Automation is the future.

I’ve been thinking about the purpose of having a self-hosted blog and a Tumblr.

Part of me wants to just write on Tumblr and forget the hassle of having another blog. Sure would be cheaper, and there are few other platforms that make it so easy to get writing up on the Internet.

Maybe they can work together.

This post is to test that theory.

Back to the Brandcenter

After 5-and-a-half amazing years with The Martin Agency, I’ve taken a full time position as strategy professor at my graduate alma mater: VCU Brandcenter.

This isn’t about slowing down. This is about going back to a school that I love, where I learned skills that helped me transform my life, and working closely with graduate students who are hoping to set off on their own careers in ~~the dark arts~~ the creative industries.

I’ll also be working on building my own consulting practice, writing more, getting some podcasts off the ground, and plugging-in with the creative community here in Richmond and beyond.

It’s a radical new direction that should make for a really interesting second act.

The Crossroads of Should and Must

Patrick Rhone’s review of a book that looks like a worthy companion to this one:

Unlike a lot of the “quit your job and follow your dreams” books, this one is rational, reasonable, and readily admits that jumping off such a cliff is not wise. Instead, it argues that if you can make the time to do the things you should do, and we all seem to find the time to do those things that the world expects from us, you can make the time to do the things you must do.

Disclosure: I might be biased towards these kinds of books right now, given that I’ve just quit my job.  

Source: patrickrhone / journal » Blog Archive » The Crossroads of Should and Must — A Brief Review

Nick Cave’s Weather Notebook

So I started to write the Weather Diaries. When I would go into the office every day, I would document what was happening with the weather. I got really into it. I would carry a pad around with me. Any little change I would jot down. I started to see the weather in a different way. It became very exciting when there was really bad weather because I would get to write about it. It led to all sorts of things. But my one responsibility to the project was to document the weather every day. It was looking good, it was looking publishable: the world’s most tedious book. But then I had twins, and I started going to the hospital instead of the office. So it never got finished—it was going to be one solid year. And of course, springtime was rather lovely in London this year, and I think it’s because I paid it some attention last year. I think the weather needs people to pay attention.

I’ve been fighting with myself over whether or not to use analog or digital in everything from work projects to thinking through ideas to just keeping an everyday journal.

The truth is that there is magic to the analog. Putting pen to paper forces a bit more thoughtfulness. It also just feels nice to pull a halfway decent pen across some nice paper. Not to mention the permanence. Something that might be valuable to my kids down the road.

The problem comes later, when you need to find something. Some people take pictures of notebooks or otherwise scan them into digital formats. That seems like too much work.

But, something like this, a daily weather journal, is a perfect use for a good notebook. Because it’s about the present. Mindfulness. All of that. Sure it could be done in digital, but why would you?

Via Austin Kleon

The Christmas Catalog — Tools and Toys

It’s become a cliche, the whole Christmas is a difficult time of year thing. But while it’s mostly full of great moments, it also forces ugly choices:

  • Who gets a Christmas card?
  • Isn’t that Christmas card good enough?
  • Do we have to keep discussing Christmas cards?
  • Do we need to send a thank you note for the Christmas cards?

Though gifts give me the most trouble.

When giving, I like to try to find something that people didn’t know they wanted, but will be excited about. Something with a tad more meaning than “that sweater that we saw” or an Amazon gift card. That’s not always easy. It takes time and gumption and a good deal of luck.

When it comes to receiving, I have an incredibly hard time giving people a good answer when they ask what I want. Partly because I rarely think about it, partly because I really hate to be a bother for people, and partly because everything that I can think of offhand is usually beyond the price point where aspirational meets extraordinarily rude.

Which is where the Tools and Toys 2014 Holiday Gift Guide comes in handy:

We have done our best to avoid listing out a vast array of crap that has found the inferior sweet spot between impractical, unaffordable, and meaningless.

Instead, we have put together a list with short personal reviews of few items which meet certain criteria: they are products we own and use; we personally vouch for their quality; and they are useful and enjoyable.

Also, a portion of anything bought through the Amazon links on the guide will go to one of three charities, including the incredibly cool App Camp for Girls.