Today Gabe is wearing a white t-shirt, red shorts, and brown flip flops.
Last fall, when we were running the Spark Notebook Kickstarter, I spent days upon days on Twitter. We would tweet at people who were tweeting about other planners, and say, “Hey! I saw your tweet about ___ and thought you might like this project too!” and then link them to our Kickstarter.
When we first started, I was terrified I’d get a barrage of replies being like, “Hey stop spamming me.”
But do you want to know something crazy?
No one ever said that. There were maybe three people who replied saying, “Aren’t you worried people will think this is spam?”. And then I’d write back and say, honestly, “Most people just seem to either ignore it or be excited to have been alerted to a project they really do like.” And then those people would write back and say, basically, “Oh okay, carry on.”
So the consequence I thought would occur from spending all day on Twitter didn’t occur.
But a different consequence did occur. And that consequence was that I lost my mind.
There is something crazy-making about copy-pasting the same phrase over and over into a Twitter box for several hours a day. It’s boring, but demands your attention. You can do it while listening to an audiobook or watching TV, but you can’t totally engage with the other thing.
And it is completely, overwhelmingly, unstoppably addictive.
Even after 4 hours of tweeting while watching Law and Order, with my eyes drooping and my legs screaming for me to move them and take my body outside, I would think, “Okay, well I’ll just clear this page and then I’ll go.”
So I would clear the page, scroll down to reveal a new list of names, and think, “Okay, well I’ll just clear this page and then I’ll go.”
Is this what it feels like to be a robot? If so, then I don’t blame them for always taking over in those movies and books where robots take over. I wouldn’t want to be a robot either.
Anyways, we are selling the Spark Notebook again. The print run is happening next month and they’ll be delivered in June. But final orders are due in next week, which means I’m back on Twitter. Always. And forever. Every second of every day, until next Tuesday.
If you want to buy one, the email alerts I get telling me that there’s been another sale are basically the only punctuation during days of tweeting and law-and-order-solving and listening to the new Jon Ronson book that I actually listened to in less than 24 hours because it was so good and, like, what else was I going to do? But that’s not important.
What’s important is that I am losing my mind, but there is an end in sight. Oh, and then there’s this picture of Romeo from Easter which is great:
Today Gabe is wearing a teal jacket, a grey sweatshirt, khaki pants, brown shoes, and blue sunglasses.
This week I’ve been struggling a lot with motivation. After being out of town for a little while, lounging on the beach, going out to dinner, and just generally taking a *complete* break for a couple of days, I’ve found it really hard to get back into the momentum of my work. Before I left, I was really excited about what I was working on and happy to spend many hours every day writing and editing and fine-tuning and looking for new ways to make the things I did even better.
And I’m still super excited about all the things in the works right now. Like, super excited.
But I found it hard to swing out of bed in the morning and sit down at the computer and really get into what I was doing. My mind wandered, and I couldn’t get into the “flow” of making work.
One of my very favorite pieces of writing ever is on the topic of “flow”. It was written by David Rakoff, an amazing writer, who died last year. I feel so lucky I had the chance to see him speak in San Francisco and even talk to him after the event and get to tell him what an inspiration he was to me.
But this piece he wrote, that really got to me, was on the topic of “making things” and that amazing mindset you get into when you’re creating something, where you lose time and you are completely overtaken by what you’re working on. (The piece is here on Salon and I highly recommend any writers, artists, creators, and actually just anyone click over and read it.)
So anyways, I wasn’t getting into the flow and it was really frustrating. But last night I sat down and just started working. Even though I wasn’t feeling it, I just said “Kate, you’re not allowed to leave this desk until this is done.”
And surprise. By just sitting there and sticking with it and not refreshing Twitter and not queuing up another episode of The West Wing and just making myself write until this thing was done – I got back into the flow.
At first it was terrible. Poorly written and bad to read. But by getting that bad writing out of my system, I blew the cobwebs off my brain and kickstarted that part of me that loves writing. And that piece turned into another which turned into this blog post. Now I feel excited to start again today and just take care of business. Which is my very favorite thing.
Have any of you ever tackled writer’s block? It happens all the time and when it’s happening it feels like it will never end. But if you really want to get through it and go back to doing what you love, sometimes you have just sit there and work. And what you write will be bad. Until it’s not again.
