instead of managing time, why not just let time do its thing?
24 hours in one day. no more and no less, chill!
here’s a poem I wrote
knowing when to subside evaluating when to recline to accept the material items in plain view and to exhale, so, it’s easier to inhale. I think I know I sense I can hear but I cannot taste without the confirmation that the vessel here is still. not subtle, but gregarious. what’s the corrosion? what’s the sense of peeling the painted layers? what’s present in your environment? what steps have you corrected to feel at ease and present, instead of scrambling, being afraid of what is at stake? does your skin sense an oncoming wave crashing in your periphery? is there more to compassion than smiling at your neighbor? what senses take over? how does the earth feel under your feet? can you digress and recharge? who has shared with you that you’re not allowed to take a pause? it’s not lonely, but it still meets with some kind of force and there’s no resistance. no elastic band to keep the sticks together and no compilation of poetry to be had. what is advocacy without authors? what is an audience with no spectators? good morning good afternoon good evening. in the context of going against desecration, let’s re-birth what has been taken away without questioning what have we lost since the passage of time a writer’s room a driveway the coast of bodies soaking the hot rays of invigorating UV light. the aftermath was here before you, you were just clueless of the webs leading to the repercussions. maybe we’ll understand better on how we got here - to know how we came to conclusions without finishing each other’s sentences.
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i couldn’t deny my right to write
One of my motivations that pushed me to start this newsletter was to have a voice in The Great Resignation. If you’re clueless about what The Great Resignation is, it’s the re-shuffle of workers that left their employers during this COVID-19 pandemic. It’s an economic trend journalists have been documenting for a minute. Also, the movement scared employers to shart in their pants, because it’s exhausting to fill open vacancies. Pee pee poo poo!
Why have workers been getting up & leaving en masse? A commonality is leaving because of burnout. Burnout chisels down on your mental wellbeing. What conditions resulted in workers being burnt out? The undefined career growth opportunities, the stagnant wages, and the poor health protocols in a pandemic doesn’t holler the following sentiment, have an exciting adventure in this fast-paced environment2! That’s my take.
who cares if your day job ain’t related to your art practice
When I began writing Thanks for Sharing, I itched to back up my belief that your day job doesn’t have to be related to your art practice. My last 9-to-5 day job was not aligned with my practice. People might cringe at the duality. Artists can get hung up and spiral into an identity crisis.
I loved what my last job afforded me. My rent was paid on time, I got to travel, I purchased art supplies (and workshops), and I had money leftover to dine out. In my head, I wanted to write about this duality so other artists didn’t feel isolated. It can be lonely trying to grasp that:
your full-time job doesn’t have to be related to your artistic practice
you don’t have to figure out your whole trajectory of your artistic practice
I bring my attention to full-time jobs specifically not because working less than 40 hours a week (or working multiple part time jobs) invalidates hard labor. But, I had talks with loved ones that felt nervous losing their whole identity in their corporate-shrill of a job title. It do be lonely trying to figure it all out.
ok so i didn’t deny my right to write but i did procrastinate
I could’ve started writing Thanks for Sharing when I was at my last full time job. The conditions didn’t feel right. I thought I needed stretches of uninterrupted time to write. I was tired on the weekends. I traveled on my paid time off. On three-day weekends, I wanted to sleep ten hours.
Rest is important. Though, I should’ve just started writing when I had the itch instead of toiling around. I got hung up on When will be the perfect time to start writing?
I just finished reading Oliver Burkeman’s book, Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals. Let me be clear, I’ve had enough of productivity guidebooks. I followed David Allen’s Getting Things Done to a tee when I was in art school.
The thesis Burkeman posits in his book, though, is instead of trying to optimize every minute of your waking life in order to not waste time, people can be happier if they accept there’s a finite time to accomplish all of the things in their lifetime. Burkeman argues that the conventional ways to manage time are a band-aid,
Why focus on time management in an era like this? It might seem like the height of irrelevance. But as I’ve sought to make clear, I think that’s mainly just a consequence of the blinkered focus of most conventional time management advice. Broaden your perspective a bit, and it’s obvious that in periods of anxiety and darkness, questions of time use take on fresh urgency: our success or failure in responding to the challenges we face will turn entirely on how we use the hours available in the day. The phrase “time management” might seem to render the whole thing rather mundane. But then a mundane life—in the sense of the one that’s unfolding here now, in this very moment—is all that we have to work with.
tools shouldn’t get in the way of doing creative work
I’m not alone in witnessing productivity nerds hyper-focus on KanBan boards, bullet journaling, The Jerry Seinfeld method (daily habit tracking), the Pomodoro method, time blocking, and all the other ways to contain and wrangle time. Granted, I’m not against people using systems to live their own lives. Systems to manage your time are especially helpful if you identify as neurodivergent.
to hope to optimize your time wisely to have a more calm future would be futile
At some point last year, I just gave up on trying to set the correct schedule to write. Focusing on the ideal setting and the best time to write only fed into my perfectionist inclinations. It didn’t allow me to let thoughts flow. Don’t be me and juggle Generalized Anxiety Disorder and perfectionism. I do not recommend it.
I eventually surrendered doing my writing process perfectly. Eh, fuck it, let me open up a plain text file and see what happens. I began writing drafts. I discovered Substack for the platform to publish - it was way less intimidating than other newsletter platforms. I told friends, and friends of friends. I didn’t have a target audience in mind. I think it was simply helpful to share my mindset that working at a job and creating art won’t always intersect.
Thanks for Listening,
Ohikuare, “You Are Not Beyoncé”. If we gotta talk about Beyoncé and money, she rapped about getting paid in equity in the 2018 track “APESHIT”. I’m not a tax specialist. But, think twice if your employer entices you with stock options over a salary raise.