This week I witnessed Kathy, my wife, watch a webinar on her laptop while simultaneously listening to a meeting on her phone. She can do that sort of thing—simultaneously process several different conversations. She does this at parties sometimes—it's a pretty neat trick. I don't understand how she does it, and can't even imagine what doing that would feel like.
Some people can't listen to music while they're working because it's too distracting. I'm the opposite—I can't write without music. My mind is constantly going off on tangents, spiraling in different directions. Music takes up just enough of my attention that I can focus on the task at hand.
It's amazing, isn't it? How different peoples' minds are? I will never know what it's like in your head, and you will never know what it's like in mine.
That, I think, is why I write. It's a chance to invite others into my brain and host a kind of get together. So welcome. Let me show you around.
I left my full time job back in December and have been slowly building a freelance career. Here's a few recent highlights:
Set better work-life boundaries by tweaking software settings (Wired). Your boss can't ask you to work after hours if Slack isn't on your phone. If nothing else, read it for the intro about how the story of a Dutch kid sticking their finger in a dyke is fake.
Why the web version of Instagram is better than the app. (Popular Science) Avoid ads and algorithmic nonsense with this one weird trick.
Tax software collects your data—here's what you need to know. (PC Magazine) Something seasonal for this very special time of year.
Currently watching: Seaside Hotel. It's a ridiculous Danish TV show you can find on PBS Passport. It's set in a tiny hotel on the North Sea in the 1920s, and features people enjoying their lives oblivious to the massive global upheaval about to happen. There's no particular reason that would resonate at this particular moment in history, right?
Currently on tap in my garage: Old Slug Porter. We brewed this rather delicious beer using a recipe we found online. It's extremely English, which is very much our wheelhouse, and only 4% ABV. I'm going to be a little sad when the keg is empty, but I've got a few gallons of mojito I mixed up to console me.
This week in Mira: my cat enjoys life to the fullest.
ProZD is a voiceover artist with a popular YouTube channel. His most popular videos, by far, are skits, which he only makes occasionally. People constantly ask about why he doesn't do such skits more often.
His response, in a recent video, is that he only makes things when it's fun. He knows the channel would do better if that was his sole focus but he doesn't care.
This is stuck in my brain. It is so liberating to hear someone say that they are prioritizing making things for their own sake. I've been writing professionally for over a decade. I hope this space becomes something else—somewhere I can talk to you for no clear commercial reason.
And I'd like it if you talked back! Feel free to respond to this email letting me know why you make things. I'm around, and maybe the best answers will show up in the next issue. I'll see you all then.
Remember: you're not alone.