times a tool would be helpful. Some­times, some­where in the 8 hours of crap, there was 15 min­utes or so of crit­ical infor­ma­tion that could help me do my job. I could never tell when that golden 15 min­utes would arrive. The only thing I could do was show up, pay atten­tion, and be ready.

So, yeah. Writing.

I had a major break­through on BREACH ZONE the other day. There was a char­acter arc problem (the toughest kind for me) that had been dog­ging me for months. I was begin­ning to despair of ever solving it. I had to keep throwing myself against it again and again and again: talking and talking and talking it through with my beta-readers.

Because, you never know when that break­through will come. All you can do is keep trying, and be ready.

Ron Collins once told me that writers have to live life like they’re hunting it. How long does a lion hide in the tall grass, silently waiting for its prey to show up at the watering hole?

As long as it takes.

Get to work.

  • Carrie Bern­stein

    I am doing the writing thing and the sta­tis­tical soft­ware for big data thing recently. So big ups for con­necting them… for me they reside on oppo­site sides of my brain with their arms crossed, not talking to each other.

  • Carrie Bern­stein

    I am doing the writing thing and the sta­tis­tical soft­ware for big data thing recently. So big ups for con­necting them… for me they reside on oppo­site sides of my brain with their arms crossed, not talking to each other.