For the month of February, I’ll be guest editing for the Fresh Signals section at Coudal, which means, in a nutshell, I get to contribute links to mind-boggling awesome stuff to their ongoing feed of links to mind-boggling awesome stuff.
I’ve been following Fresh Signals for a few years now, ever since I met Claire (love you, Claire!) through her series Funny Ha-Ha (love you, Funny Ha-Ha!) and she introduced me to this crazy filmmaker Steve (her husband, incidentally) and when I went home and told Christopher (my husband, incidentally), he was all, Yeah, Steve Delahoyde from Coudal. I love that site at which point Coudal became one of my main go-to’s for – how should I phrase this? – really good shit. The kind of shit that makes you want to rush out and make something, do something, like paint a barn or stage a play or steal a van and fill it with dancers and choreograph a dance inside a van ’cause for years you’ve been thinking about it, for years you’ve been all, Dammit, someday I’m to choreograph a dance set in a van, and also I’m going to have a theatre in warehouse and a circus on the second floor and on the roof there’ll be a garden where I’ll grow my own corn in order to survive when the zombies come but of course you haven’t done it yet, ’cause it’s risky, it’s scary, it might fail, plus who has the time? You have a job and a family and, like, commitments! So the dance in the van remains a dream you dream during some soul-crunching meeting, a file filed under Someday.
Coudal is the place that says Someday is right now.
Last July, I went to Creative Mornings to hear Jim Coudal give a talk called What Are You Afraid Of? It made me want to kick down the walls and quit my job and save the world, but instead I went home and had a little meeting with myself about my time: how was I using it, and what was I using it for?
He said: “When somebody says, ‘Oh I have this really great idea for a croched beer cosy and I’m going to start it in six months’—the problem is the six months. What that means is, ‘I’m afraid.’”
He said: “The problem with doing a project that’s important to you in your spare time is that there isn’t any.”
He said: “What are you afraid of?”
I’d been hearing about Creative Mornings for while. For the Chicago kick-off, last July with Coudal, online RSVPs filled within two minutes, and Christopher was lucky enough to snag a couple. It’s a simple, lovely idea: creative people meet over coffee and hear someone awesome talk for twenty minutes about whatever they’re most interested in. Everyone in the audience fills out these icebreaker name-tag things, answering a question about the topic of the talk that can then serve as a jumping-off point for conversation with all these coffee-drinking strangers.
I loved it, of course. A big part of our mission at 2nd Story is finding connections between people through shared stories, and to spend a morning meeting new people via what they were afraid of was pretty goddamn profound. It also challenged me to really consider what I was afraid of. I’ve been working on this novel for a while now – what do I need to do in order to finish? What kind of time commitment do I need to make? What exactly is getting in the way?
All this is a work in progress, of course (i.e. I still watch too much Buffy the Vampire Slayer free-streaming on Netflix, damn you free-streaming on Netflix, I love you free-streaming on Netflix) but in the meantime, I’ve been a regular lurker at Coudal’s site, searching for inspiration, like this recent video they made for their new line of red Field Notes, which made me cry and then order like five hundred red Field Notes. Anyhow, I’m super excited to be contributing to Fresh Signals, and hope that my little additions can give folks the same kind of food for thought and inspiration and brain-explosions that I get everyday. Thanks for having me, Steve!.