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#040 The Whole Picture, Comfort, & Getting Somewhere
Common Discourse is a weekly briefing designed to help others (and myself) think through creativity, focus, and intentional work. It hits your inbox every Tuesday at 9:17am.
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One thing that is changing with this project is the cadence in 2022. One way I’ll be able to write more consistently and deliver these week over week is by peeling back. Moving forward, Tuesday will always have a few ideas, a quote from somebody else, and links worth sharing.
The longer form writing that I started to introduce at the beginning of newsletters last year will come on separate occasions. Maybe once or twice a month on much larger ideas and deeper thinking. I know for some of you, the longer form writing became more favorable than the short form writing. And for others, the opposite. So we’ll take both and you can choose what’s worth spending time with.
Welcome and thank you!
I just wanted to quickly say hi and welcome to new subscribers who hopped on board this last week. I posted a carousel of writing from this newsletter recapping 2021 on Instagram and the post went semi-viral which is encouraging.
I’d like to dive into this idea in a deeper sense later, but it’s interesting that people respond better to images of words as opposed to just native text. I think this has a lot to do with our constant need for stimulation and ever deflating attention spans.
Text isn’t amusing so we prefer words inside an image. Reading articles online took too long so we turned to Youtube instead. Then that took too long so now we use TikTok to feed us information about stuff we didn’t even care to know about in the first place.
I say this a lot but I really mean it when I say that it feels special that people subscribe to this newsletter project, read it, and share it with others. Because unlike everything else in the world today, you chose to be here, as opposed to somebody or something choosing for you.
One author felt the weight of the world shifting back in 1985…
“Americans no longer talk to each other, they entertain each other. They do not exchange ideas, they exchange images. They do not argue with propositions; they argue with good looks, celebrities and commercials.”
Neil Postman — Amusing Ourselves to Death
Postman died in 2003, but I can’t imagine what he’d think of the world today.
Anyway, this is a long way for me to say thank you for growing this small project into a sizable one.
Ideas from me
I. THE WHOLE PICTURE
Good ideas are not birthed during a single moment in time, but rather, over the course of time. We should think of them more as connections that are constantly forming between our minds and life’s experiences.
It’s the whole picture. Point A, Point B, and the line that connects them.
A is where we are at any given moment, and B is the result. The line is made up of the conversations you have, the places you travel to, the images you save, the books you read, and the memories you make along the way.
The line is not linear. It zigs and zags. It goes up and down. It plateaus and spikes.
Ideas don’t just happen. They’re intentionally crafted. Get moving.
People are at their very best when they feel most comfortable.
Ask the people you spend the most time with, “What little things can I do to create an environment that allows you to be your entire self?”
III. GETTING SOMEWHERE
When I first started working, I always had an answer for questions like “What’s the dream project?” or “How will you know when you’ve made it?”
Over time, those questions became more and more difficult to answer.
I knew I was getting somewhere when my mindset shifted from reaching an end goal to “I just want to keep going.”
A quote from somebody else
If you want to do something, don’t wait for someone to ask you to do it. Get off your phone and meet people. Get a full-time job you don’t hate, do your own art on the side, save money, and when you have enough saved invest it into creating something you like and believe in. Maybe it will work out, maybe it won’t. I have no idea what I’m doing either.
— Braulio Amado
Links worth sharing
🛒 Terminal 27 curates my favorite collection of clothing in LA. The space was great too.
🏠 We’re slowly rolling out a project we did for the VDL Neutra house in Los Angeles. Follow MOUTHWASH Studio for more updates and please visit once they open again.
🎥 This is Water by David Foster Wallace
Thanks for another week!
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