Creation Is An Incredulous And Miraculous Act | Internetly Vol. 11
On the sheer volume of the human species, breaking up with your phone, and the one simple trick editors love.
I was once read somewhere that if everyone in the world stood shoulder to shoulder we could fit into a space the size of Los Angeles. That’s nearly 7 billion people packed into roughly 500 square miles.
I think about this weird little fact often. For the past few months, I’ve been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of our species. The sea of people bubbling up from the Penn Station subway steps. The pool of bodies in a concert venue. The blending of the red taillights on the BQE.
Every single person has their own individual storylines. Their own fates, birthmarks, idiosyncrasies, and ex-lovers. It’s hard not to get swallowed in the existential crisis your own insignificance brings on.
I have a theory a part of human cruelty stems from our population size. With so many of us, it’s easy to forget we’re all human. We can’t wrap our brains around the fact that are 7 billion people just like us.
For instance, last Saturday I was walking down Stanton Street in my black faux fur coat when a woman sneered and went, “First of all, who the f*ck would wear a fur coat outside right now?”
I’m not sure where to begin dissecting that statement. “Right now?” You mean in 50-degree weather? And first of all what? What else am is there?
After she passed by, my ego flared up. “She’s probably miserable,” I lamented to my boyfriend. “No one who’s happy goes out of their way to say something so mean.” “Maybe,” he replied. “Maybe that’s just the way she chooses to express herself.”
Maybe it was. Maybe it wasn’t. But it reminded me to meet judgment with curiosity. To ask yourself instead; Do you think she was having a bad day? Or did she think I was wearing real fur and maybe she loves animals? Perhaps she didn’t mean it that way?
When you opt for speculation, harsh critique tends to dissolve.
🖼 On Becoming a Prolific Creator
This Week: You’re Already Ahead of the Curve
One of my best friends, Sooji, is a female pilot, a trained skydiver, and currently in the process of becoming a wing suiter. You know, the people who do base jumping.
In short: she is borderline superhuman.
But in her eyes, she’s perfectly ordinary. In fact, she believes she’s not that advanced or adventurous because she lives in Florida, where she’s surrounded by professional pilots, skydivers, and wing suiters.
Yet the second she steps out of her Florida bubble, she sees how the majority of the world is in awe of her. I mean, come on, this girl skydives during her lunch break “just to get some quick air.”
But when you’re immersed in an environment where everyone is doing the same thing, it’s easy to feel particularly unremarkable. The same goes for creators.
There’s a favorable chance you’re active on Twitter. You see other creators shipping pieces of content, podcasts, articles, and designs. In contrast, you feel behind everyone else, or at the very least, pretty average.
But like when Sooji steps out of Florida, I encourage you to step out of Twitter and look around. How many people do you know (aside from internet pals) who are actively putting themselves out there? Not many, I’d bet.
With the internet’s gravity centered on mindless consumption, creation is an incredulous and miraculous act. Be proud of yourself for showing up. It’s something so few people do.
Becoming an online creator seems unremarkable due to the fact we’re immersed in its native environment. In reality, it’s impressive.
🥒 Content Diet
Some new resources for ya.
Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price
I feel like I’ve said this a million times, but I don’t check social media before 11 AM. It’s turned my mornings upside down. I’m so stunned by the results I picked up this book to read more about how our cellular device impacts our brains.
Price’s book has been an intriguing read so far, albeit certainly concerning. I’m on the second half of the book, which lays out a 30-day plan to break up with your phone. There’s one mindfulness trick, in particular, that’s helped already.
When you reach for your phone, run down the three w’s.
What for? → What are you picking up your phone to do?
Why now? → Why are you picking up your phone now instead of later?
What else? → What else could you do right now besides checking your phone?
It’s a simple yet effective mental model. The point is to explore your options for that particular moment so that if you choose to pay attention to your phone it’s a conscious decision.
When aimlessly grabbing your phone, stop to first ask yourself; what for, why now, and what else? 📱
The Systemic Abuse of Celebrities by Broey Deschanel
A simultaneously fascinating yet depressing video.
YouTube Broey Deschanel does a deep dive on celebrity culture, investigating why society is quick to abuse female celebrities.
Deschanel brings up the intersection between parasocial relationships and social media. With vloggers recording every waking moment and talking to the camera as if confiding in a best friend, it’s easier than ever for strangers to develop one-sided, intimate connections.
I’ll leave it at that. But if there’s one thing you should take away from this, it’s don’t ever strive to be famous. Ever. Celebrity culture surrounding young women is terrifying.
Hollywood is the epitome of evil. 🎬
✍🏼 Freelancing Journey
This Week: A Quick Trick Clients Love
My first ever paid writing assignment was a product review for The Daily Beast.
They paid me $100 to write about the Nomatic Backpack. Straightforward enough. Yet as a complete newbie I was terrified of failure and ridicule.
So imagine my delight when I received this email from the editor:
So, what did I do? Did I go above and beyond?
Not really. It’s pretty simple, actually.
Most clients will ask you to provide a header, subheader, SEO hed (depending), etc. It’s useful to provide 2-3 options of what you have in mind and highlight the route you’re thinking of going with.
This gives the editor a peek inside your mind and shuffles through the various angles you’re working with. It’ll look something like this:
Just make sure not to give too many options. After all, they hired you for a reason. Don’t be indecisive.
When working with a client, providing some different options of what you’re writing about. It gives them some more variety to work with. ✅
Thanks for reading! See you next week, but before I go - why not share this post if you found yourself digging it?
Chau Chau everyone.
P.S: This newsletter took me ~127 minutes to research, write, and edit. Phew.