Welcome to June and issue #5!
I mentioned in my last newsletter that I was looking for a full time job after having read Daily Rituals by Mason Curry and having my mind changed on the idea of getting a “real job” to support myself and my passion work. Well, success! I’m now working two jobs, seven days a week, for a total of about 65 hours. I enjoy both of my jobs and I’m glad to have shed that pressure of “hustle like crazy so your passion can be your income”. Because I ultimately just care about making stuff and being happy with it and sharing it with people who might like it. The frustrating part now is having the energy to get up early in the morning to write and illustrate before work. But my mom reminded me that I’m still transitioning into a new routine and to be patient with myself. I have the rest of my life.
reading: A fiction book I enjoyed recently was Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. It took me a bit to get into at first, because I felt like I was too tired to read a story that was set in another culture and included lots of phrases and concepts to try to pick up on. But I eventually got sucked into the drama of the story, and I’m now impatiently on the library waitlist for the 2nd and 3rd books in the trilogy.
Finally read Bird By Bird by Annie Lamott, which has been on my reading list for years. Lamott does a great job at being completely frank about the drudgery of a writing profession. It’s not glamorous. But to a person to which writing is an absolute necessity to life, the drudgery does nothing to deter. She says, “To participate requires self-discipline and trust and courage, because this business of becoming conscious, of being a writer, is ultimately about asking yourself, as my friend Dale puts it, How alive am I willing to be?”
listening to: I have an hour long commute five days a week now, and I desperately tried to get into listening to audiobooks while I drive. But I’m a very visual person, and my mind drifts while listening to people talk. In addition, writing down quotes I like is an essential part of reading for me and there was no way for me to bookmark the timestamps on the audio files that contained the sentences I wanted to remember. So it’s back to John Mayer on the road and old fashioned books on my too-short lunch breaks. And contemplating taking the bus so I can read on my way to work.
new things: I’m spending June and July off the grid, in order to give my brain more processing space to rest and create without any pressure of maintaining an online presence (and to adjust to my new work hours). My creative work has been needing time to go underground and hibernate for a bit. The thought of not “hustling” freaked me out for a bit, but then I read Austin Kleon’s new book, Keep Going. He writes, “You have to pay attention to the rhythms and cycles of your creative output and learn to be patient in the off-seasons. You have to give yourself time to change and observe your own patterns.”
I’m excited to see what happens in the coming months! (I’ll still be sending out a newsletter again in July, but everything else will stay pretty silent until August.)
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Thanks for reading (and happy summer)!