“how did I get an interview with kurt cobain? I ASKED.”
nardwuar the human serviette is an eccentric radio personality known for hosting incredible interviews with musicians. he is loved for his quirks, his personality, and in-depth research/preparation for his interviews. his subjects are often surprised at how much he knows.
in his ted talk, nardwuar tells us the secret to how get got as many great interview subjects as he did: he asked.
sahil lavignia is the ceo of gumroad, a kind of commerce platform for the indie creator. his twitter (and gumroad’s twitter) is full of encouragement. you’ll find that both accounts root for the underdog on a daily basis, because it’s the underdog who needs that extra push the most.
me? i’m encouraging you to ask. ask for help, as for your next gig, ask someone you admire for a pointer in the right direction. you don’t necessarily have to go at the entire journey alone.
today i’m pretty tired. i did a bunch of ‘productive stuff’ yesterday. now, i’m moving slow in the morning and taking some time to do things that i like. this includes reading, poking around the internet, and not pushing myself too hard.
burnout happens to a lot of us, and i am wondering if there is a way for me to overcome it. i often compare the struggle to calming a wild horse – my brain is bucking and itching to run, and it takes muscle and finesse to get me to a point where i am not destroying my body in the name of being ‘productive’.
it’s thursday. the weekend is soon. you’ve done a lot. don’t burn out.
my friend lito got me a game called “the witness”. it’s a series of puzzles that get increasingly more difficult. i find that i lose track of time when i’m playing this game, and usually i walk away when i am simply too frustrated to continue.
“that’s video games,” chey tells me.
lito pushed me to play “the witness” because it illustrated the concept of constructivism, which is a particular theory of how people learn. i am not an expert in constructivism, but it seems to explain the relationship between ideas and experience.
this is particularly interesting to lito because he works in education. for me, it makes me think about how i go about teaching myself new things, like programming. but in the meantime, i’m still just scratching my head over the latest puzzle in “the witness”.
seattle is not cheap. lunch, on average, costs $15 downtown. coffee costs $4. rent is a whole ‘nother story. i make it work, but it takes a extra amount of effort to get by. it means that i have to be smart, scrappy, and always on the hunt for a better opportunity.
and, thank god, the city is full of opportunity. living in seattle has connected me with incredible friends, cool communities, and great stories. the pressure has pushed me to learn a lot as quickly as possible. i live in an expensive city because it offers all the things that get my brain going.
i expressed my concern about seattle’s cost of living to a friend, who told me “the reason i came here is for opportunity. coming from a smaller town, i know that there is not a lot there for me. that’s why i am here.”
sometimes i feel tempted to move to a smaller town, but for now seattle is checking all my boxes. i get discouraged, but every once in a while the city throws me a bone, and it’s just enough to make be believe that i’m making all the right moves to secure a meaningful career in the long term.
as we saw yesterday, writing is fun, but it doesn’t pay very much. it’s a little bit of a slower medium as well, which is generally a good thing unless you are writing a non-fiction book.
but i believe in it, which puts me in the tricky place of trying to find a way to get paid to write. it’s not easy, and the options i have are pretty bleak. my best bet so far is to continue making content for no pay, since i know firsthand how annoying ads are. what is a young writer to do? i’m not entirely sure.
i want to make more podcasts and video, which i think is possible but also a bit difficult when i’m working from a chromebook and a laptop. but dangit i’m going to keep trying.
if you’re digging the vibe, please consider buying me a coffee on ko-fi, or checking out my patreon. i know i mentioned this before, and i’ll be sure to ease up on this soon. but the boost helps, especially when i am figuring out the next direction for getting good information to you.
writing doesn’t pay very much, but we do it anyway. art doesn’t pay very much, but we do it anyway. some people get lucky, some people don’t. it appears to boil down to a combination of skill and chance in terms of who gets to make art for a living. i don’t think this needs to be the case, especially now that each of us with an internet connection has the potential to reach the entire world.
i run a podcast/video series that you may know about, and my goal is to figure out what people are doing right. i want so badly to get paid to do the thing i love – to write and to help creative folks make money. but this means i have to first learn how to make money for myself. that means having my day job. that means doing a lot of unpaid prep work.
it is disheartening and i don’t know when this will end, if it ever does. but i hold on to the hope that it will pay off. and my research suggests it just might. and the best i can do in the meantime is to try my best, and to take care of myself in the process.
here’s a link to one of my favorite this american life episodes. it’s about a blind gentleman who learns how to ride a bike. the takeaway is that there is power in believing in someone. you increase the likelihood that your friend will accomplish a task by simply believing in them.
this goes the same in reverse. if your friends believe in you, you are more likely to accomplish your task. belief is an energy, and is contagious. it creates motivation and community. it feels good.
of course, blind faith or false beliefs are destructive. we must always ground our beliefs in evidence and subject our faith to scrutiny. however, sometimes this means that our faith is strengthened in our friends, and ourselves.