Hi friends! Happy 2022! I’m happy that you’re here with me. Before I forget (again), I wanted to share the Book Riot 2022 Reading Log that I had promised.
One of our first adventures this year was making marshmallows from scratch. We used the recipe from America’s Test Kitchen but you can see the recipe for free on The Frugal Girl’s website. Being a librarian, of course this made me wonder, “Are recipes protected by copyright?” and I found this article from the Copyright Alliance so now you know the answer as well.
It was exciting to do and they taste amazing and surprisingly, we had pretty much all the ingredients already and definitely all the equipment we needed.
It got me thinking about how many of us already have what we need to start “doing the thing.” I wrote about this a bit at the beginning of last year in “Volume 2, Issue 1: You Can Do the Thing.” I want to revisit it. Unless you are working on doing something that has necessary equipment, like rock climbing, learning a musical instrument, sewing, etc., you likely already have what you need to get started.
I’m not talking about having time or having access to life necessities, here. I’m talking about things like writing. Or reading. Or daily stretches. Or being more organized. So many of us hide behind the guise of obtaining the perfect notebook or perfect pen or best software or reading all the books about writing instead of actually writing. Or whatever your thing is that you are hiding from by hoarding items with the intention of doing instead of actually just starting the thing.
Because I’ll tell you what: most of the time, the equipment doesn’t matter. Composition transcends instrument. Just about every time. I’ll say it again: Composition transcends instrument.
For example: me versus Elton John in a piano-playing contest. Elton John is given a battery-operated Casio keyboard that has 32 mini-keys. I am given a 97-key Imperial Grand built by Bösendorfer. I have taken maybe a total of a year of piano lessons and I haven’t touched a piano in at least 15 years. I may be able to play the C major scale, maybe Heart & Soul, and mayyybe Chopstix. Who wins this battle?
Another example. Many years ago, I was with some friends at a very scenic nature festival type-thing. One of my friends had a new Leica. For those of you who don’t know, Leica is a very expensive, very good brand of camera. My soul would leave my body if I ever got a Leica. I, on the other hand, had a 4-year-old Samsung phone of some kind. We all agreed that the photos I took with my phone were better than their photos with the Leica. Why? My mother was a photographer. I grew up in camera shops (before I could work in them myself). I went to hundreds of weddings with my mom where she took photos. I took my first picture when I was 7 years old. It was of my grandfather. My mother handed me the camera and without being prompted I turned it to get a vertical shot so that the framing was better. I worked in photo labs for a decade and while I was rarely paid to take photos I was immersed in photography. My friend with the Leica does not have this same background.
Composition transcends instrument.
You don’t need the followers before you do the thing.
You don’t need the fanciest lighting before you do the thing.
You don’t need to look a certain way before you do the thing.
You don’t need to “wait until things slow down” before you do the thing (Spoiler: things will never slow down, sorry).
You don’t need someone to invite you to show up for yourself and do the thing and if you do, this is me inviting you. There. Now you’re invited.
I’m going to leave you with this video, mostly for the sound clip that is via Mel Robbins, however, I absolutely love this art installation and wanted to share it too.
That’s it for this week! You can shop any books I’ve mentioned in this newsletter at my affiliate shop, The Infophile’s Bookshop, and support independent bookstores. If you want to send me some snail mail, you can find me at P.O. Box 21481, Oakland, CA 94620-1481. If you want me to send you some happy mail, feel free to give me your address.
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