Today Gabe is wearing a teal jacket, grey sweatshirt, khaki pants, brown shoes, and blue sunglasses.
Writing about good writing is all well and good, but let’s get back to basics, shall we? Give the people what they want – pictures of Gabe in a teal jacket on the beach!
The skies have been clear and the air has been cold recently. I’ve mostly been trapped inside working hard on a big project that is *thisclose* to being done after several months of research and writing, and I’m really excited to be able to share it here when it’s finally complete. Luckily, in spite of that, Gabe and I have been able to take a few beach walks from time to time too.
Oh, and I’ve been watching The West Wing on Netflix.
Those are pretty much the only two things on my mind right now. I’m working on a new piece for my writing-about-writing series that will hopefully be up soon. Gabe is working on switching back from his teal jacket to his green one.
Today Gabe is wearing a grey sweatshirt, a teal jacket, khaki pants, and his outdoor slippers.
What’s he got there? It’s a buoy he found by the beach! Pretty good find, although ultimately it was a little bit baffling as to how to correctly make it into a toy to play a beach game with.
First thing this morning, my eyes popped open and I realized I had to get my Christmas presents for my parents in the mail – today. Sure, it probably could have waited until Monday, but putting things off is not my style so I leapt into action trying to chart the most efficient way to get wrapping paper, wrap the presents, pack them into a box, and get them mailed as early as possible from our tiny neighborhood post office.
I was out the door at 7:50 and by 9am I was smugly printing off postage from the self-service machine at the post office, while the line to ship packages at the counter snaked out the front door.
After being so efficient, I hardly knew what do with myself. I had accomplished (what felt like) so much by 10am that it seemed crazy to still have so many hours left in the day. I got to work editing, editing, editing on the book I’ve been working on and am finally settling down to watch a movie (and sleep in tomorrow!).
I’ve set another holiday-based writing goal that I’m very excited to complete: all edits for the book will be completed by Christmas. I’ve got tons of notes back from my co-author and lots of my own edits I’d like to do, especially on the earliest chapters of the book. Can’t wait to get started on Monday.
In Gabe news: you guys, he just got – in the mail from his dear mother – a NEW PAIR OF OUTDOOR SLIPPERS. Even as we speak he is wearing them outdoors, getting a feel for how they’ll do long term.
This means the photos above may just be the very last time you ever see the original outdoor slippers!
Have any of you got your own pair of outdoor slippers yet? Or are you focused on your last minute Christmas shopping, shipping, and wrapping? Maybe this year, the gift to give is the gift of comfy outdoor shoes. Who in your life could use their very first pair of outdoor slippers?
Today Gabe is wearing a grey sweatshirt, a teal jacket, khaki pants, and brown shoes.
I got caught in the rain today. After spending a grueling three hours writing a project I should have completed weeks ago but which, for whatever reason, seemed impossible whenever I sat down to do it, I finally completed it and did a pretty good job if I do say so myself.
I thought I’d treat myself to a walk and some juice but wouldn’t you know it as soon as I got to the juice place, aka the farthest point away from my house that this walk could have, it started pouring down rain. But you’ll never guess who was willing to hop in the ol’ Volvo and come pick me up – it was Gabe, of course!
As a thank you, I treated him to breakfast where we both got omelets. I ordered an omelet that came with bacon, but asked them to remove it (since I’m a vegetarian and all). Gabe ordered the same omelet and asked that my extra bacon be put in his. They said yes.
And now for a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT.
I met yesterday with one of the people I write with and for, and one of the things she is great at – and is inspiring me to want to be great at – is building her personal brand. As someone who is generally kind of internet-phobic but is coming around to the idea that the internet is where I can create the career I want in marketing/content/strategy, I’m taking some tiny baby steps towards being better at my own personal branding too.
Which includes getting on Twitter. Yes I did it. Do you want to be friends? Say yes: @katestull
hope to tweet very interesting and funny things. Let’s connect, shall we?
Are any of you out there working on your own “brand”? I’m interested to see how other people do it, why, and what kind of results they’ve reaped from excellent work. If you’ve got a story or insight, please share it in the comments! Otherwise, I’ll just be here desperately thinking of insightful and terribly charming things to tweet, I guess forever.