Advice Overload

I went to three conferences this week: AlterConf, Brooklyn Beta, and BinderCon. After a while, the talks and conversations melted into a giant, delicious sundae of brain mush in my notebook.

  • Share what you know.
  • Be persistent. Keep trying.
  • Provide resources for tinkering and further work.
  • We have to strive to create safe and supportive spaces.
  • Ask how you can help.
  • Tell us what’s going on. Ask, “Did you get that?”
  • Learn how to communicate the way we do.
  • Think about things so other people don’t have to.
  • Be mindful.
  • Avoid stereotypes in general.
  • Get input. We all have blind spots.
  • Embrace the wonderful chaos in life.
  • Write down outrageous things you want.
  • Be wholehearted, not half-assed.
  • Be thoughtful and generous.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others.
  • You don’t need to be an expert. Learn it.
  • Ignore people who say it won’t work.
  • Start small and make it good.
  • Help other people be more awesome.
  • Listen. Then go with your gut.
  • Bring other people together.
  • Fight the fear of being seen as shrill, indignant, or whining.
  • Walk away and know you’re not going to miss anything.
  • Make a concerted effort to broaden your ideas and approach.
  • This work requires a lot of focus.
  • Find a place that lets you be you.
  • Live your beliefs to a point, but prioritize financial self-care.
  • Own your emotions instead of acting them out.
  • Continue the narrative of your life and your work.
  • Use powerful, memorable details.
  • Report, report, report.
  • Talk about compensation up front.
  • Don’t go out of your way to burn bridges.
  • Stay resilient.
  • Focus on your friendships and relationships with people.

I started sketching on my iPad. I don’t know what I am doing, but I’m enjoying it.

“[W]hat I’ve learned in this entire process of being very visible is not to make assumptions about people’s identities, or lives, or pains, or points of access, or exile and oppression.”
— Janet Mock in this wonderful interview

Celebrating two years with Max today. Love love love love love.

Dani Shapiro Notes

  • Dedicate time to writing
  • Structure your day around an assignment or deadline
  • Find a way to unfry your brain
  • True to yourself, your values, what matters to you
  • Curious not self-conscious
  • Be completely in a conversation
  • Feeling that every word you said is true
  • Asking for clarity of thought, clarity of speech, clarity of action

* * *

from this interview with Jonathan Fields

“Look at it here. Look at how it is: calm, sunny, the palm trees. What is there to get all fucking upset about? This is reality. In other words, the war was not reality. The war wasn’t here. The war was someplace else. So any ideas you had about the war were all things you manufactured in your head from newspapers and that. To me, this was reality; this was my reality right here.”
— Robert Irwin in conversation with Lawrence Weschler, Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees 
“[B]eing an artist is really just about making art. It’s really just about doing the work. It’s not a lifestyle. It’s not an attitude. It’s not a look. It really is just about working. You know, I’m not trying to live ‘the life of a writer.’ I just want to write, and I do everything I can to have as much time as possible to write.”
Sheila Heti in an interview with Rookie