january required reading

HeLloO 2018 !



2018 is the year of The Fluf. If you’ve talked to me at all in the last month, you are familiar with this idea - I’ve been busy business planning, community building, calendar scheduling, researching “monetization,” gearing up for a year-long hustle that will hopefully result in a feasible community blogging business and also 10k Instagram followers because, superficial-sounding or not, that’s apparently what we need in order to work with brands we care about. WE’RE DREAMIN BIG, PPL.

So, in addition to becoming pretty familiar with the Small Business Administration’s guide to business planning, I’ve been reading books by a few trusted and respected ~turn your passion into your day job~ evangelists. 

For Dreamers + Designers Seeking Fast, Easy Encouragement
Adam J. Kurtz’s Things Are What You Make of Them: Life Advice for Creatives is very grammable. And his online personality is a lot of why I asked for this book for Festivus - he is so cute and relatable and fun! But more than this, his relatable advice and of-the-moment design really speaks to my soul. Sometimes (okay, most all of the time), life is about the little things. Like lightly perforated pages so you can easily rip out your favorite reminders/ advice gems and put them on your mirror, desk, or other place where you maybe normally panic. Better yet, rip out pages and give them to friends! I personally will be buying a second copy so that I can keep one in tact and rip out all the best pages of the other.

For Courage, Empathy, And A Different Approach To Creative Living
I never read Eat, Pray, Love. Or saw the movie. (Should I? Am I missing out?) BUT I have had the author Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest best-selling effort, Big Magic, recommended to me by many a fellow creative out here trying to make their passions profitable. Gilbert does something that I always aspire to do - stays positive and practical while talking about big, important, sometimes-difficult subjects. Start with Kurtz for everyday tips and then head to Gilbert when you’re ready for a deeper dive into changing your whole perspective on living, seeking inspiration, and being creative.

For History! And For Fun! Once You’ve Decided To Rule The Creative World
The last of my Christmas book haul is one that I have had on my list for a long, long time. Ann Shen’s Bad Girls Throughout History is an intersection of all my favorite things: lady power, beautiful visuals, and so much information! You will meet new role models here and rediscover old ones - whether she was a monarch, inventress, mathematician, or dancer-resister-civil rights activist all in one, these women remind us that you can go a long way with a creative approach to life and refusal to let the man get in your way.


For A Well-Composed 2018
Listen, I am aware that you’re sick of being corrected, of being chastised, of being wrong. So, then, why not be right? The most right thing you can do this year is to download the entirety of Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style straight into your perfect little head. The way we communicate with each other, and the intention with which we communicate, has never been more pertinent. It can feel impossible to remember every odd rule that comes with being an English speaker and writer, and an even worse task to track down the answer via search engines and/or word-of-mouth. Let Strunk and White be your definitive guides instead. And if you’re worried about drowning in pedantic drivel...get the illustrated copy as I did!

Here are some indispensable rules on improving your *style* gleaned easily from your new friend:

  1. Place the emphatic words of a sentence at the end. This means, simply, to say your most important word at the end of your thought: fart.

  2. Omit needless words. Kick those unneeded adjectives and adverbs right out of your damn life.

  3. Do not join independent clauses with a comma. If you cannot make room for a conjunction, then there is no room for a comma in this sentence-house! Yes you could use a semicolon, but why not save those for a special occasion. Love your periods.

Good grammar (as said in the Queen’s English) is 2018’s hottest trend. We called it. This is our “receipts.”

And yes, I probably made mistakes here and would love nothing more than to get schooled by your deep reading of ...Style!