Monthly Insights: What I’m Reading, Using, and Watching in Dec 2019
I’ve been writing a subscriber-only newsletter for over ten years now, and it has evolved substantially over that period of time as subscribers grew from just a few hundred to now being over ten thousand.
My focus for the newsletter has also evolved from simply a way to promote my work and share events. I decided I wanted it to be more than that, much more. I wanted to share worthwhile resources that I thought would be helpful to readers that I had also found worthwhile. I wanted it to be inspiring as well, because I work better when I’m inspired.
I’m not a journalist or marketer, I’m an artist. By artist I mean I aspire to live each day of my life focused on creating things, whether that’s ideas, words, images, paintings, great relationships, positivity in others, etc. That’s not a goal or destination, that’s a lifestyle driven by daily habits and rituals. And so I don’t share anything that hasn’t already been useful to me and others.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Will Durant
I’m starting a new series for the Creative Path newsletter in 2020 where I share some of things I’ve enjoyed—similar to my “Five Things” blog posts, but more in depth. I’m sharing the first of these here on the blog, but the subsequent ones will be in the newsletter only.
If you’re not not a subscriber, considering subscribing. You can unsubscribe at any time, and there are other benefits you’ll receive as a subscriber, including early access to new workshops and online courses, answers to your questions, promotions, and more creative resources.
Thanks to all the current subscribers for your support – I am very grateful.
What I’m Reading
- Book: Indistractable by Nir Eyal – A great book that will help you eliminate distractions and gain better control of your time and attention.
- Book: A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William Irvine – I’m re-reading this for the 2nd time, but a great book on stoic philosophy and how effective it can be in bringing equanimity to your daily life – especially useful for artists.
- Blogpost: The Bus Ticket Theory of Genius by Paul Graham – Another great essay by Paul on what genius really is. It’s an opinion piece of course, but much to learn and apply.
What I’m Using
- BaronFig Confidant Notebook – While I love digital tools, I’ve learned to rely on a physical notebook to keep track of ideas, thoughts, notes, tasks, and anything else that really matters. The extra effort required to write things down physically has been shown to change the way it’s remembered in the brain. Any notebook works of course, but Baron Fig makes notebooks with great textured paper that I enjoy writing on every day.
- Waking Up App – Meditation is a crucial part if my morning routine, and this app is the best I’ve found for both practicing and learning about the important benefits of mindful thinking.
- Lightroom mobile – I use this app more and more on my iPhone to capture images in RAW format which then get immediately synced to my iPad or laptop for editing and sharing.
What I’m Listening To
- Music: Erik Wollo — I love atmospheric sonic landscapes for meditation, focusing, editing images in Lightroom, and anything else where I need to concentrate.
- Music: Ottmar Liebert – Great acoustic guitarist from Sante Fe that is known for his Spanish-influenced, easy listening instrumental music that is described as “Nouveau Flamenco.”
- Podcast: The Drive – Peter Attia, MD hosts this podcast that goes deep on many medical topics, but the main focus is on longevity and nutrition for men and women. Highly recommended.
- Podcast: The Candid Frame – One of the very few photography podcasts I listen to that focuses on interviewing photographers about the creative side of their work. I was honored to be a guest years ago.
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