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Editor's Note: Life is Happening


Dear Noctules:

You may or may not have noticed that we've been falling behind on some of our ambitious plans for the year: publishing FF consistently or remaining active on Patreon, for instance. I can only speak for myself, although I know that some of my team members here at NN are also being put through the wringer: Life is happening, and I have no clue how to feel or what to do about it.

And my energy—well, it's a bit low lately. So today, I just want to share a short passage that I like with you from Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic—a book that has helped me in conceptualizing creative pursuits more than any other to date:

“What’s your favorite flavor of shit sandwich?” What Manson means is that every single pursuit—no matter how wonderful and exciting and glamorous it may initially seem—comes with its own brand of shit sandwich, its own lousy side effects. As Manson writes with profound wisdom: “Everything sucks, some of the time.” You just have to decide what sort of suckage you’re willing to deal with. So the question is not so much “What are you passionate about?” The question is “What are you passionate enough about that you can endure the most disagreeable aspects of the work?” Manson explains it this way: “If you want to be a professional artist, but you aren’t willing to see your work rejected hundreds, if not thousands, of times, then you’re done before you start. If you want to be a hotshot court lawyer, but can’t stand the eighty-hour workweeks, then I’ve got bad news for you.” Because if you love and want something enough—whatever it is—then you don’t really mind eating the shit sandwich that comes with it.

― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Making peace with our paradoxes and our shit sandwiches can be a lot; sometimes the process can feel more like moving backwards than moving forward, really. Reading your stories and putting this issue together has been a respite from a lot of the changes in my life that I'm not sure if I'm ready for and a lot of the shit sandwiches that come with being a creative—and also, the ones that just come with being human.

So, thanks. Keep your heads up.


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