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A Programming Note
Plus: letting your art simply be art
Hi everyone! A bit of news: I’ll be away on a “semi-hiatus” until the end of November. “Semi” means that while I won’t be writing regular essays on work culture/workaholism/etc., I have lined up a backlog of podcasts and slacker film breakdowns that had been accumulating quicker than I had been publishing them.
If you’ve been into these, you’re gonna love the next two months! If not, hang with me–regular programming will resume before you know it!
If you’re a paid subscriber (first of all, thank you!!) and you’re currently thinking “the podcast and slacker film breakdowns are cute, but I paid for more focused thoughts on work culture,” send me a note and we can pause your subscription for two months.
Now that we’ve covered that, I’d love to plug a couple interesting articles I ran into in the past few days.
Letting your art be art
First, an essay byover at the collective on the internet entering what he sees as the “second stage of the creator economy.” Given that now we know–or most of us do, anyway–that the aspiration to become rich creating online is a fallacy (part of our historically-delusional expectations of success), Grafman sees an opportunity for people to reject the assumption that a true artist must be a full-time paid one.
Instead, we can (like many artists have always done) embrace “aggressive hobby creation” with possibilities that are easier if your isn’t your livelihood, such as total creative freedom and independence. In other words, letting your art truly be art.
There’s a lesson about boundaries underpinning this, one I hadn’t really thought about. When your artistic pursuits cannot, by definition, take a dominant chunk of your day, you strengthen your prioritization muscle (saying no to cool ideas so you can say yes to what speaks to you most) and develop the courage to defend your sacred but small (and, to workhumpers, insignificant) chunks of creative time.
A builder’s mindset
Dr. Gena Gorlin (from) has a cool article on what she calls the “builder” mindset that feels like an answer to my prior agonizing about goals and dreams, with a much cooler organizing metaphor.
While I don’t share her extreme nihilistic interpretation of a zen master, her point still holds: refusing to be a workhumper doesn’t mean you aren’t taking on anything fun and challenging in your life. A “builder” mindset (as opposed to a “drill sergeant” one, what I call “dreams becoming tyrannical”) is a compromise of taking on goals, but with a more detached mind that doesn’t self-judge.
I’ll be on and off poking around in the comments and stuff (if you miss me you can always get a forget-me-not piece of BQE swag).
But if we don’t talk until the end of November: thank you, as always, for your continued readership! Appreciate you.
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