January 14, 2022
Glad to have you back!
If you are pondering what to do next, how about a podcast about the internet? There used to be one by a couple of interesting guys but it doesn't talk about internet-related stuff any more and has become boring. There is a gap in the podcast-space!
This was lovely. Agree with the comments about being able to read this with PJ's voice in my head. For a number of years Reply All was my favourite podcast - years went things weren't going so great for me - and PJ and Alex were my friends.
Welcome to Substack.
I’m so happy to see new content from you!
Weekly, not weekly, whatever. Any old time you want to write, I'll read.
Hang in there, PJ. I really enjoy your writing. I can hear your voice in my head.
Since I've heard you many times on Stitcher, I read all this with your actual voice in my head, which is a thing other newsletters only achieve by using actual audio. Impressive feature.
The bit of Big Magic that broke something within me (in a good way) was a bit about "creating a revolution in your heart". Maybe the word revolution was it: something about mess, frustration, flames, lots of anger at something existing that shouldn't, a tearing down before a rebuilding, and all of it internal without the wider world having a say in any of it. I don't know, I may just have drunk too much coffee that day or I may just be an idiot, but it felt like permission to throw away everything I was clinging to just to please the outside world (in selfish ways), then see how much I cared about what was left. That was a kick I really needed. I should probably go read it again. I hear there's other stuff in it.
Good to read-hear (hearead?) you again, PJ.
Nice to see you here, PJ!
It feels a bit poststructuralist, the whole, your ideas are not your own, in a "the author is but a tool, a nexus where the past and the future collide". (Idk if this makes sense bc i just got boostered today. Anyway miss you and your laughter PJ.)
Way Three: When is seems like the universe is telling you to read / watch it.
In the last few months I heard Gilbert on a pandemic episode of On Being. Then I came across her “10 Rules for Writing.” And now this.
Hey PJ, great to read your work. I read Big Magic a couple of years ago - your newsletter has inspired me to reread. The inner critic hasn’t taken time off due to the pandemic, sadly. Re memoirs I had fun reading Maya Angelou’s - (as you may know) there are 7! Wonderful to read. I feel like a nice compliment to Gilbert somehow. Hugs from Australia
Keep it up PJ, we believe in you! 🌈🌈
Man, am I glad to see you're up and about. Good luck PJ, really hope you have another podcast gestating :)
I suspect someone else has probably recommended this book to you but in case not -- you might consider reading Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way." Elizabeth Gilbert credits the book as a source of some of the creative practices that led to "Eat, Pray, Love." The way you describe Gilbert's latest makes it sound like she draws further inspiration from Cameron in seeing the act of creating as a spiritual process.
There are so many pieces about how we're all essentially creative beings, but "The Artist's Way" creates just the right amount of soul un-sticking structure to give that creativity life.
And with that -- thanks for putting your thoughts out into the world! Takes guts.
I listened to the audiobook version of this over the weekend (it's only about five hours long) and there was a lot of stuff in it I really needed to hear. I dragged out my sketchbook as I was listening and what I drew didn't turn out as I'd hoped it would, but listening to the book at the same time helped me feel a bit better about creating something, even if it's just for practice. Creating stuff is weird and hard sometimes, but I think I get what you mean about it being harder not to. Great recommendation!
I just finished Big Magic myself and have been letting it fuel my newsletter! (Sorry shameless plug: https://daniellekurtzleben.substack.com/). I’m a fan of yours and so pleased to see a Cool Kid digging this book. The most positive-but-not-gooey writing inspiration I’ve read yet.
Keep up the writing! Looking forward to reading more.