001 Talk doesn't cook rice
Stop procrastinating and write the damn thing
Well, it’s that problematic first post. I’ve been deliberating over how to structure this newsletter. Perhaps:
Keep it ultra-simple like James Clear.
Share 10 things like Austin Kleon.
Or a stream of consciousness and writing like many other newsletters I admire.
I’ve deliberated so much I’ve failed to write the damn thing! As I pondered this dilemma, I threw various links and snippets of things I wanted to share into a draft post. Links and snippets that have inspired me this week.
Well, it turns out, as creativity often does, if you throw things around enough, they start to form a shape and structure.
Thanks to throwing links, snippets and the number 7, by Joe I think I’ve got it and I’m ready to publish!
Why the number 7?
Well, the number 7 kept coming up this week.
It’s my husband’s favourite number, for a start. I’ve also been practising Lynda Barry’s journaling method, which involves listing ‘7 things I’ve done and seen’ every day. And the number 7 was also involved in an answer for a quiz question I got stuck on this week.
It might be a tenuous connection, but if it stops me from procrastinating about writing this newsletter, then who cares!
So here goes:
7 things to draw on this week
“It’s a wonderful thing to draw something…it’s marvellous to express something in pictures, because you can say it so succintly… in a way you cannot say in words.” - Ralph Steadman
1. Ralph Steadman
Watch this lovely video of Ralph Steadman (thanks to Austin Kleon’s newsletter for alerting me to this). It’s fascinating to see his ink drawing technique but mostly how he talks about the power of the drawn image. He also loves the rule of 3 so I know I’m in good company.
2. Writing From Fear
I love the idea of writing from the point of view of fear. Inspired by an Elizabeth Gilbert exercise, Adam Westbrook who writes The Third Something, lets his fear take over his newsletter for a week. In the process, he helps us see our fear isn’t alone.
3. A Visualisation for Negative Thoughts
Talking about voices in our heads, I have a simple visualisation technique to work with negative thoughts, the imposter, the inner critic and the saboteur this week on the GStC blog. It’s kryptonite for negative thoughts.
4. Nick Cave & Creative Voices
Nick Cave offers brilliant advice to a fan about trusting the creative voice instead. I urge you to subscribe to The Red Hand Files for more of his creative wisdom. It’s brilliant, despite him making me an emotional mess when I listen to his music.
5. Sketchbook Practice
Having returned to Instagram with my botanical inspired drawings, I decided to get over myself and post a video of my latest sketchbook drawings. It seems the appetite for artist sketchbooks is very much alive; I actually received a fair bit of interaction over this post - an Instagram miracle these days! If you love sketchbooks, check out the master David Hockney sharing his sketchbook too.
6. Gold medallist Nathan Chen Left His Phone at Home
I discovered this article via my deep work hero Cal Newport’s blog. American figure skater Nathan Chen, earned the gold medal in the Winter Olympics 2022, that had eluded him four years earlier in Pyeongchang. What’s particularly interesting is he chose not to bring his phone to escape “the urge to scroll for hours through social media.” Instead, Chen choose to replace dopamine highs with high-quality leisure and brought his guitar instead.
7. And Finally…
And finally…let’s finish on a simple quote that has made me smile this week, especially after the procrastination of creating this newsletter.
“Talk doesn’t cook rice” - Chinese Proverb
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Have a lovely weekend