"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt, Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910.
Sarah from work said something like “I felt so dumb when I finally learned that a brass monkey is a 40oz.”. So naturally I ask, “a brass monkey is a 40oz.?”
Turns out it’s a 40oz. Which you drink and then fill with orange juice. Yum!
Edits is a quarterly series of narratives in film and photography from Ian Coyle. The scrolling is pretty awesome, and the whole thing plays out like a nice short photo heavy magazine or even simpler, a photo album, that you can experience in a browser with a finger flick or your directional keys.
The first issue is “Voyager” and Ian takes us to some of his memorable spots in the world, including the small PA town of Waynesboro close to where I went to college.
Ian quotes Ralph Emerson: “Do not follow where the path may ead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” It’s perfect, I’ve never seen this neck of the web. Go ahead! Check it out!
You can’t afford to be too precious about your work. Caring is important, but preciousness is the opposite of making stuff. There is no room on the internet for Special Snowflakes who want to procrastinate all day and then drink themselves to sleep and dream about their unwritten novel. To build an audience, you have to be consistently good and often surprising.
An anecdote: my friend Jonathan Coulton was in his mid-30s. He’d been working at a software company since he graduated from college (with a humanities degree), and he was in charge of a team of programmers. It was a great job, and his wife was pregnant with their first child.
That’s the place in your life where you usually put away your dreams, right? Because stability is more important than blah blah blah. But Jonathan did the opposite. He’s the most thoughtful, reasonable man in the world, but when he thought and reasoned, he decided that if he didn’t at least take a genuine swing at being an artist, he’d be a lousy role model to his daughter. So he quit.
He started a project called Thing A Week. He wrote and recorded a song every week for a year. It was brutally difficult for him. A few times, he recorded dumb covers out of desperation. Jonathan’s a talented guy, none of the songs stunk, but some were slighter than others (one called “Mr. Fancypants” being a prime example of this category). Some, like the beautiful ballad “You Ruined Everything,” about his daughter, are anything but slight.
In the process of putting out this work every week, in a remarkable new way, he found fans. Some of the songs went viral, with the help of fan-made videos. Today, Jonathan earns an income that far outstrips what he earned in his Good Real Job, and despite what some may suggest, it was a brilliant (and in many ways replicable) plan, not a fluke. Jonathan backed himself into a corner, and found that he became a success.