Category Archives: Publishing

Podcasts and Platforms

It’s so difficult to come to grips with that fact that you DON’T have endless time over the summer. Summer reading lists that would have taken me two weeks during school now just . . . never happen. Or at least don’t happen within the bounds of what one would call ‘summer’. Particularly when you start a new (old) job in an industry that you’re passionate about and want to learn as much as possible as quickly as possible. Particularly when said job involves reading. Lots and lots of reading. 

This past summer vanished in a cloud of re-organization, work, and planning the biggest party of my adult life: our wedding. And I knew I liked organizing things and I knew that I was a bit type A, but I had no idea how much until I decide to turn the organization of my life around while also planning this huge event from across the ocean. I’m increasingly fascinating by how people (adults) make major financial decisions, how/where/when they invest their money, how you budget and for what, etc. I think I’m at the point where ‘adulthood’ is a significantly more complex concept to me. 

I’ve been listening (religiously) to Grace Bonney’s podcast After the Jump (have I mentioned this?) which is geared towards small business owners in the craft/style industry. But I find the podcast to be really applicable to my life overall, how I want to operate, and how I want to present myself to the professional world. Not only do I obsessively buy/download the apps recommended (currently loving: vscocam, timeful, the ministry of silly walks [last not recommended on After the Jump]) and enjoy her interviews with interesting makers, but I really respond to her more personal episodes about managing stress and creating a better work-life balance. But the really great episodes that I listen to over and over again are the episodes about branding and communicating that brand via social media. 

It’s very evident, and at this point long-discussed, that the recent generations will have a work history that is very different from that of their parents and grandparents. Where my father worked at the same company, in its various iterations, for 30 some-odd years. Most of my friends within the working world have had at least two jobs in the last five years and this is not at all uncommon. I think that this aspect, along with the way we communicate and share our lives via the internet, means that EVERYONE is a small business in some way or another. At least, thinking that way works for me. I think we all have a personal brand communicated through our instagrams, twitters, facebooks, and whatever other platforms we choose to use. It’s very apparent that potential employers search their candidates, so the thought that our digital content doesn’t affect our hire-ability/overall person is pretty naive. 

I don’t think that this means that everything on every social media platform should be upbeat and positive; on the contrary, I think (tastefully) revealing adversity and how you overcome it can be just as helpful as trumpeting your successes. Nor do I think this means that everyone should plan every moment of their life and how they will showcase these moment, to a degree that your entire life is a facade. I just think that it’s better to view social media as something that’s purpose is to broadcast and share in a total, professional/creative sense than just a ‘this is fun!’ thing. 

It’s still something I’m working out, and maybe (probably) it’s just what works for me. I don’t really think that I have the solution for EVERYONE in the WORLD. Something to ponder, though.

Discipline, routine

As someone with very little routine at the moment, I found Maria Popova’s article on Letters to a Young Artist by Anna Deavere Smith compelling. Intended to discuss creativity and lifestyle of an artist, I believe that the points made within the book (via the article) could be easily adapted to most lives.

Much of what I read on the internet emphasizes mindfulness, the need to pause and actively think about the progression of the day. But these posts and articles often present ‘mindfulness’ in a somewhat new age-y manner, like we need to pause and reflect for our own health and well-being. As a rather ambitious and driven person, I usually try to pick-up and leave behind my mindfulness on the yoga mat.

Smith and Popova highlight discipline–not solely the need to show up and work hard, but the manner in which we do so. They describe discipline as ‘the unflinching commitment to ourselves, to our own sense of merit and morality, to our own ideals and integrity.’ The article argues that our daily routine directly impacts what we bring forth to the world–that our smaller actions impact our presence in the larger scheme of things.

While this seems like a rather daunting concept on the surface, in reality it allows you to break ‘mindfulness’ into smaller, more practical units of time. And that’s something I can get behind.