I’m writing this on the last week of June, but in my calendar it’s basically just a reminder that this quarantine isn’t going to be over soon, and I’ve long accepted that fact.
The question now is what to do with all this time indoors. If you tell me to work, well damn, I’ve worked more hours in the past week that I pretty much lost track of being a human. But that’s not to blame, though—I feel like I’m slowly seeing the light of day as my deadlines become more manageable and more work gets finished.
So, if you’re like me who counts the year not in months but in quarters, we’re heading into quarter three this July. Usually, on my calendar, this is where I gear up for PaperCon (supposedly this October but we’re turning it into an online event), prepare for production (aka shelling out $$$ for the next half of the year, in time for the holidays), maybe sneak in a trip during the last weeks of summer in the other side of the world, and/or maybe put out a book in the process.
Now that I think about it, wow it’s a lot. Lol. But such is the life of my workaholic self.
Anyway, for obvious reasons, this year is different in many ways. But I am excited for the change, even if it’s the only part of my life that I cannot control.
First thing’s first, ya girl finally sat on it and revamped this website. I’ve started editing it since last November but I had a little issue working with JupiterX and Elementor, because I am not used to this language. I just know basic UI/UX and what web design entails. So the past two weeks, I calibrated and dove into all the technicals. I’m pretty happy that I did this because I was considering on moving to another domain and hosting (Squarespace) but realized it would take so much time to set up again from scratch, especially if I could just edit this and make it better—which is what I did. Also, I already spent so much money paying my web developer before and paying my previous host who ghosted me for realz that I don’t want to spend more.
Thank you to GreenGeeks for keeping this site up and running and thank you to myself for learning to work on your own shit, seriously. Solopreneur life is the best path I’ve chosen since last year.
Another thing I did is this email course called Unlock Your Creative Potential that came up randomly in my brain’s storage ware (LOL). One thing I keep forgetting is that a lot of my learning experiences in this field have equipped me with the ability to share my knowledge and impart my insights to those who need it—YOU. So when I received a COVID aid (free for 3 months, omg) from Mailchimp (after attending a Creative Mornings talk featuring JK Glei, one of my idols ever), I knew it was time to jump in. The main reason I stopped my toolkit last year was because I couldn’t afford to pay the Mailchimp fees as my budget has significantly reduced. Now that the shop is up and running, and I’m earning a bit on YouTube (a bit like I get less than $50 in two months lol not much but it’s ok), as well as launching my Patreon this coming July, I am hoping I can afford it after the free period ends this August. For now, enjoy the 7 days of me saying hello in your inbox!
Quick shop update! It’s been good. I’ve been better at managing orders. I had to fire a previous assistant and I’m so relieved to finally get my other assistant back on track, even if she is way down south in the PH. Either way, we’ve been getting by, and it’s thanks to you! I’m working on the international logistics so that’s another challenge I’m taking on this next month.
Lastly, as mentioned, I finally worked on my Patreon page. It WAS NOT easy—I owe my thanks to Kaila big time for a Patreon crash course she gave me last year while staying with her in Japan. But it took me around half a year (plus the past three years because I made an account in 2017 LOL) to fully flesh out what I wanted out of it. Sure, I can do lettering, journaling, share my work, yeah okay. But I’ve been wanting to transition into something more than that—and I found that sweet spot. I want to be able to share my resources to you, as well as guide you on YOUR creative journey. This deemed really fitting ever since I started writing about it in Always Be Creating: A Field Guide to Living a Creative Life. There is so much more information I want to share with you, and through Patreon, I am hoping to do just that.
Earlier in the summer I started offering classes via Zoom. It was tiring. Huhu. I enjoyed it but I think my energy is not very suited to speaking a lot. I’m actually better at writing—even video editing and filming stresses me so much. I think I’ve accepted that fact in latter years of my life, especially also after putting out the email course which took me just two days to type (not counting the layout work, automation planning and all the technical stuff ok? It takes a lot of time haha). I’m glad I’m slowly learning to embrace the things I’m good at and focusing on my strengths. It’s one of the best things I’ve been doing in my career so far this year.
I stopped updating this blog for the obvious reason that most creators will tell you—either because of YouTube, Instagram, or both. And it’s true. It’s so easy to get sucked in the world of social media, where direct connection to your audience is available. I know that, and I’m fallen to that trap. But honestly, nothing makes me more comfortable than carving out this space where you can dive deep into the stories that exceed the caption count on Instagram, or don’t get that much views on YouTube since there are billions of users around the world. When I started moving to an actual website after my glory days on Tumblr (10 years ago WOEW), the idea of a website was so essential that I called it my “home” on the digital space—which is true. I learned this from my previous job in Advertising. Then all the social media platforms are just apartments or Airbnbs (haha) or rented spaces.
After doing a little website overhaul, I’ve started to go back into that mindset and decided to update here as frequently as possible. Since I went absent on social media for two weeks, a lot of my priorities have drastically shifted; and so has my energy. Where can I put my 100% where I know that I’ll get back the same 100% or more? What avenues of my career do I need to pay attention to, and what needs to go? What’s next for this uncertain creative career? Where am I headed in the next five years?
Of course, I don’t know. But I have a gut feeling the next half of 2020 will be equal parts exciting and scary. Not just for me, but for the rest of humanity and what the world is going to look like.
Thanks for coming to my TED talk.
Is that still a popular thing to say? I always say that when I finish ranting a very long sermon to my friends on Telegram. LOL.
And since the first half of the year was mostly spent in quarantine, here are some recommendations from my current consumption history:
From my YouTube watch history:
- The Importance of a Breakdown [watch here]
- Why Every Social Media Site is a Dumpster Fire [watch here]
- Why Germans Can Say Things No One Else Can [watch here]
- Yoga Block Emotional Release [watch here]
On my current reading list:
- Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport
- Up next: either The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka or The Art of Losing by Lizzy Mason or Normal People by Sally Rooney
- Or maybe I’ll finally finish up An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green (I feel I’ve been out of YA novels as I get older)
From my podcast history:
- Harry Potter at Home [listen here]
- Modern Love: Sometimes It’s Not You, Or The Math [listen here]
- Modern Love: Somewhere Inside, A Path to Empathy [listen here]
On my series and films watch list:
- Finished seasons 4 & 5 of Orange Is the New Black last week. I couldn’t turn off my iPad, lol. It was so good—also very relevant and important to watch especially at this time.
- Queueing up The Politician season 2 next week
- Watching RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 5 every Saturday with Sophie for live commentaries, lol
- Not on Netflix, but I’ve downloaded Chernobyl and finished it in a short few days. It’s hauntingly beautiful and depressing.
- I have switched my genre to mystery/thriller and sci-fi. HU U, ABBEY? Recently watched Gone Girl, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and The Truman Show. ALL AMAZINGLY DONE.
- Also very much not over Portrait of a Young Lady on Fire. Films like these make me happy to be alive.
What are you looking forward to for the next half of the year?