Letters to Summer

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Letter 82

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


On going at your own pace

I’ve been feeling really overwhelmed this week—not with my work or my to-do list, but with my media backlog. There are too many games I want to play, too many shows I want to watch, too many books I want to read, and not enough time. As much as I like keeping track of everything I’m in the middle of, I’ve started feeling bad about being in the middle of too many things. There are new games I want to play, but I feel like I can’t start them until I finish some of the ones I’m working on. But I’m having a hard time getting through any of the games I’m in the middle of because there are just so many of them that I can’t focus on any of them long enough to finish them! It’s a whole mess. This week, I’m trying to remember that it’s okay to take things slowly, go at your own pace, do things only when you’re in the mood for them. I want to worry less about “finishing” and more about enjoying myself.

Jillian

I attended a virtual writing workshop last weekend, which was amazing! I love writing poetry (and reading it, as you know from this newsletter) but am generally pretty casual about it. Being in more formalized writing spaces is really fun and generative but can also give me a lot of imposter syndrome or anxiety about my work and the way it finds itself in the world. I’m not a super jealous person—I’m a big cheerleader!—but sometimes you can’t really help the why am I not getting the things the people around me are? thoughts from becoming overwhelming. I am a slow writer, good stuff coming out of me every few months and the urge to submit even less frequent—putting together a “book” feels like an impossible task, as by the time I have “enough” poems I don’t like the oldest ones anymore. I’m trying to be kind to myself though—there’s a pace we all go at, and my pace is fine. I’ll get to where I want/am supposed to be eventually. Scarcity is manufactured!

Summer



We recommend

🎶 Laurel Hell

I was despairing over what to recommend this week and when I finally sat down to write after a kind of hellish day, I realized I hadn’t recommended LAUREL HELL YET????? To be fair to myself, we’ve only had one newsletter since it dropped but my goodness! I have basically had it on repeat since that Thursday at 9PM PST. It is speculative excellence, it is eerie and painful and fun and everything I love so much about Mitski. Listen on Spotify or wherever you get music.

Summer

🔗 Nico Neco Zakkaya

I met up with a friend to go to this stationery story a few days ago after multiple people told me to check it out—and it’s so cute! I want to live there! It had so many beautiful stickers and notebooks and pens and stamps that I could hardly resist taking home with me. But it also had lots of things I didn’t expect to see, like candles and handmade bookmarks and wax seals. I bought some stickers and washi tape and a couple of stamps to tide me over until I can go back. If you live in NYC it’s definitely worth checking out, but they also have an online store if you can’t visit in person!

Jillian

📖 who is owed springtime by Rasha Abdulhadi

I moderated a panel that my dear friend Rasha Abdulhadi was on the other day and was reminded of just how wonderful and brilliant they are—their recent chapbook, who is owed springtime, is gorgeous both as a Book of Poetry and also as an object (beautiful cover, perfect little trim size, soft pages, well laid-out interior). You can get a copy here.

Summer

💡 Do something just for you

This is something I’ve been trying to work on that I want to recommend to you, also: spend some time doing a hobby just for you, alone, with no intention of sharing the result with anyone else. It’s really easy for me to want to work on something like painting in the hopes that what I make will turn out good so I can post a picture of it online—and there’s nothing wrong with that! But I want to get better at painting just for myself, without worrying about how it’ll turn out, and without showing it to anyone else even if I’m proud of it. Maybe that’s something you can try too.

Jillian