Today’s the second week of my newsletter.
For the first month, I’ll repost it on my blog.
Sign up for my newsletter here. Every Monday, you’ll receive in your inbox: My writing, updates on my Semester at the Library project, and any thought-provoking material I discover along the way.
I’m halfway through my Semester in the Library experiment, next week I’ll be sharing a short post mortem of how it went so far. Stay tuned for that.
However, I’ve yet to publish my next long-form piece which explains why I decided to take a creative sabbatical and what I hope to do. I promised many people I would publish this more than a month ago. Why has this taken me so long?
Perfection. Every time I look at my draft there’s something that I want to improve. This is a never-ending loop.
Inconsistency. I don’t work on this consistently thus I tend to put this off to the side leading to procrastination.
Fear. Writing this piece requires me to express my true feelings. To put a piece of me out there for others to judge, that’s the creative risk that comes with this work. That risk is never easy.
This is no excuse.
To combat this, I’ve sent my friend 100$: If I get it published by this Sunday I get the 100$ back, if I don’t, then I’ll donate it to a cause I don’t believe in like the NRA—definitely not something I want to do.
Time to get to work.
Stuff I enjoyed this week
Haruki Murakami | Short Story (30min read)
I love reading short stories and here’s a great one I came across from one of my favorite authors. This story serves as the inspiration for the hit Korean film, Burning.
The Proust Questionnaire
Marcel Proust | Article (5min read)
Marcel Proust created this questionnaire believing that answering these questions reveals someone’s true nature. These questions are used often by modern interviewers. Here are the first 5 questions:
- What is your idea of perfect happiness?
- What is your greatest fear?
- What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
- What is the trait you most deplore in others?
- Which living person do you most admire?
This is a great exercise in self-awareness. I’ll publish my answers soon.
One Piece manga creator’s work schedule is absolutely insane
soranews24.com | Article (2min read)
I’ve heard of many insane daily schedules but One Piece’s, Eiichiro Oda, takes the cake. Here’s one excerpt from the piece:
● Wake up at 5 a.m., start working ● Continue working through the day, only taking breaks for things like eating ● Go to bed at 2 a.m.
In other words, the guy is working for six or seven times as long as he’s sleeping. This isn’t just his schedule for especially busy stretches, either, but his regular routine throughout the year. And we literally mean throughout the year, since Oda says he rarely takes a day off, even on the weekend.
Crazy right. What’s crazier is that Oda has kept this daily schedule for 18 years. He did all of this without sacrificing the quality as One Piece keeps getting better and better.
How to Do What you Love
Paul Graham | Essay (21min read)
The classic piece from YCombinator founder Paul Graham. I re-read this piece often and get something different from it every time.
James Altucher: On How to Improve
Big Questions with Cal Fussman | Podcast (1Hour 7min)
Sometimes the best way to move up is to move laterally. In this podcast, James and Cal discuss experimentation as a means for improvement. Ins summary, there’s a risk that comes with stepping out of the norm and experimenting. But experimentation leads to innovation and that helps you progress forward more rapidly than others.