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Journal

HUBRIS: 25 October 2020

Welcome to HUBRIS: 25 October 2020 edition, the weekly newsletter where in my foolish self-confidence I believe I’ve written things worth reading.

Simplify

My schedule needs pruning. I need to reevaluate the things that I do, and assess the value of doing them. I’m still struggling to find more time to read, but a lot of that is because I’m a workaholic. When I get comfortable and crack open a book, I feel s if I should be working on something.

There are a lot of business processes that are going to be easier. I’ve spent a lot of 2020 documenting what I do and how I do it. A lot of research has going into what sells well and why. This hopefully means fewer, better-paying writing projects going forward. I’m getting older, and this constant grind is becoming less sustainable every year.

I’m looking forward to 2021 as the year I streamline a lot of things. It will be good to be working from one, and only one, bullet journal starting on 1 January. Even if I have to start a new book every quarter, there will only be one journal to keep track of at a time. No more work bujo/personal bujo.

Create

This is the section of this site, and this newsletter, that I struggle with the most. With a few notable exceptions, people who create don’t stand around talking about creating. They create. Maybe they promote their thing, or talk a little about their process, but they recognize that the best use of their time to spend it making stuff. They don’t have time to waste bloviating or engaging in idle chatter.

For my entire life I’ve been around people who talked about what they were going to do. A lot of time talking, rather than just going and doing. I know that there have been times when I’ve been one of those people. That bugs me. I think one of the things that annoys me about creator “communities” online is that there’s just talk. They’re not “look at what I’m doing” forums, they’re “here’s an idea I’ve taken zero steps toward bringing to light”. Or, worse, complaint spaces where people swap excuses for not getting anything done.

Thrive

The Long Dark is upon is. Sunrise today was at 7:30 am, and sunset is at 4:30 pm. It’s not just that the days are short; this far north, it gets dark in a way that you have to experience to believe. I’m already feeling the effects. All I want to do is sleep. When I am nominally awake, I’m constantly fighting brain fog.

This is the time of year when I need a fixed schedule. Wake up, eat meals, and go to bed on an inflexible time table. I need to have projects lined up to keep me occupied. Otherwise I’ll zone out and fall into depression.

My bullet journal has to show me precise next steps, specific tasks, so that I can keep moving forward. Anything broad or vague and I will tune out. No “work on project X” on the task list. It has to be “write chapter 7” or “edit pages 33 to 50”.

Posts You Might Have Missed

HUBRIS: 25 October 2020

If you enjoy my posts you can buy me a coffee. Consider subscribing below, so you can read my daily ramblings about the writer’s life, minimalist, being a spoonie, and the intersection of all of those things.

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About Simplify – Create – Thrive

This blog is dedicated to one basic principle: if you can simplify your life and dedicate time to create things, you will be able to thrive and find the health and happiness you seek.

About Berin Kinsman

Berin Kinsman is a writer, simple living minimalist, and spoonie. By day he works as the owner/publisher at Dancing Lights Press. An American by accident of birth, he currently lives in Finland with his wife, artist Katie Kinsman.

HUBRIS: 25 October 2020

Categories
Journal

HUBRIS: 11 October 2020

Welcome to HUBRIS: 11 October 2020 edition, the weekly newsletter where in my foolish self-confidence I believe I’ve written things worth reading.

Simplify

When we first moved to Finland, I had no idea how bad the winters were going to be. With that in mind, I stocked up the pantry to extreme levels. If we couldn’t get out, we wouldn’t starve. Heading into our seventh winter, I now know that the infrastructure is top-notch, everything is plowed and graveled, and nothing shuts down for bad weather.

At the start of the pandemic, I stocked up for the apocalypse. I wanted to limit our exposure as much as possible. Several months later, and Finland’s infection rate remains one of the lowest in the world. The pandemic response wasn’t perfect, but it was better than at least one other country I could name.

Katie and I have decided to walk to the grocery store three times a week, rather than two. We’re doing this to get more exercise in. It’s automatically less stressful, because if I leave something off the list, I’ll get it when we visit the store again in a couple of days.

I am letting go of the notion that I need to stockpile food. There is no need to live like a doomsday prepper. Should civilization fall, we will have larger concerns than how much coffee and rice I’ve got on hand. I’m only shopping a few days ahead. There will be a reasonable amount of staples, so if I can’t or don’t want to go to the store for a few days we’ll get by.

Create

I run a small press tabletop roleplaying company as my day job. On that site I write about why I created each of the product lines I publish, and what inspired them. Increasingly I’ve been writing more about my philosophy of publishing and operating a creativity-anchored business. So much so that going into 2021 I’ve got that blocked out as a separate product line, even though it’s content I’m giving away for free.

