Make Art and Progress
"The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
It’s the new year. A time for giving thanks, a time for reflection, and a time for making resolutions. As I consider which goals matter the most in 2022, whom to work with or for, and which pieces to write next, I am reminded how I often judge the merit of my own creative projects by their marketplace potential instead of weighing their intrinsic value. I do this because the pressure to earn is always there, lurking and casting its capitalist shadow. At the same time, I need to take care of the creative creature that lives inside of me. To some extent, we all do.
In my twenties, I knew that I was a writer and I knew that I would need a career to support myself, precisely because I am a writer. Even successful writers with best-selling books find it hard to make a living from writing. That’s why we teach or go into journalism or PR or advertising or film making or publishing. Whichever way we choose to earn, we must also get “the real work” out. If this means rising at 5:00 a.m. to produce art before the workday gets going, that’s an answer. Not producing is not an option. Not for the artist or the writer who simply must make art to feel whole.
Movement of Jah People
I have not flown on a plane since the onset of the pandemic. Thankfully, we have made it a point to visit interesting people and places by car. In 2021, we spent time in San Antonio, Medina, Las Cruces, Marfa, Fentress, and Marfa again.
At home, we endured the Snowpocalypse and consequent lack of running water. In much better news, we saw our first Austin FC match and became fans of the club.
In November, we moved from Western Oaks in Southwest Austin to Bastrop. Bastrop is 30 miles east of Austin, one of the most historic towns in Texas, and home to the Lost Pines—the westernmost stand of Loblolly pine trees in the United States.
This Loblolly pine woodland is isolated from the main body of East Texas pines by about 100 miles of rolling, post oak woodlands.
Pollen records indicate that pines have grown in this area for over 18,000 years.
Choosing the Language of Life
Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D. is a book that was recently recommended to me. This is a particularly attractive paragraph from the first chapter:
It would be in the interest of kings, czars, nobles, and so forth that the masses be educated in a way that renders them slavelike in mentality. The language of wrongness, should, and have to is perfectly suited for this purpose: the more people are trained to think in terms of moralistic judgments that imply wrongness and badness, the more they are being trained to look outside themselves—to outside authorities—for the definition of what constitutes right, wrong, good, and bad. When we are in contact with our feelings and needs, we humans no longer make good slaves and underlings.
Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, recommended the book to his leadership team and credits the book with turning Microsoft’s culture from cutthroat to creative.
Bonehook Is 13 (That Was Fast)
As we close the books on Bonehook’s 12th year in business, I want to express my deep gratitude for our client’s trust in us, for our team member’s incredible contributions, and for our contractor’s value-added insights and hard work.
2021 was a year of changes for the agency and we made several significant changes this year.
We hired a new employee and several new contractors and paid out more in earnings than ever before
We landed two new clients and stepped up in a big way for our oldest client
We remade the agency website
We narrowed our focus to brand creation and revitalization
My friend Dave Perschon is producing one of the best morning radio programs in the country. Tune in to KUAA-FM in Salt Lake City on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings.
If you have an interest in marketing, media, or advertising, please buy my new eBook, Ad Brains: Conversations with Advertisin’s Icons, Rebels, and Rulers.
I recently wrote two articles about my battles with digital distraction: “Finding New and Natural Rhythms” and “Chasing the Dopamine Dragon.”
“Storm Lake” is a great documentary about the newspaper business today, or what’s left of it.
China Is Single-Handedly Crushing America, according to Jared Brock.
I feel that we’re are all being tested today, individually, and collectively. The test isn’t a COVID-19 test, it’s a citizenship test.
Visit my Linktree to learn more about my writing and professional services.
Thanks for being here now.