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Productivity

Whenever this comes on my stereo, no matter what status my life is currently floating around (good/bad/happy/sad/uncomfortable/stressed/etc), I turn it up and feel all chest-puffy awesome, kickassish and empowered. Thank you, Sharon Jones. And thank you to all those who I sing this to in my head. A good life story needs both villains and allies.

Title credit: Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Better Things

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Having taken a social networking hiatus, and getting my news the old fashioned way (by visiting NYT directly and consuming my 10 free monthly articles in a manner of minutes), I am starting a “things I would have posted on ubiquitous SN site” list, with appropriate 140 character marginalia.

>>David Rakoff, Humorist and Essayist, Dies at 47 – NYTimes.com.

So occasionally, I’ll need that little bit of spice. And what’s more spicy than being Canadian? I ask you.”

David Rakoff was an insanely funny, dry, awesome writer. He passed away last night. I will miss him. Looking at the number of tributes that have gone up since I started this post, so will many many others.

>> Noah has a new exhibition up and it is pretty awesome. It makes me think of…
Damian Moppett and the dancing record from Size Small (it took me 17 days to remember this reference). Pop culture references aside, most importantly, Noah’s work just keeps getting more interesting.

>> Fingertips is the BEST at finding free and legal infectious summer songs about listening to music. Check this one by Wildlife Control: Analog or Digital

“This one hardly needs any annotation—it’s got a head-bopping one-note bass line, an infectious melody, is three minutes long, and is about listening to records (a subject that forms its own important splinter group in the kingdom of power pop).”

>> … [more as things pop into my head and out through my fingertips]

Title credit: This Euan MacDonald piece, seen at NGC, years ago…

Have you ever searched a nonspecific phrase in g-images? This is a particularly good one.

No secret, I love books.
Take a piece of paper, fold it in half, in half again, staple it along the spine and I will love it infinitely more than in it’s original 8.5″ x 11″ formation.

I made my first book when I was in Mrs. McBride’s Grade 3 class. It was called “The Magical Pop from the Magical Shop” and it was based loosely on the uber-Canadian phenomenon The Pop Shoppe  and probably too many Christopher Pike novels (and maybe my very early reading of Pet Semetary). Some day I’ll scan the pages and make an ebook to share my crummy drawings and expansive imagination.

Starting a publishing company on a break-even model last year, I know how expensive publishing can be. I’m *positive* Mrs. McBride’s teacher’s wage did not cover the hours and hours of laminating and cerlox binding needed to publish 30 first editions for her students. So if anyone should be in my lifetime list of thank yous – she’s high on the list. I’m not sure if “The Magical Pop…” was the kingpin in my decision to be an indie publisher, but it definitely had a supporting role.

So – how does an artist/writer/photographer find the money and time to publish a book?

MONEY

Money is tricky, but not impossible – my good friend Myra Greene currently has a campaign for her new book, “My White Friends” on the ubiquitous crowdfunding site Kickstarter (which charges a hefty 5%… in addition to Amazon’s 3-5% – ouch!)

And the soon to be published book by Michelle Wilson, A Tale of Two just wrapped up a campaign on Indie Go Go (4% if funding goal is met +3% transaction fee, otherwise 9%). The crew at Anchorless Press is very excited to be the Canadian publisher of this insanely gorgeous photowork.

There are lots of other options, but for a self-funded project – drawing on your own network of contacts & supporters is often the best bet. It helps you set a printing budget, and realistic first edition run.

And those lucky few who invested in you when you were just starting out? Might find they have a first edition Cover to Cover on their shelves in a couple years time.

As for time… well, let’s bold it, as it is as important (if not more) as money:
TIME
Don’t sleep. Treat your book as a second (or third) job and pretend you are getting paid a living hourly wage. This is the ONLY way to get it done. If you wait until you have time, you will never finish it.*

And once it’s done… make sure everyone can get a copy… easily! All that hard work and lost sleep shouldn’t be for naught.

Good luck to all the bookmakers, stuffmakers, pagecreators, etc. out there. If you have a campaign for your next release up, feel free to link it in the comments section (within reason 😉 )

*Disclaimer: that above note might just be a little self-motivator. If your name isn’t Robyn, you can ignore that and GTD, Pomodoro or whichever method suits you best. I never thought my blog would be my external motivator, but ah well.

Title credit: Gordon Lightfoot, If You Could Read My Mind (okay okay, I might be a little homesick)

This message from my spam-trapper caught my attention, seconds before I clicked delete:

“shapes, catering towards require associated with little web sites for you to complex bigger”

I have been having that trigger-shy feeling, lately. Big things on the horizon, but those big things require little things to happen to start the rolling.

When this happens, my to-do list gets longer, and I drink a lot of coffee and wait for the day when BAM, something happens that keeps me up until 5am, and then gets me out of bed at 8am to keep working. And so on.

My working method is a lot like the bastard child of the grasshopper and the ant. Not particularly sustainable, but after a few decades of race-to-the-finish-line, stop, look around, race, pause, race — it has become *almost* predictable.

So almost predicting my working methods means – prepping for bursts, organizing the crap out of all my projects, and sometimes being okay giving myself a push instead of waiting for divine-tervention. ‘Cause my days of believing in something divine have past. I took too much philosophy in undergrad to believe. Beeeelieve.

The unsustainable aspect of this method makes me look into new productivity methods every now and then. For shits and giggles and procrastinatory purposes.

So – do I time box? life hack? become a time ninja? How do you Get Things Done? Opening this up to comments – does anyone notcrazy still comment on blogs?

To start off, I think I need to listen to Ryan Kuhlmann‘s advice and complex bigger.

Title credit: Ben Folds, From Above