#014: How do we talk about what we do?
Creative life musings, an invite to interview YOU, a giveaway (yay), and more tiny yet precious life moments
Hey, friend! Thank you for being here. This is a Sunday newsletter! It may be or may not be every Sunday, but this OK to BE email will arrive in your inbox anytime on a Sunday. At the moment, you will receive musings about relatable everyday adventures, more silly than serious stories, and some tiny yet precious moments of life (well, mine, mostly) in between. If anything here touches you in any way, I encourage you to write back or leave a comment—and I shall reply! Also, this is a public dispatch, so feel free to share with a friend or two. Enjoy! :)
One of the funny things I have observed and have been reflecting on is how difficult it is to answer the question “What do you do?” Whenever that comes up, my mind either goes “mwehehehe” or churns a halo-halo of clarifications: “For a living? Or in my life, in general? Or both, including the in-betweens?” We are human beings, after all—multidimensional, multilayered, multitasking, multi-hyphenated, multiplayer (lol), and all the other multis—and it isn’t easy for anybody to compartmentalize or box themselves in one word or two, even just for the sake of conversation.
But as many of us also know, there are ways to make it simple, and we just need to be reminded. This was what happened to me recently, when in an AZ Crew (a creators club I’m part of) session we talked about how we can better present ourselves and what we do online. A lot of great points were brought back to the table, including but not limited to authenticity, innovation, consistency, connection, and community, which prompted me to revisit what I have been doing…or have not been doing. Here is a condensed version of some of my pagmumuni-muni:
First, a re/examination.
What do I do?
For now, I choose to present my creative self online as these three things: reader, creator, editor. I read stories, create...things (‘things’ for now because I do make tangible and intangible things), and edit manuscripts.
Why do I do these things?
Because...I was born this way (Lady Gaga, 2011) and I do what I want (BTS, 2018)! More seriously, my whole life, I’ve always been creative (this is such a major feat, friends; it has taken me a looong while to claim that I am creative), so art and stories are in my...DNA (BTS, 2017). Okay, okay, I’m 100% serious now! I do these things because:
I am invested in them, skills and interests-wise;
They are the best ways for me to connect with people; and
All these started being mostly for myself, but obviously they are also now for fellow writers in need of readers and editors, and fellow creators in need of ka-holding hands for accountability, support, and encouragement.
How do I tell people what I do?
I present myself as clearly as I can, putting “I’m a reader, creator, and editor” in most of my bios. Incidentally, Andy J. Pizza mentioned in a recent Creative Pep Talk episode to choose three nouns to introduce yourself for clarity and connection, and I felt affirmed, haha.
When and where can people access what I do?
This is a tricky one. With all the available online platforms, choosing can be overwhelming. And if you have very little energy to play the social media game (dear God, abolish algorithms), it can be grueling. But whichever you choose, streamlining your content is key, as my A Club (another creators club I’m part of) reminded me of.
Different people, different (finger)strokes, sure, but what has worked for me is setting up pages that I can maintain at my pace in spaces where I have connection. So in my case, people can visit me on: Patreon, Substack, Ko-fi, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Wordpress. It looks like a lot but all of these contain similar information and have call-to-action buttons that redirect to one another. My current link to my bios, however, will send people to my Patreon, which is my priority as of now.
My perpetual question is: How do I grow my community while adding greater value to existing connections?
As in this thread I wrote, I now always find myself reflecting on "focusing on the followers I have." Which sometimes can be so easy to forget because it is also human nature to keep wanting more. But it's a bigger disgrace to 'forget' who are already on board, giving steadfast support (and even funding me! Like wow? Tysm T_T). So I make sure to pay attention, interact, make them part of my processes, and pay it forward. ‘Small and slow’ isn’t an issue; it all irons at the perfect time with the right people.
This stage or phase asks “What works and what doesn’t? How can I improve?,” and these are questions we should keep asking ourselves, not only in terms of our creative pursuits, but in life in general. But as we are our greatest critics, we must do this more kindly. Let’s be better at learning how not to fix things that are not broken or enduring practices or traditions that do not work anymore, in the same way we must be wiser in knowing when to stop pushing forward when we need to pull back, or to avoid staying up when we need to lie down.
What do you do?
...Word of the Week — Binisaya: bakakon, which means liar. In a sentence: “Ayaw ug tuo sa ilahang ginasulti kay bakakon na sila (Don’t believe what they say because they are liars.)”
...Word of the Week — Ilocano: patang/agtongtong, which means talk. In a sentence: “Sino jay kapatang mo? (Who are you talking to?) / Ag uray ka, agtongtong tan (Wait up, let’s talk).”
...Signs of the Week: this “BTS' Seoul Concert Sign Language Interpreter? That's me!” video (not sponsored, not connected)!
...Books of the (past) Week(s): I’m closer to my goal of finishing 70 books for this year (I have talky vlogs on my Patreon, if interested!). ICYMI, here are my September reads:
Five Stars by Dawn Ranfast - Buy here (BTW: I beta read for this! Let's support Dawn's new universe.)
[ARC] Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Real-Life Tales of Black Girl Magic - info
Lost in the Future - Volume 1 by Damian (author), Alex Fuentes (illustrator) - info
[ARC] MonsterMind: Dealing With Anxiety & Self-Doubt by Alfonso Casas - info
Sweethand (Island Bites Book 1) by N.G. Peltier - Buy here
[ARC] I Will Not Die Alone by Dera White (author), Joe Bennett (illustrator) - info
[ARC] Trese Vol 3: Mass Murders by Budjette Tan (author), Kajo Baldisimo (illustrator) - Buy here
[ARC] Oddball: A Sarah's Scribbles Collection by Sarah Andersen - info
The Man's Last Plastic Bottle by Arli Pagaduan - Read for free here (BTW: I'm part of Arli's team! Let's support her work.)
For this month (or until the end of year), I’m planning to read the titles recommended by friends. If you have one that you think I would enjoy, feel free to let me know!
...Giveaway: #OKtoBEzine Issue 4 is coming this October 16. The first 10 who will pre-order using the code ‘004kbtreasures’ upon checkout for digital shall receive a free copy. Open until release day or until slots are taken.
PLUS! If you join my Patreon (for exclusive content to more projects, etc.) at any tier, you will also get free copies of all previous releases and future ones. You also get to support me and have voting power on projects!
...Call for Feature: Speaking of #OKtoBEzine, I would like to interview YOU for Issue 5. Click here to read the details and sign up for free. YEY!
That’s it for now! Thank you for being here. I hope you picked up something fun or useful! See you in the next one. ☀️
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