March 2019

Welcome to issue #2 of my monthly newsletter!

I’m embarrassed to say this, but there is no comic or link to a new blog post to accompany this email. I didn’t really draw at all during the month of February.

For some reason I get paralyzing anxiety every time I finish drawing a comic and I convince myself that my ability to make that comic was just a fluke and I won’t be able to make any more of them. It sounds stupid writing it out and hearing stuff like this from other people, but it’s a constant internal battle.

Unfortunately I lost the fight last month, but fortunately I can only improve from here!

reading: I just read the wildly popular Educated by Tara Westover. It’s her memoir of being raised Mormon in a small town in southern Idaho (not too far from where I grew up!). She and her siblings were neither public schooled nor taught at home—they worked their dad’s junkyard and learned about their faith and prepped for doomsday. It was rather startling to read about parents raising their kids in deliberate ignorance (they were too secluded in the mountains for the government to get involved). My siblings and I were homeschooled, but our mom was very passionate about giving us a good education and we were very involved in extracurricular activities outside the house. Where I failed in being a stellar student, my mom forever instilled in me a love of reading and self-motivated education.

I also finished Wild by Cheryl Strayed which tells her journey on the Pacific Crest Trail. This is the second book I’ve read about a solo female PCT trek and it’s slowly planting the idea in my mind of trying it myself someday. Not anytime soon though. It’s a massive, lengthy undertaking and something you have to put your entire life on hold to do. This year has felt as though my life is finally beginning and I don’t want to pause any part of it.

watching: A friend mentioned the show Schitt’s Creek to me a couple weeks ago and I’ve binged 3 seasons of it so far. It’s a comedy about a rich family who lost everything and had to move to Schitt’s Creek, a town they had bought years ago as a joke. I’ve been loving this show because while it is funny and fresh, it’s also super relaxing. I find a lot of comedy shows to be kind of grating, but this show calms me. The daughter in the show, Alexis, can be a bit over the top and dramatic, but she makes these amazing/cute/realistic awkward faces that I’ve never seen on TV or in movies. Also I have a fat crush on the incredibly fashionable son, David. I would kill for his wardrobe.

thinking about: I just read Hank Green’s much anticipated debut novel, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, about fame and people’s responses to the idea of invasion. It reminded me of Dave Egger’s The Circle (about a girl coming to fame through external circumstances and documenting herself relentlessly) and the Doctor Who episode “The Power of Three” (about a mysterious invasion and people’s reactions to it).

It got me to thinking about the human obsession with aliens (which is a topic for another time) but also about the subtle pursuit of fame. I think for kids who grew up with the internet, the idea of getting famous is a pretty real/normal possibility that isn’t reserved for big screen celebrities. Which is why so many people who don’t really *do* much, keep a well curated Instagram profile or faithfully document their lives on YouTube. Ryan Holiday, wrote a blog post about the level of fame and success we should aim for.

grateful for: Tomorrow I’m going on a trip to Portland! It is not an exaggeration when I say I have not hung out with non-family member friends over a year. Not. An. Exaggeration. I’ve been super focused on work this past year so it will be a much needed friend-cation (but also partially a business trip that will provide clarity on future plans). Excited to spend the week drinking coffee and looking at nature (no, I will not be going to VooDoo Doughnut).

new things: Obviously not much is happening right now (re: the opening paragraph of this missive where I admit to slacking off the entire month of February). But here’s a list of my main creative goals for this year:

1. Post twice a week on my blog.
2. Finish a draft for a comic/essay book.
3. Round out my skills and begin marketing myself as a freelance illustrator.

James Altucher wrote a great blog post about how to improve yourself in the thing(s) you most want to be doing. I especially like the section about building up “micro-skills”. Essentially you break apart the Thing (writer, illustrator, actor, musician) and examine/work on all the small pieces that the Thing is made up of. Having small goals to work towards helps alleviate anxiety paralysis (which means new comics coming in hot this month!).

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Thanks for reading!

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