14 Apr Weekly Top 3: What Writers Really Do, Easle, and The Virtues of Isolation
Every Friday, I hand pick three things I found that inspired or interested me this week. These things include articles, videos, books, podcasts, music, new tech, and general advice. These are generally about writing, marketing, and personal development. Here are the three things I loved this week.
“An artist works outside the realm of strict logic. Simply knowing one’s intention and then executing it does not make good art. Artists know this,” says George Saunders as he explains the mysterious process writers go through to bring an idea to life. When we write for a living it becomes easy to see writing as a job rather than an art. As a blogger, I have to consider things such as SEO and branding. A truly creative, artistic writer probably wouldn’t care about these things, which makes me feel like a sell-out sometimes. But there’s something special about viewing every line you write as art; whether it be describing a fictional character in your novel or reviewing an affiliate product. This essay reminds us of the grueling process creative writers go through to make sure that each word comes out in exactly the right form. It’s also a beautifully written piece, even though it’s covertly marketing Saunders’ new book.
Earlier this week I was venting with another freelancer friend about how so many freelance job sites focus on a low price point. Due to this, many writers and other creatives end up getting underpaid for the value of their work. Serendipitously, the next day I stumbled upon this article about Easle, a new kind of freelance creator network. The platform launched in March and is primarily focused on illustrators at the moment, although they’re planning to roll out sections for other creative professions within the coming months. If you want in, you better apply early as there is a limit to how many creators can be featured on the site. The application process involves a portfolio review to ensure that all creators meet the site’s quality requirements.
Did you know being alone is good for your mental health? You don’t have to convince me of the benefits of solitude. I’m the kind of person who can hibernate at home for a week without a hint of boredom. I love, love, love being alone. And not in a reclusive hermit kind of way. I feel like I can recharge my batteries and get a ton of stuff accomplished during alone time. However, after reading this piece in the Atlantic, I realized that true isolation, meaning completely disconnecting from the outside world (no cell phones or the internet) and being 100 percent alone with my thoughts sounds a little scary even for me. As a society that values social interaction, we tend to mistrust real solitude. Being alone with ourselves for too long is so terrifying it’s even a form of torture. What we forget is that under certain circumstances it’s not only beneficial but necessarily for growth.
What inspired or interested you this week? Share your top three in the comments!