What's True Today

December 4, 2015

Not writing regularly is a recipe for creative constipation. Every word starts to feel SO IMPORTANT. Lower the stakes, yes?

The state of the world is a recipe for creative constipation. Everything from the book I'm reading to my recent quest for financial organization feel irrelevant in a world where the police get to be judge and jury for young black men, and mass violence is happening regularly. Put it together with the newly dropping temperatures, grey sky, and my sometimes still very sleep deprived state and why bother? Let's just be sad together and call it a day.

But coming to a standstill doesn't do anyone any favors. (Nor does inaction, so please write your legislators.) I spent a lot of time expecting and fearing that life would come to a halt after having a baby. That December would come and I'd still be on the couch trying to figure out how to breastfeed, worried about how tiny and vulnerable the neck of an infant looks. How can that be safe? But sleeping upstairs right now is evidence that time has passed and change is constant. The newborn days are over! I leave the house and rehearse and work, we juggle the 2 freelancers and a baby thing semi-gracefully, and said baby laughs and gives sloppy kisses and sits up by himself (except for when he falls down in a pile). Ben and I have hit our stride with this parenting collaboration. There is movement, and I am grateful. 

On August 30, my 33rd birthday, I got to chat with Laura who lives in Austin now. She asked me what I want for my new year. It's a question that I love, because I am guilty of too much analysis (something I'm thankful to have less time for these days). I told her that I didn't want more this year, but I wanted to get better at a lot of things; to dig deeper with a lot of things; to get clearer. I'm excited about how this is starting to manifest itself. 

For starters, we've been getting rid of a lot of shit. Literally. There's nothing like a lot of baby gear, even that which is kindly loaned to you, to fill up a tiny 913 square foot house that 2 people also work out of. So we've been purging. And Ben and I had a lightbulb moment and realized that we no longer want to force a business collaboration, and are enthusiastically working on separate endeavors (Ben's website is here, mine is on the way). It felt instantly good

Right now I don't want to make loads of work, but I want to make better work. And to feel like the work brings me closer to people, because that's the whole reason I make my creative work in the first place. I've been reading Sarah J. Bray's book Gather the People- the most bullshit-free marketing book I've ever read (worth every one of the 35 dollars I paid for it and more). Sarah advocates for integrating the making process with the sharing process, and I love this; building your creative work and sharing the process along the way. This is what I've hoped to do here, but a lot of the time it feels like a very impersonal way to share something that feels pretty personal to me. You know?

I'm craving a way of sharing in a smaller space. And so I'm writing a bi-monthly-ish letters that will go straight to your inbox. Letters about building creative work with brains and heart and empathy; thoughts on things I'm learning from the people around me; strategies for lightening the load while we make the work. You can subscribe over here. And I hope this offers up more of an opportunity for me to hear from you. (And yes, I will still occasionally blog. Ideally more frequently than I've been.)

What else? I'm hopeful about a lot of things. This is a strange thing to feel when I also know that the world is going to shit. Some of my enthusiasm belongs to the seemingly shallow and irrelevant: my morning cup of coffee; knowing that I'm ditching my big bank at the end of the year in favor of a credit union; the episode of Rectify I watched with Ben last night. And some of it is downright profound, like the incredibly vulnerable talk Jamie Millard and Meaghan Murphy gave for Creative Mornings Minneapolis 2 weeks ago (which I'll share more about once the video is posted). It is mostly a lot of little things. My baby threw his butt up in the air, pushed his feet off and moved towards a toy. And that felt like magic. He is feeling very pleased to be alive, and I want to find more moments of this same satisfaction.

Thank you for reading.


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