29: journalling and refreshing takes

October 19, 2023


I studied journalism for five years so, even though I'm not technically a journalist, I still keenly remember the tenets of being a good journalist. Which is why the recent reportage on Hamas, Israel, and the war on Palestine has been rage-inducing. It chafes against every ethical guideline and code of conduct that we've ever established to be the true voice of the people. It's turned into a cesspool of lies that morph instantaneously depending on how the political wind blows. I just had to rant about this. Onto other updates (which quite honestly feel trivial but make up my life and so need to be documented, however reluctantly):

My mom asked me what “prom” is and what it means to be “homecoming queen” and, thanks to her, I went down my most random internet rabbithole yet.

It seems like I’ve finally gotten back into the groove of journalling. The truth is, when my mind is most foggy, that’s also when I tend to journal the least, because I don’t want to confront anything. So me journalling when there’s a lot on my mind—and there has been, these past few weeks—means progress, and that I’m finally able to trust those pages and stop brushing things under the carpet. I’ve also put less pressure on myself to document every single day like some of my favourite writers did. I’ve made peace with the fact that once a week is a manageable cadence for me; any higher and it feels forced. It probably helped that I found the perfect set of notebooks for journalling (144 pages, so not too daunting) and two pens that I find are easy to write with on that paper (Sharpie S-Gel and Muji Smooth Gel Ink). Yes, I am that particular.

I’m trying to double down on my newsletter, Kindred Spirits. It feels like I’m onto something, like I’ve managed to reach that elusive balance of writing what I want and what my readers want to read. It turns out that there was room to get a bit more personal, and not be entirely impartial. People seem to actually like my voice threading through the anecdotes I pull from everywhere. That’s a relief, because the two or three issues I have lined up over the next couple of weeks are on topics I’ve personally grappled with recently. I’d love for what I write about them to resonate with readers.

Also, I crossed $100 in gross annual revenue! It makes me giddy with joy.

In other news: I’ve realised that marketing for a consulting business isn’t as straightforward as product or SaaS marketing. Very rarely do the same techniques apply to selling software and selling services. This is especially so because Obvious isn’t in the business of selling, we’re in the process of building: products and relationships. We want what we do today to compound, and that includes the connections and collaborative relationships we build today. So we’re doubling down on making more noise because, for an organisation that’s really proud of the work we do, we don’t talk about it enough.

Onto what I’ve been watching, reading or listening to:

I finished watching Invincible on Prime Video. I’ll admit I thought it would be a knock-off superhero cartoon, but boy, was I wrong. It’s probably one of the most original animated shows to come out in a while. Such a fresh take on the good vs bad trope in that there’s none — it’s just a whole lot of gray. It’s dark, it’s twisted, it’s funny, it’s sad. And the voice acting, wow! JK Simmons knocked it out of the park. (Thanks for the recco, M).

I’m rereading The Thursday Murder Club because the latest book is out and it felt like a nice chance to once again familiarise myself with the characters. This is also one of the most refreshing takes on the crime fiction genre, for obvious reasons. In parallel, I started Mary Oliver’s Upstream because it’s been on my bookshelf ever since a colleague gifted it to me for Christmas. I love it already.

I’ve been wanting to discover more newsletters in genres that I like, without having to do the actual hunting. The Sample has been great for that: every morning, it sends me one article from a blog or newsletter that matches up with my interests. If I read something I really like, I’ve got the option to subscribe to that newsletter. It’s pretty neat.

I haven’t listened to any new music lately. But that’s okay.

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