Y’know, some part of me never expected this to happen. Not in the morbid “I didn’t think I’d survive this long,” but in the sense of, “Wow, this year might actually end.”

If I’m crunching my numbers right, this is my last Outward Post. My last Process Post will also come out sometime this week, and that’s an essay. And from there, who knows? I sure don’t.

But at least it’s almost time for the holidays, right? I have a chocolate advent calendar, our tree is up, and I’m in my coziest flannel. Despite everything, the Holly Jollies have hit me.

Let’s get into it.

TIP: Daily Minimums

Wow, how did I never get to talking about daily minimums? This wacky little trick is a genuine godsend.

So, as some of you know, I’ve spent a lot of this year getting involved in my local art scene. And like any good person from Surrey, when I say local, I mean Vancouver.

While I definitely got to be more involved after COVID struck, in the beginning, I had two mentorships. One was for protest art, and the other was for poetry and playwriting.

In the latter, one of my mentors shared a little trick that’d gotten them through even their rougher periods: a daily minimum.

It’s exactly what it sounds like: every day, my mentor would try to get at least 100 words written down or typed. Even on the worst kind of day, when everything was going wrong and they had no energy, 100 words. Because really, 100 words isn’t that much. Not in the grand scheme of things. I’ve already written about 200 about this topic alone.

Give it a shot. You’ll surprise yourself by how often you go over that rule.

TRIAL: Making Things For Others

So, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here, but I’m an artist.

That was sarcasm.

But in all sincerity, one thing I love about art is how collaborative it can be. Again, I’ve spent a lot of this year in workshops and mentorships with my fellow creatives. And it’s genuinely, like, healing. There’s something so organic and refreshing about sharing a space with people who love art as much as you do.

And with the semester almost over, I’m opening up to working with other people again. It’s both a step out of my comfort zone, and honestly really beneficial to my practice. All of this summer and fall, I’ve been insistent on working on my own. At first, it was because I was worried about my work being up to the standards of my peers. Then, well, COVID happened, and that was its own excuse.

But this fall, I’ve gotten myself wrapped up in a few more openly collaborative projects. Musical stuff, mostly. It’s fun. Sometimes I’ll be the one writing lyrics, sometimes I’ll send in a beat and see what people do with it… I genuinely think creative collaboration is a love language.

That’s sappy, but I mean it! What’s a bigger sign of trust than pouring your heart into something and then letting someone else do the same? It’s beautiful.

We can’t LEGALLY look like this yet, but maybe someday.

REC: I’ve Got Nothing, I’m Just Watching The Nutcracker Suite In Fantasia

It’s finals week, y’all. You think I’m consuming media that’s NOT related to my exams or final projects? Hah. Nice try.

I’m sorry, I really am.

The only thing my mind really has space for right now is the Nutcracker Suite from Fantasia. I watch it at least once every December, because it really gets me in the mood. Nothing like a bunch of winter fairies dancing on snowflakes, right? Also, as a kid, I was OBSESSED with the whole movie. I would watch it on the regular, and every time I did, I had these intricate rituals with all of my stuffed animals, where I’d try to play along. It was insane.

I’m beginning to wonder how it took me so long to realize I’m neurodivergent.

Whatever the case, great news, that particular sequence is on YouTube.

I know what I’m doing today.

Until next time.