“What I’m Reading This Week,” is a collection of quotes, excerpts, articles, thoughts, images and ideas I’ve stumbled across in the last seven days, organized for your browsing pleasure. 😊 Here’s the first week! And here’s where you can find additional weeks.
If anything interests, excites, frustrates, confuses you, etc. feel free to leave a comment below and we can talk! (Love hearing from all of you!)
1. The amazing questions from my AMA (Ask Me Anything) Feed on being a Writer/Editor.
The engagement I received on this was so powerful! Awesome, thought-provoking questions on anything from editing to sharing emotional pieces on the internet, to engaging with readers, to finding inspiration. (PS: You’re still welcome to post a question, if you’d like!)
2. This inspiring interview with Sarah Robb O’Hagan on making mistakes and being a part of the ‘getting fired’ club.
“The people that I have learned the most from have achieved extraordinary results because they swung hard, because they f*cked up and failed along the way, and they took those learnings and carried them forward.”
Wow, that quote resonated with me so much. We put tons of pressure on ourselves to be perfect, but the truth is, more often than not it’s the moments things don’t go our way that completely change us and shift us in a new direction. Here’s to f*cking up!
3. This inspiring Vanity Fair piece about women of color in Silicon Valley.
Reading about women shattering glass ceilings has been a big focus of mine this month – I feel like I’ve grown up celebrating Women’s History Month but haven’t ever really dove in. This year I’m really trying to learn more about women – past and present – and the impact we’ve made/are making.
4. This story about the search for happiness by Julie Diamond.
What stuck out to me the most about this piece was the narrator’s contemplation about sex, and how so often our human nature causes us to search for happiness in other people. The essay comes full circle on this idea, but one section I found particularly thought-provoking was this about intimacy: seeing sex as both a coming together, and a pulling away from your personal self, in a sense.
“I loved being swept up by touch, by smell, by the varieties of intense and unaccustomed sensation. I loved the feeling of losing myself in sex. But at the same time, I didn’t like it. I missed my separateness, my sense of myself as a separate and autonomous human being. I missed being aware of my conscious and calculating mind. All of which was impossible at those swept-up times of sex, although there were times when my mind hovered, watched, ticking over. I wasn’t scared of the physical act (or so I believed, but maybe I was, more than I would have admitted even to myself); I was fearful of something more central. Afraid of being possessed by feeling, of being lost to myself.”
5. “The Afterlife” by Emily Pease
“Every now and then you feel your life change. Like they say, time froze. I opened the door of the cab and there was a box and there was the driver, and up in the air a silver plane drew white lines in the sky. The plane stayed suspended like a toy. I hesitated. Inside, the cab smelled like a wet wool coat. Autumn colors bled through the smudged windshield, ugly foam poked through the cracked vinyl seat. Up front: Bruce. Until that moment he was just a voice. Now he was a smiling, actual man.
You ask, what had my life been so far? Picture a mouse at the back of a drawer.”
This quote stuck out to me the most. Wow. I think we all face moments where we’re just existing, rather than living. I think Emily did an incredible job reflecting this through the narrator’s own innocence and (essentially) ‘coming of age’ story.
6. This important piece on being a millennial workaholic (#relatable, am I right?)
“You need to prove yourself in an entry level job, by doing the grunt work. Or else, you need to take on a huge challenge that’s frankly out of your league, and risk failing miserably. I did both. One is not better or worse than the other, they both result in the same thing: You learn hard skills, and you hopefully gain some humility and perspective along the way.”
I found this part to be a really important and necessary reminder. We all want to be successful, but there’s a process to getting there. It takes time, hard work, and often setbacks, and we often forget that.
7. This interesting piece on optical illusions.
Because honestly this is just interesting how our minds work.
This was sent to me by a fellow writer/creative who had engaged with a piece I wrote about my own LDR. I honestly just think the effort put into creating this guide (and multiple chapters!) is commendable. It’s cool to see that there are other people experiencing and going through the same things.
9. This thinkpiece by Emilia Phillips on body positivity and what that concept means in poetry/contemporary writing.
“So what is a poetics of body positivity? It is a movement of poetry that celebrates the body, doesn’t shy away from the body’s full experience; it expands the scope of poetry’s engagement of the body and privileges the diverse lived experiences of people with bodies, all types of bodies. It rejects the appropriation of others’ bodily experiences. It is imperfect, and it sometimes recognizes that one’s own bodily acceptance is a process, a struggle.”
I just think it’s so interesting (and pretty cool) that self-love is coming to the forefront of our creative work. I love to read how other writers can bring their body into their art – it’s something that’s liberating and empowering for not only the author, but anyone who reads their work.
Featured Image Credit: rawpixel