Be A Good Steward

Today, one of poet Jane Kenyon’s most urgent exhortations are ringing in my ears. In advice she wrote to herself and kept over her desk, she said: Be a good steward of your gifts. Writing, for me, is about stewardship. It’s about actively tending to your life, observing the changes that roll in with the seasons,…

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Snip Snip

Your first pass at putting down a big idea should always be lavish, expansive, unfiltered and unrestrained. It should be a riot of energy and possibility, the next exciting line just moments away from the tip of your pen. This is where much of the joy of writing lies. This is where the catharsis happens,…

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As We Begin To Look, We Find

Today over lunch I started reading Dark Emu, by Bruce Pascoe. It’s an examination of Aboriginal agriculture, and the colonialism that destroyed it.In a moment of relief that some of the old ways are being explored again, Pascoe says that ‘as we begin to look, we find.’A simple line, maybe, but profound.We often don’t notice what’s…

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Make Yourself A Ritual

The part of my life where I have been most consistently rebellious is when someone tells me I have to do something every day. Meditation? Nope. Exercise? Probs not. Flossing? Get the hell out of here. Even when it’s writing, I hate feeling pinned to something I must do every day. Sometimes I don’t want to, OK?!…

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What Does The Data Say?

Recently I had a big big blood draw so that I could get an exhaustive analysis of what’s going on inside the ol’ bod. Yesterday I met with my lovely doctor to go over each test, and it turns out that the ol’ bod is pretty young, actually — I have the innards of a thriving 25…

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Slash And Burn, Baby

Some days are not writing days. Some days are for slashing and burning. On any given day, I have about 20 ‘open files’ in my brain. These are the tasks that need attention, both personal and business, and I think of them like those old-school manila folders you would line up in a filing cabinet…

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The Optimal Stopping Problem

Today I have been thinking about the optimal stopping problem. I first heard about it in Algorithms to Live By, which is a book of very interesting sciencey life strategies. It’s a puzzle from the field of probability in mathematics: put very simply, how long should I keep searching for a new house/job/partner/t-shirt, and how do…

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Break Your Own Story

Yesterday’s email — about writing as a way to stop ruminating — seems to have struck a nerve. There’s lots of anxiety out there, so today I want to delve a little deeper into that.Before we jump in though, here’s the most important thing: you always know the answer. Sometimes it just takes a while…

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Stop Ruminating

I think one of the most stark lessons we have all learned in the past year is just how much anxiety we’re all carrying around with us all the time. Under the cover of normal life, it’s easy to ignore: you plaster over the gnawing sense of discontent and dis-ease with long days in the…

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You Can’t Buy Your Way Out

About two weeks ago I had a desperate, overwhelming urge to run downtown, tear my Covid-battered clothes from my body and shop like I have never shopped before. I didn’t make it downtown, but it never fails to amaze me how far you can get online. So many packages have arrived in the past week…

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