February Bottleship: The pitcher cries for water to carry
The tiny irises I planted last fall are thrusting up from the earth. Spring is coming, ever-so-slowly, to Portland. I find myself accumulating fascinating things at a rate that feels unsustainable for a once-a-month update—so perhaps you'll be seeing more of these in the near future. In the meantime, here are some things I love:
While working on my book (I mentioned I'm writing a graphic novel, right? That's been a trip...) last week, I remembered a snippet of Marge Piercy's "To Be of Use" and immediately went to look it up. True to form, it remains one of my favorite poems. I notice the same themes cropping up again and again in the projects that intrigue me, and this is unquestionably one of them.
Daniel José Older discusses forgiveness when working through your writing process. ["Anaïs Nin called shame the lie someone told you about yourself," how dreadfully true.] Andy J. Miller also has a similar message in this episode of his Creative Pep Talk podcast. I feel as if I go through fifteen seasons a week. How do we learn when to be ruthless and when to be gentle?
If you want a look at my sketchbooks from the past two years, I've digitized them all and released a 344-page PDF collection over on Gumroad!
I've been talking over Skype with my friend Kristen in Switzerland once a week, both of us acting as sounding boards and accountable parties as we each try to progress on our creative endeavors. Every time I turn to someone like this for one-on-one accountability and processing, I'm astonished at the results. Are you stuck trying to start something? Set up a weekly meeting with friend.
I'm also talking with my designer friend Heather about better practices for making a living from our work. Inspired by that I'm going to be launching some exciting stuff through Patreon this year—sign up now if you want to be first in line.
If you're ready to have your heart broken wide open, read this essay by Alex Charchar. It managed to make me cry and also encompass so many of the concepts I consider foundational to a vibrant creative practice. "It’s curiosity, then, that makes for the magnificent creative."
I'm working on some new merchandise for my store, but in the meantime did you know I'm selling sheets of 14 sassy bird stickers for just $5? They're pretty neat.
I think that's the end of this installment, but don't cry! There are other amazing newsletters out there, like this one from my pal Jason, who will make you excited about so many things you might need a cup of something soothing on hand just to calm down.
Keep showing up, keep being kind. It's a practice.
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