Letters to Summer

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Letter 74

Letters to Summer is a newsletter written by two best friends living on opposite sides of the country. Every other Thursday, we share the things we're reading, watching, listening to, and enjoying. We hope you like it.


On creative process

I don’t really know what my creative process is these days—maybe because I don’t have one? Or because I’m not trying to have one? Maybe because I don’t really know what I’m trying to do creatively at all. I’m trying to set less creative goals for myself in favor of just trying things out and seeing what feels right. I could try to make a habit of writing for 5 minutes every day, or I could just…write when I feel like it. I could try to dedicate time to learning how to paint better, or I could let myself spontaneously break out my watercolor set whenever I’m in the mood and paint whatever feels good. My creative process, if I have one, is to have no process at all. It’s to wake up and see how I’m feeling and do what I want when I want to do it and not worry so much about the outcome as long as I’m enjoying myself.

Jillian

I wrote an artist statement for the first time as part of an application the other day and it was really weird to think concretely about my work, what my aims are, and what the art I produce actually looks like. Third grade was the first time I had a sort of formal creative-writing education (loosely)—we were all given composition notebooks and told to split them into two sections: 1. brainstorming 2. actual drafts. For assignments, we always had to brainstorm first — these took form as associative bubbles or lists or outlines, and then we moved the formal writing to the draft section. After we finished our assignment, we could do whatever we wanted like work on other homework, read, or write more—I almost always chose write more, but I never used the brainstorm section for the non-assignment writing. I liked to just dive in. My process was whatever chaos was falling out of my little child brain, whether it was logs of my Animal Crossing progress or Nancy Drew knock-offs. I think I still work in that way; lines and ideas come in the form of an obsessive I gotta think this through right now or never again type of way and I perform my creative work in bursts. It’s definitely not efficient, but hey! I’m just here to have fun.

Summer



We recommend

📱 Libby

As someone who has a fine at every library I’ve ever had a card from, reading eBooks through Libby has been really helpful in managing my book-buying and my tendency to not return things on time because of all of the bad brain things that keep me inside. I know not everyone is a fan of eBooks—I still buy poetry books—but I just love the ease and access. You can have multiple library cards logged in, too!

Summer

📺 Fruits Basket

I just finished watching the newest version of this anime and I loved it so, so much. I also cried so, so much. I know someone who refuses to watch the last episode because she doesn’t want it to end, and I completely relate—it was such a beautiful, comforting story to wrap myself up in even when it was dark and devastating.

Jillian

🔗 I didn’t know how to write about my sister’s death—so I had AI do it for me.

Rest in peace, Believer Magazine! I love this publication and had hoped to write for it one day, but like many good things on the internet, soon it will be no more. My roommate linked this incredible piece by Vauhini Vara yesterday, and holy shit. I love when online publications unitilize their online-ness in the presentation of pieces; the way this essay unfolds is as haunting as the content it contains. A really gorgeous rumination on death and technology, a harrowing application of AI.

Summer

📺 Succession

Succession is easily one of my favorite shows ever, and also easily one of the best shows on television right now. It’s that good!!! It really is!!! It’s so funny and well-made all around, and there is truly not a single tiny thing I don’t love about it. I’ve been looking forward to season three so much, and now that it’s here, every Sunday night is reserved exclusively for eating pasta and watching new episodes.

Jillian