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This Old Thing
I have so many ideas lying around. Jotted on sticky notes. Scribbled in the margins of my board meeting agenda. Paragraphs in journals and sketchbooks. Sentences floating through conversations.
Here are a bunch that have been knocking around in my brain for a while. I’m clearing out the storage room! Have at ‘em!
I Have Become A Parking Ramp Evangelist
“Let’s just stack a bunch of cars on top of each other!” It’s like an invention you’d make up as a kid, but it actually works. I blame my job for this one (all in on walkability, baby!)
Speaking of Walks
Work // Life
Forget holding cards to your chest. Throw them across the table!
I love Sioux Falls and I love my house and I love this neighborhood and I love my church and I love my job. I feel so lucky to be part of making this place good.
Commitment is one of the best parts of my grown up life. It’s a delight to be tied to this place, in community with so many.
I used to think that keeping quiet about this love would protect me—if someone knows what I love, they can take advantage of it: “If you love it so much, this extra task won’t even feel like work!”
I thought “I’ll just quietly sneak in the work I really care about.”
Friend! Do you know how awesome it is to say “I’m doing a really good job because I care a lot!” out loud? And how admitting it frees you up to try more awesome things? And how your conversations shift away from boring “yeah, I take care of xyz...” to “ Let me tell you about this place I love!”
I am a try-hard, and happy to expend that effort.
And my worry about having extra work piled on? Turns out I’m a try-hard about getting enough rest, so I’m doing just fine.
I Don’t Love Cooking, I Do Love Impressing People
(See try-hard). People asking for the recipe is a surefire sign that you’ve nailed it. Here are two that I’ve given out to a bunch of people:
Giant social media companies are crashing! I talked to a high schooler who only has a Facebook because his mom wanted to send him memes!! I see artists taking their audiences and moving off of social media and into ‘owned’/non-algorithm spaces. Many set up paywalls.
I have mixed feelings about this. It’s great to see artists getting paid! But there’s a generosity and peer-to-peer connection that I’m missing. Social media really can be a great connector.
I now see these artists acting beholden to their paying customers. One apologizes for being off his posting schedule. A once playful/experimental blog is now a stiff weekly newsletter, with an “I’ve gotta be more polished’ vibe. Artists promise links to what they’re watching/eating/reading as a way to pad their content offerings for subscribers. I want to tell the ones I subscribe to:
My big reason for being a paywall skeptic is this:
I couldn’t have paid a monthly fee for all these creative dispatches back then. I wasn’t one of their core audience demographics. I didn’t need elaborate tutorials or structured posts. Just evidence that other people thought like me, made stuff like me, and never stopped learning.
Their generous sharing showed me that a creative career was possible.
It spun me out into a million creative experiments.
I had a seat at this table set for anyone.
It’s still early. We’re figuring it out. It can be good once we settle in.
I see artists loving that a self-selecting group of fans/subscribers hangs out in the comment section, feeling safer and more like community. (Internet comments have been brutal for so long). I see room for the mixed of paid and free work in the same stream. I think we can get goofy and experimental again. I think we will keep finding each other.
That’s my brain this month! Thanks for visiting! I hope you picked up an idea or two (or at least had a good time browsing).
Subscribe to Ten Times if you’d like! It’s free because I have a day job that I like a lot, which is its own kind of artist privilege.