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Reading material for the week:

  • I don’t have a niche. Do you have a niche? This is why I don’t have a niche. Over at Yes and Yes, Sarah Von talks about non-niche blogs and how they can work.
  • These are awesome: Social media propaganda posters. Because I have to admit that as much as I love social media, it does sometimes feel a little well, totalitarian. “You’re not on Twitter? What do you mean you’re not on Twitter?! *cue shocked gasp*”. Incidentally,  I am on Twitter (@LylimFlyleaf).
  • Pico Iyer is one of my favorite travel writers. Here he writes about why we travel:

    And if travel is like love, it is, in the end, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.

  • The Darkness Driving China Social Media
  • Speaking of China, over the weekend I watched ‘Love For Life’, the Chinese film featuring Zhang Ziyi and Aaron Kwok about the AIDS outbreak that swept rural China in the 1990s. The movie was almost unbearably sad and undercut by some beautiful shots of China countryside. I did a little more digging about the practice of selling blood (which is how the outbreak began) and found this article: The men who gave AIDS to China.
  • This is by far the best article I read this week: Don’t Give Up.

    While your story of wanting to quit will certainly differ from mine, I want to share this: just because you stop doing something doesn’t mean you are quitting. Sometimes it’s bravery to know it’s time to stop and walk away. Experiencing failure isn’t the same thing as failing. Letting go doesn’t mean you’re giving up. And stopping isn’t quitting; it is just a pause that lets you sort out where you’ll turn next. In our black-and-white, win-or-lose society, we admonish quitters and we celebrate survivors. But life is more nuanced than that.

  • Scared Straight: Writers and The New Happiness

    For artists, creative productivity is a core element of health; pain and struggle are core elements of creative productivity; difficult pleasures necessarily take priority over predictability or placidity. I believe these are timeless truths. There is no great art without the messy, the fluid, the chaotic; the risky and the raw.

Have a great week, people! Don’t forget to subscribe if you like this post.