Five years of unbroken sketchbook work

Tom McHenry on five years of daily sketching and the value of deliberate, continuous practice:

Drawing comics with the drawings reinvigorated my interest for a while. When you have something that you do every day you can’t help but improve. Then you get bored. Then you try new things and improve. Then you get bored. Daily work is the best solution that I’ve worked out to make the big emotional swings of that cycle to drop down to a low discomforting blips. You become too slippery for your own emotional melodrama to grab on.

If you’re not regularly chipping away at the work you want to do toward your capital-D Dream each day, your Dream quickly fills up venom sacs of guilt and shame. Ugh, I should really get back to doing ____, I’m such a lazy piece of shit, I’ll never be a ______, you’ll think and then your eyes are there and not in your skull and in the moment where you are alive.

And:

If there is a thing you like to do, find a way to do a little bit of it each day. Don’t overdo it — maybe it’s only 5 minutes worth for the first three years—because some days you will be drunk, tired, sick or in Personal Circumstances. This is not a way to get famous, it is just a way to practice and to care for yourself.

My work on Neat Hobby is absolutely in the realm of “self care.”

Home Economics 2.0

A lovely rant about how our understanding of how technology works is woefully disproportionate to our near-constant immersion in it:

Why is it that “computer classes” are electives? Why is it that those enamored with video games are the only ones expected to understand the relationship between browser tabs and RAM? Why is it that those obsessed with science fiction, participating in chess club, or enrolled in AP classes are the only ones expected to understand the severities of hard shutdowns? Why should cookies, encryption, or battery drain be mysteries to anyone born into today’s world; mysteries to those touching unfathomable technology at 12-months-old?

This is not STEM. This is fundamental. This is commonplace. This is home economics.

Worth a short read.

Holy Shit, I Interviewed the President — Medium

The infectiously enthusiastic Hank Green writes about the negative blowback he and other YouTubers are receiving for being chosen to interview President Obama. There are so many good insights here:

I may be biased here, but I feel like there’s an actual and honorable goal in all of this. America needs to convince young people that there are good reasons to be civically involved. Millenials are soon to be the biggest hunk of the electorate and, if the mid-terms are any indication, they simply don’t care. And that shouldn’t be surprising since no one is connecting to them in the ways they connect with each other or talking about issues that matter to them from perspectives they can identify with.

Legacy media accuses young people of being apathetic while actively attempting to remove them from the discussion.

There’s a problem that needs to be solved and this is clearly an attempt to solve it. That’s part of what convinced me it was a good idea for me to be involved. The other part, to be clear, was that I got to interview the freaking President.

Finding relevance and value in youth culture is an ongoing struggle, one that most people give up by their mid-30s. If only pieces like this got as much signal boost as those useless “How Teens Use Social Media…By An Actual Teen!” pieces beloved by the press.

Bring Your Own Book, the game of borrowed phrases

My buddy Matthew Moore is Kickstarting a new literary-minded card game called Bring Your Own Book.

Bring Your Own Book is fun and simple. Players take turns drawing prompts from the deck, then race to find the best phrase in their own book that satisfies the prompt. Watch this quick tutorial to see the rules in action.

Bring Your Own Book started as a response to one of those memes on social media: “Grab the nearest book and turn to page 36; the first full sentence describes your love life!” They were occasionally amusing, but they lacked agency and reliable entertainment. Still, that act of reading text from books out of context was begging to be turned into a game.

I had the pleasure of playtesting an early version of this game last year, and it’s cool to see the near-final product coming together. And in promising news, BYOB has been selected as one of eight games to exhibit at the PAX South Tabletop Indie Showcase, which is happening right! now!

Go check out and back Bring Your Own Book on Kickstarter.