Inspired | March 2020

Every month, I share the articles and sites that I found most interesting. Here’s what caught my attention in March: permission to keep writing, overcoming creative obstacles, the history of murder ballads, and more.

Why I’m Giving Myself Permission to Keep Writing at This Time by Sari Botton: “So that settles it: My story matters, and so does yours. I’m giving myself permission to write as I feel called to through this dark time. And if you need permission from someone other than yourself, I’m giving it to you, too.” (Includes links to free writing prompts and resources.)

Smell the ink and drift away: why I find solace in photobooks by Teju Cole: “If a poem is great, I’m indifferent to the design choices made for the book in which it is published, unless the design is particularly atrocious. But I can tell whether a photobook has been meticulously made, or is merely a pile of pictures printed one after another.”

Eight marvelous and melancholy things I’ve learned about creativity by Matthew Inman

Depressurization is tough. It means reading more books. Watching more tutorials. Finding a new teacher. It means writing in a genre you don’t normally write in. Or drawing with a new type of pen. Or playing a new instrument.

It means doing the work.

How to Overcome Creative Obstacles by Mia Pinjuh: ” It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking your voice can do little to change things that seem so much more pressing. But what if you reframed your creative pursuit as a necessary outlet for yourself, that will make you much more available to your community and the world at large?”

5 Habits for Crafting the Perfect Remote Work Day by Sarah Aboulhosn: “Productivity isn’t an innate skill (for most people anyway). It’s not even a skill really – it’s a series of habits that take consistent patience to build.”

The History of Murder Ballads and the Women Who Flipped the Script by Karen Hogg

Murder ballads based on true stories turned real-life victims into narrative stereotypes, warning other women what would happen if they “misbehaved”—in other words, women engaged in their rightful autonomy while men disturbingly pushed back. This, in turn, fed the public curiosity of violence as entertainment, and perhaps was one of the earliest forms of true crime media that is so rampant today.

The Best Ways to Organize Books at Home, According to a Librarian by Inigo Del Castillo: “Just imagine being inundated with books you no longer have room for more!”

What’s the most interesting thing you saw online this month?