14 November 2014

Inspirations, with links



I may not do the Facebook thing, where I post what I'm grateful for every day until everyone I know and love unfriends me, but I'm plenty grateful. As a writer, blogger, musician, and teacher, I am graced by the presence of many people every day who are kind, generous, thoughtful, hard-working, intelligent, talented, humble...anyway, I know a lot of super cool people. And they are all inspirations to me in one way or another (and often, in many ways!): the flutist who develops new techniques for playing and general wellness after suffering from debilitating injuries; the teacher who insists on creating a nurturing environment in his studio despite the harshness of the "real world" out there; the colleagues who so generously share their advice on getting gigs and taking care of finances; the students who work so damn hard every day and always believe me when I tell them what to do; and even the random fellow blogger who logs on and gives me the thumbs up for a recipe post or restaurant review now and again.

This weekend, I'm celebrating all my professional and social (Platonic) crushes and exploring the great life lessons I can cull from their work.

Heidi Swanson talks about maintaining her blog thoughtfully over the last 12 years on 101 cookbooks. I don't care if you never blog, this poetic essay about deliberately and devotedly practicing your craft should make us all want to be better people.  (It is also great advice for bloggers, BTW.)

When I am home working all day on multiple projects, my head can start to spin.  I'm glad I'm not the only one.  I've been trying to incorporate the Pomodoro Technique into my life, and it's really helping. It's also nice to get online and see how many other people are struggling with the same stupid thing as me--staying focused!

Bullet Proof Musician may sound like a highly specialized blog for music geeks, but with posts about dealing with sleep deprivation, public speaking skills, work-life balance, and performance anxiety, I think Dr. Noa Kageyama is being truly generous in sharing his research, experience, and practical advice with the world to help us all just calm the hell down and enjoy our work.

I've really been digging my new Thug Kitchen cookbook, and their blog is a great place to share and appreciate others' recipes, as well.  I will admit that the insistence on using as many swear words as possible per recipe gets a little tiresome (really guys, we already think you're cool as shit), but the mission to create super delish, easy recipes from vegan ingredients while schooling readers on issues like environmental waste and world hunger is truly awesome.

Serious Eats is such a great food blog.  I learn all kinds of things from it. And maybe this shouldn't go into the "inspirations" category, but I sure do appreciate their article about how to buy affordable Scotch that's worth drinking.  Because I still don't know what I'm doing in that aisle of the liquor store.

Also Scotch eggs.  I love Scotch eggs.