This might sound strange on the surface, but I need to talk about the philosophy behind my business for the same reason I feel compelled to talk about being a spoonie. There’s a stigma that needs to be erased. People feel that if you’re not doing things in a certain way, you’re doing it wrong. You can’t be successful unless you do things the way they’ve always been done. I need to show people that’s just not true, and I am the proof.

That content will stay over there, but it’s still driven by my “simplify, create, thrive” philosophy. Stripping processes down to their basic functions, and going minimalist across the board, allows me to create quickly and run the business profitably. The business is, after all, an extension of me. I’m just writing from a different perspective, with a different audience, than I am here.

Thrive

Walking to the grocery store three times a week, as noted earlier, agrees with me. In fact, since the extra trip reduced the amount of groceries per trip smaller, I can periodically walk both ways. That happened this week when Katie was away at a conference. It was lovely. Good cardio on the hills.

Extremely limiting the news, spending less time in front of screens, and reading more has also been amazing. Not being an internet native, I remember life without a device that connects you to the world 24/7/365. Constant connectivity has to be bad for you.

Even though no one is reading them, I’m enjoying writing little rants inspired by the books I’ve been reading. Fiction Friday is going to continue. I know I’ve been writing about non-fiction the past couple of weeks, but I’m trying to savor the Booker Prize shortlist novels. Next up, I think, will be This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga.

Because this is October, Katie and I are having scary movie nights. We’re working through the original Universal monster pictures — Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula, and so on. That’s pretty much my screen time for the month, aside from the joyful palate cleanser that is All Elite Wrestling.

Posts You Might Have Missed

HUBRIS: 11 October 2020

If you enjoy my posts you can buy me a coffee. Consider subscribing below, so you can read my daily ramblings about the writer’s life, minimalist, being a spoonie, and the intersection of all of those things.

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

About Simplify – Create – Thrive

This blog is dedicated to one basic principle: if you can simplify your life and dedicate time to create things, you will be able to thrive and find the health and happiness you seek.

About Berin Kinsman

Berin Kinsman is a writer, simple living minimalist, and spoonie. By day he works as the owner/publisher at Dancing Lights Press. An American by accident of birth, he currently lives in Finland with his wife, artist Katie Kinsman.

Categories
Journal

HUBRIS: 4 October 2020

Welcome to HUBRIS: 4 October 2020 edition, the weekly newsletter where in my foolish self-confidence I believe I’ve written things worth reading.

Simplify

In looking for tips on better utilizing my bullet journal for business, I came across a lot of awful advice. I won’t link to it, because the guy shouldn’t get any clicks, but one advised keeping four separate journals. Two were for personal use, and two were for business. Fine, I did that for a while too. I’m finishing out 2020 with a normal bujo and one for project spreads. It’s been confusing and a pain in the but.

This guy also has separate journals for journaling. He practices the “free write for X number of pages in the morning” thing. But not in his bullet journals. He still calls these bullet journals, though. And he keeps one for personal thought, and one for business thoughts.

I’m with Ruder Carroll on this. One journal. Period. Get everything out of your head, then organize it and migrate it to whatever collections you need to set up. Ugh. Four journals at once! No. That would drive me mad.

Create

I don’t talk about my day job here. On a high level I might talk about how the sausage is made, but I try to keep things non-specific and more akin to tips and advice. I’m wondering if I should use this section of the weekly newsletter to plug my new releases. It fits; I’m talking about something I’ve created. Would that be too intrusive? Or is one segment of one post per week enough of a dull roar that it wouldn’t come across like an infomercial? I look forward to hearing your thoughts and opinions on the subject in the comments below.

Thrive

Blocking out the news and social media remain irksome tasks. I actually miss the days back in Albuquerque when we had no internet at home (to save money for the move to Finland) and I had to go out to a coffee shop or library to grab some wifi. That wouldn’t work now, as everything from music to banking to booking the laundry room requires secure internet. I can’t turn off the router because that cuts off access for Katie, too. Increasingly I find myself looking at refurbished Alphasmart 3000s, regretting that I ever gave mine up. It would cost a fortune and take forever to get one shipped to Finland, though. Sigh. I’ll have to continue to make do with airplane mode on my laptop.

Posts You Might Have Missed

HUBRIS: 4 October 2020

If you enjoy my posts you can buy me a coffee. Consider subscribing below, so you can read my daily ramblings about the writer’s life, minimalist, being a spoonie, and the intersection of all of those things.

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

About Simplify – Create – Thrive

This blog is dedicated to one basic principle: if you can simplify your life and dedicate time to create things, you will be able to thrive and find the health and happiness you seek.

About Berin Kinsman

Berin Kinsman is a writer, simple living minimalist, and spoonie. By day he works as the owner/publisher at Dancing Lights Press. An American by accident of birth, he currently lives in Finland with his wife, artist Katie Kinsman.