A few weeks ago I met a guy who worked in a large corporate office. I don’t remember his name, and I’ve changed a few biographical details here to protect his anonymity, but I’m writing about him today because he was able to describe his job in one of the most perceptive ways I’d ever heard.
This guy—Mel, I’ll call him—had been working for the same company for ten or so years, and looked to be in his early fifties. Before that he’d worked in restaurants, owned a business, managed a ski lodge, and even been a private investigator. Now, though, he had a family, and lived Continue reading
For those of you who missed last’s week’s Life Update, I totally got a new Day Job to replace my old Secret Work-From-Home one, so what follows will make way more sense if you check that out first. (TLDR Version: My new job’s in an office doing a writing/editing-type activity, the conditions make it ideal for keeping up with my novel, this blog, and other creative projects, and to lessen my commute I moved to a new apartment a mere 3.6 miles from the new job.)
Now that we’re all on the same page, some of you might be wondering Continue reading
The title says it all: I needed a change, and a new Day Job is helping to make that happen.
In sticking with my philosophy on keeping your Day Job a secret online, I won’t tell you much about my new way of keeping the bills paid here. Here’s a few things I will say about it, though: Continue reading
Thinking about how you’re going to spend your creative time before you start working has felt so obvious to me for such a long time that I never even thought to write about it. That all changed when I was emailing with a programmer friend of mine who’s got a lot on his plate life-wise, and he wanted to share a new method he’s been trying to make better use of his time:
I’m thinking it might be better to work in 30 minute chunks on code projects because that might be all I can handle right now. It doesn’t seem like enough time to really do anything but it works a lot better if I Continue reading
I get asked about my Secret Work-From-Home Day Job a lot. Like, a LOT. I think it’s because people are curious about how I keep the bills paid, but there’s also a fair amount of mystification: What kind of job could possibly be so important that Ian feels the need to hide it with such exaggeration?
First off, my Day Job’s nothing special or important—it’s actually pretty boring. But I still don’t talk about it online because I think it’s bad form for anyone (creative person or otherwise) to talk about their Day Jobs online in ways that aren’t pertinent to their professional lives. It’d be one thing if I were starting an amazing new job Continue reading
I’m going to let you in on a deep, dark, gut-wrenchingly embarrassing secret that I’m painfully ashamed of:
Sometimes I write things that aren’t any good.
Renaissance Man (ren-uh-sahns man), n, also called polymath (Greek: πολυμαθής, polymathēs, “having learned much”)
- a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. Such a person is known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems (Wikipedia)
- a person who has wide interests and is expert in several areas (Merriam-Webster)
I had a friend who was obsessed with the idea of the Renaissance Man (or Woman)—the ideal of gaining expertise in several different areas that you could then use to live a more well-rounded, versatile, and diverse life. Meriwether Lewis, he insisted, was chosen to lead the Corps of Discovery Continue reading
So part of the reason I started my 99-word book review blog (besides giving me incentive to read more) was to share all the cool books that are out there and help people find new stuff to check out. To summarize Aziz Ansari, the internet’s given us a ZILLION options for things to read, watch, listen to, visit, eat, and do, which can be overwhelming when you’re not sure where to start.
But if you’re reading this blog, odds are that you’ve got a creative mindset and you’re interested in trying to balance that with the rest of your responsibilities. Here’s three books I’ve read over the past few years that you might find helpful for deciding what kind of creative life you want—they were definitely instrumental for me.
My name is Ian, and I’m addicted to reading news on the internet.
Every so often I step back and try to identify the bad habit or activity that’s sucking up the largest portion of my time. Past culprits have included:
So this week’s topic might seem obvious, but it’s also so important that I can’t possibly let this blog go any longer without talking about it. That’s because I’ve found that sorting creative time into the right place on your schedule can make all the difference between fist-clenching frustration and sweet sweet productivity.
Here’s a few things to consider when thinking about your ideal creative work schedule:
The other day I was talking to some friends about finances (yeah, these are the kinds of conversations you start having after age 25…) and one of my friends whose debt was spread out over a lot of different loans started talking about his strategy:
FRIEND: So basically I’ve got these two student loans and I usually pay an extra hundred bucks on one of ‘em and an extra fifty on the other, and then I’m also trying to pay off my car so sometimes I pay some extra there, Continue reading
No joke—last week I worked 65 hours, dealt with a nasty flat tire on my trusty Volvo, and still managed to see the New Pornographers concert that I’d been looking forward to for months.
How did all this happen, you ask? And furthermore, why did I submit myself to such an exhausting schedule??? Continue reading