Monthly favourites (return edition!) — July 2022

What do you do when you fall off the horse? Write a blog post! It’s been a while *checks notes*… yes two years since the last one of these, but let’s just blame the panini and give it another whirl.

A duotoned dark purple and beige version of the Apple sparkling heart emoji, in front of a light blue zig zag shape across the bottom
🎞️“The Taste Gap” by Ira Glass
🎧Nostalgic songs
📖“I Didn’t Do the Thing Today” by Madeleine Dore
🎒Spanish

🎞️ Watching

“The Taste Gap” by Ira Glass (YouTube)

I nerded out watching all of the Notion block-by-block conference talks but the Ira Glass session wasn’t available for replay, so I went down a rabbit hole of his past videos instead — including this gem on “The Taste Gap” (it’s only 5 minutes long but the first 2 minutes is pure gold!).
— Jess

“Nobody tells people who are beginners, and I really wish someone had told this to me: All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there’s a gap! For the first couple years you’re making stuff and what you’re making is really not that great. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game is still killer! And your taste is good enough that you can tell what you’re making is a disappointment to you, it’s crappy. A lot of people never get past that phase, they get to that point and quit. I would say to you with all my heart: most people I know went through years where they knew what they wanted to make wasn’t as good as their taste. Everybody goes through that! It’s totally normal, and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. It’s only by going through a huge volume of work that you’re actually going to catch up and close that gap, and then the work you’re making will be as good as your ambitions.”

Ira Glass

🎧 Listening to

Nostalgic songs

I’ve got a Spotify playlist called ‘Nostalgia’. Whenever I hear something on the radio or remember a song that has any kind of nostalgic value, I add it to the list. When I’m out walking or just feel like being comforted by familiar tunes from days gone by, I hit shuffle on the playlist and see what comes up. I’ve kept it private because what’s sentimental will be different for everyone, but mine includes tracks from silverchair, Something for Kate, Ben Folds Five, the Foo Fighters, Jewel, Bush, Nirvana, Bodyjar, the Goo Goo Dolls, Radiohead, Gomez, Counting Crows, Jebediah, and Garbage. I recommend making one for yourself, it’s good for the soul!
— Jess


📖 Reading

I Didn’t Do the Thing Today (book)

I’ve been a Madeleine Dore fangirl for a long time now (and highly recommend her Routines & Ruts podcast!) so when her book came out, I was quick to get my mitts on it! Madeleine gently reminds us that not doing things can be as important as doing things, and rather than trying to be productive, we might seek creativity instead.
— Jess

Photo of a smiling woman holding up a colourful book called "I didn't do the thing today"

As day artists, we can treat life as one big experiment — to find what brings us alive, and have the courage to get closer to it so it can expand us. We can try new things, follow whims, focus on discovery, build patience, allow surprises to happen. We can trust, hold things lightly, take the pressure off. We can be okay with the not-quite-theres, with the change-of-minds. When we treat our days like an experiment, we see it’s all part of the process—the failures, mistakes and stumbles come with the territory… making creativity rather than productivity the focus of our day helps us become more open to accepting this version of the day and what we do within it… We can remind ourselves that we do not find the way; we create it continuously.

Madeleine Dore

🎒 Learning

Spanish

I had been dabbling in Spanish on Duolingo for a while but was recently recommended the Learn Spanish with Paul Noble audiobook, and finding it a much more natural way into learning the language. Apparently learning a new language boosts cognitive function, but if I’m honest this is just bolstering my case for a holiday to Mexico or Spain.
— Jess

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