and the luxury of preferring not to.
I resonate so much with everything you're saying here. Though I come from a different professional background, I have been on an eerily similar journey with my writing work recently and especially since quarantine started. I love how you describe cooking and reading in order to write; my mentor once told me that "everything is writing," from the actual keyboard strokes to the run you go on when inspiration strikes, and I too find myself constantly lit up by the materials I consume. Your newsletters, podcasts, and book recommendations are some of the fuel I most look forward to; thank you for sharing, and I admire and aspire to the kind of career you're forging.
The older I get, the further I get from myths like "ambition" and "productivity" and other things that are capitalism's lies. We cannot all do what makes us happy, and sometimes we just have to work to survive. There cannot always be nobility in the work being performed; all we can do sometimes is get through the shift and the churn of it all and know that the "value" is on showing up, getting through, and surviving. The nobility is in taking no crap from the people who denigrate this work-as-getting-by.
The creativity of places like this is a wonderful boon; how amazing to build a place to get paid to say what you mean, instead of what other people want to hear.
“there was no alienation from my labor -“ this has me thinking on creative practice that is collaborative beyond the typical scope of the writer / painter --&of course, the painter under pressures of late capitalism often doesn’t have the luxury of awaiting inspiration either &also must “churn”-- but the work of designers broadly, architectural designers specifically, necessarily involves the racialized, gendered, exploitative labor practices in construction, engineering, academia, art-- all of which is setting aside for the moment the bigger barrier of class/education to architectural design as a “creative discipline”-- but the negotiations necessitated in the realm of “building” are wholly preventative to avoiding exploitative workism, and the unusually long timeframe of the work itself makes it a creative industry that is especially susceptible to these labor inequities. which of course youre describing the constraints of exploitative workism on writing / painting too! but it makes me think of folks in architectural design with access to opportunities in academia, or to employment at ‘more academic’ design practices RE “false or pretentious distinction” and “the real writing, the nonfiction, the serious shit”, and how that kind of (self)employment can place you more in the realm of theory, carve out space for you to speculate outside of /or sideways to capitalism, and how that kind of work is also separating that individual from aforementioned negotiations. i often think about this kind of access to design authorship in alignment to the work of chefs vs cooks, and how power is distributed and who gets a voice.
Love this newsletter and delighted to support your most uncompromising self :') from the desk of AK is such a interesting intersection between 'food writing' and 'essay writing' (all real writing!) - such distinctions I've never given much thought to before as a random non-writer / vegetarian / uni student myself. All cool things to think about at the ungodly hour of 2am