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⛵️ Inneresting #168 - Navigating the Doldrums
Finding momentum when the wind is out of your sails.
In the LA Times, Maria Prudente spoke with a group of writers and actors who have found community and purpose on the picket lines, but still need resources and space to grieve what’s being lost during this prolonged strike:
Feinglos says that because union members are choosing to strike, they may hesitate to describe their experiences as grief, “and yet, that’s exactly what it is. They’re losing out. They’re feeling a loss every single day not doing the thing that they love.”
This echoes comments from Beth Pickens (in conversation with Austin Kleon) about the relationship between artists’ work and their sense of self worth:
“Artists are people who are profoundly compelled to make their creative work,” she writes, “and when they are distanced from their practice, their life quality suffers.”
Without the momentum of the industry machinery buzzing, finding energy and focus to do something creative can be hard. Mandy Brown suggests avoiding the advice to start your day by “eating the frog,” and instead beginning with something that gives you energy. It may not be urgent, but a fulfilling activity can give a boost to the remaining time in the day.
When nothing is working, explore and make a lot of small bets.
Finding new strategies to create your own momentum can be tricky, especially when feedback isn’t reinforcing your work. McKinley Valentine discusses looking for a minimum viable benefit required to get a new habit or tactic to stick:
If I had done one knee push-up a day, it would have taken me an EXTREMELY long time to get visible muscles and strong enough for full push-up (in fact, it would never have happened – you need to be able to to do about 10 knee push-ups in a row before you can do a full pushup).
David Moldawer wants to disassociate the result from the work to get there, saying that learning to love the process is essential (and that pushing yourself doesn’t need to feel like punishing yourself). Oliver Burkeman echoes that advice with a reminder about the importance of rest, and that working harder won’t net the same results as staying committed while still giving yourself space.
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🤝 Strike Solidarity
This past week, a group of showrunners joined other WGA members, SAG-AFTRA members, and supporters for a special picket at Fox Studios. The WGA has a full write up, including comments from several of the participating showrunners:
“We’re marching and picketing and striking for the future of our industry and for the next generation of showrunners, and frankly for all writers and directors and actors. But certainly, we’re here as WGA members. I think if you ask almost any showrunner, we’re not out here for us. We’re out here for people who don’t have our privilege or have not yet gotten our opportunities.”
The WGA and SAG-AFTRA still could use your help in the fight for a fair contract.
🔔 Highland 2 Pro on sale
From now until the end of the month, Highland 2’s Pro features are 50% off!
If you’ve been waiting for the right time to try out a better way to write, head over to the App Store.
"Highland is just a cleaner, purer way to be creative. My mind is calmer and less cluttered when i use it because I can write prose so easily and jump to dialogue when that’s more intuitive."
–Academy Award® winner, Phil Lord (Writer/Producer of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Writer/Director of The Lego Movie, 21 & 22 Jump Street)
⏱️ Get your write sprint in
Each week we post a comment thread for writers to meet up, cheer each other on, and put some words on the page with a Write Sprint.
What’s a Write Sprint?
John wrote up an explanation, but here’s the short version: Set a timer for 60 minutes, close down all distractions, and do nothing but write until that timer goes off.
Shout out to last week’s Sprinters Mark-Leiren-Young, Dallas Now, and Elyse Moretti Forbes!
📖 What are you reading this weekend?
This week’s Featured Friday in the Weekend Read app is all about time loops. For a more immersive experience, tap the top of your phone to scroll back to the beginning after you finish one of these scripts.
Next Friday, we’ll be taking down our batch of Summertime Features. Any of the scripts you’ve downloaded to your library will stay there after we rotate the collection out, but your last chance to grab them will be 9/22.
Still haven’t tried Weekend Read 2? Download the free trial from the App Store to check out our app for reading, listening to, and taking notes on scripts while on the go.
Previously on Inneresting…
In case you missed it, in last issue’s most clicked link Farnham Street offers a primer on Hanlon’s Razor: a thought model that helps people to question if you’re actually in a situation where someone is out to get you, or if the problems you’re experiencing can better be explained by institutional incompetence or neglect.
What else is inneresting?
An up-to-date guide for traveling safely while transgender (or with a transgender person) that covers laws and recommendations for all 50 states.
Derek Murphy and Mitchell Zemil collaborate on a the series Preserving Worlds, which looks at digital communities of the past, from trading modded Doom maps to NeoHabitat.
Wil from inhab.it describes the density and closeness of traveling in Hong Kong compared to the wide berth people give each other back in Texas.
And that’s what’s inneresting this week!
Inneresting is edited by Chris Csont, with contributions from readers like you and the entire Quote-Unquote team.
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