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Amy Shearn
Topic Lead for Writing @ Medium // Editor of Human Parts // Novels: Unseen City; The Mermaid of Brooklyn; How Far Is The Ocean From Here

Oh, hi! Here is a long term project I’ve been working on about long term projects:

And here are some regular old blog posts about being a person in the world:

All Hail Emily Dickinson, the Quarantine Queen
Pandemic Parenting: A Hair Story
In Praise of Terrible Dresses
Everything is Made Up Anyway

And: Profile header lettering by the wonderful Sam Zabell ❤️

🐱 Today’s tip: Make time for play.

You make time to work, and probably you make time for your Important Hobbies with Tangible Results (quarantine macrame, anyone?) But what about just regular old pointless play? Ruth Terry writes on Medium about how in pandemic times, she’s learned life lessons from her cats, including the importance of play. As Terry puts it, all work and no play can lead to “depressive boredom, a ‘mix of lethargy and agitation and restlessness,’ that studies show can have negative mental health effects.” That’s why it’s actually important to play like cats do, “with no…

💭 Today’s tip: Find your 3Cs.

In Forge’s new five-day course, What Should You Really Be Doing With Your Life?, Felicia C. Sullivan shares a brand-building approach to help you ignite your purpose at work: “Taking inventory of your professional assets and achievements is like searching for a favorite sweater buried at the bottom of your closet…the things you love have always been right here.”

Use Sullivan’s worksheet to help you define your 3Cs: your company (you), your customer (your client or boss), and your competition (your peers or co-workers). “This exercise is about more than pulling out your résumé…

📋 Today’s tip: Fill in the blanks to figure out your focus.

In Forge’s new five-day course, What Should You Really Be Doing With Your Life?, Felicia C. Sullivan suggests a thought exercise to help identify your purpose at work. Try defining your purpose in a simple sentence: I seek to ______________ (your contribution) so that _________________ (impact).

As Sullivan puts it, “Your ‘why’ keeps you focused and helps you evaluate roles and opportunities to determine if they’re speaking to your core.” …

🗓️ Today’s tip: Balance your time with a “one for them, one for me” approach.

In Forge’s new five-day course, What Should You Really Be Doing With Your Life?, Felicia C. Sullivan offers lots of great, actionable tips that can help you find your focus and live the life you want. Sometimes, she reminds us, living the life you want has a lot to do with managing where you spend your time.

Sullivan shares a tip from brand designer and illustrator Krista Elvey: The struggle between chasing your wildest, weirdest creative impulses and paying your bills is very real. So…

📱 Today’s tip: Send a quick check-in text to a friend you miss.

In general, the pandemic has not been great for friendships. Allie Volpe writes in Forge, “when we fail to see and even keep in touch with our connections, they can fray.” But, Volpe suggests, “instead of mourning relationships I’m not even sure I’ve lost, I’ll do little things to remind myself of the opposite, like send a quick check-in text. Even if I don’t get a reply at first, inevitably, it does come.”

Text someone you’ve been missing, and think of the text exchange as a place…

📖 Today’s tip: Curl up with a good novel.

Good things happen in your brain when you read. “Many of us turn to self-help books for personal development and for good reason,” Ashley Abramson writes on Forge, “but if you want to actually practice becoming a better human, the immersive emotional roller coaster of a novel can be just as effective.” Reading fiction gives your brain the kind of workout it needs to stay healthy: Research has shown reading can make you more emotionally intelligent and empathetic, and can shape the way you perceive and engage with reality. …

Today’s tip: Check out Forge’s new five-day course, What Should You Really Be Doing With Your Life?

The tail end of a global pandemic may not feel like the best time to reinvent your career. We’ve spent the last year in survival mode — just getting through the day is truly a win in itself. But as we emerge from an experience that constantly reminded us of the fragility of life, it’s possible that this is the exact right moment to pause and ask yourself the big questions: Am I doing the work I want to be doing? What…

🤔 Today’s tip: Let this Facebook group make your small decisions for you.

Sometimes by the end of a long day of thinking, it feels impossibly effortful to make one more choice. What to have for dinner? What show to watch? Who knows! Well, that’s what’s so brilliant about this Facebook group: It’s a way to ask a friendly group of strangers to make low-stakes decisions for you. And if you’re not on Facebook, take this as inspiration and start a “small decisions” group chat. It’s the service you never knew you needed, but that might just save your dinner/outfit/weekend.

✍🏾Today’s tip: Practice your cursive. You won’t regret it.

There’s something soothing, in our very online world, about the act of sitting down to write something longhand: a list; a journal entry; a letter. Melissa Toldy writes on Medium about how she found practicing her cursive writing to be relaxing, even “intoxicating.” She writes, “I didn’t know cursive could be this delicious, or any kind of delicious.”

And writing in cursive isn’t just a fun way to create off-screen. It can also create an emotional connection with people you miss. Toldy started sending handwritten birthday cards, and notes, “Every time…

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