So as predicted October flew by with very little in the way of blogging and a whole ton of work my side project, Side Project. Apologies in advance if this post ends up pretty much just about the zine – it’s ended up a huge part of my life lately.
“A monthly capture of my feelings and doings, in the raw.”
What I’ve been grateful for
Sam and Sabrina, my partners in making Side Project. I think we have a good blend of skills for producing a magazine, and I’m always in awe of their photography and styling. We all sort of push each other and bring each other back on track when we stray off topic (which is often), and it’s been challenging but really fun! I’d thought of trying to make a zine before but always concluded that it would be too much work for one person, so it’s awesome to have a team to build it together.
Other people who have been helping us out – Beau Est Mien Design & Print Shop who are hosting our launch party, Bicubic who were nice enough to give us cheap printing, Apropos Provisional who will be stocking Side Project. Oh and of course The Boy, who puts up with us taking over the dining table almost every weekend for meetings.
Longer days, warmer weather. I’m trying to be healthier, doing stretches in the morning and walking home from work. The longer days and nice weather are definitely helping.
What I’ve been thinking about
Marketing, publicity and digital strategy. Previously I would have said it wasn’t really my thing – my marketing of this blog is even more woeful than its meandering content. But through tidbits picked up here and there from work and fellow bloggers, I think I’ve learned a thing or two. Side Project is a much more focused product than ChiGarden, so is much more easy and interesting to promote. I am however terrible at the elevator pitch and general schmoozing offline though – something to really work on.
Still saying no to things. I haven’t stuck to this completely, but I’m thinking of continuing it as best I can for the rest of the year. I hate turning down exciting new ideas or friends who want favours, but I feel like it’s helped my general stress levels and output quality significantly. I suppose at least it’s better to say no than to say yes, then do a half-assed job or never do it at all.
What I’m excited for
The Side Project launch party which is just over two weeks away now, yikes! If you’re in Perth please consider coming along to say hi :)
I’m headed to Bali at the end of the month with work as our ‘Christmas party’, which sounds like it’s going to be pretty amazing! I’ve only been once, as a kid, and this time we’ll be going to Ubud which sounds nice and peaceful. I don’t want to have to be too precious with a DSLR in tow, so I’m thinking of going film with the Holga and maybe the Instax. Fingers crossed I’ll get some decent shots!
What I’ve been doing
Can you guess? Yup, pretty much just Side Project. It’s now with the printers so the crazy part is over for this issue. Here’s a list of the bits I’ve been doing:
Website design and development, e-commerce setup, copywriting, email templating, handling email newsletters, digital strategy, social media pimping, liaising with suppliers, potential stockists and advertisers, interviewing, calligraphy, tutorial writing, recipe testing, recipe writing, cooking, photography, styling, promoting, editing, proofing, designing, lettering, blogging, tweeting, hosting and making heaps of to-do lists.
In particular I’m just really proud of the website, which I made in a weekend and looks pretty slick in my opinion.
What I’ve been reading
I’m rereading The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay, which feels perfect for Head and Heart because of the line repeated through it:
“First with the head, then with the heart.”
Despite having very little knowledge about South Africa, racism or boxing at the time I first read it, I remember it making a big impact on me as a teenager. I think my peaceful form of rebellion was reading literature that suggests challenging conventional wisdom and seeking your own answers.
I’m also working through my backlog of Monocle magazines – getting a subscription seemed like a great idea at the time, but those things are so dense and fascinating that it takes me more than a month to get through each one!
What I’ve been spending my money on
I’ve been eyeing some things in the Photojojo store for ages, but the phone charging wallet is what finally tipped me over the edge. The iPhone 6 battery is a decent leap from the 4S, but with some travels coming up I think the extra juice will come in handy.
If you’d like to join us or see others’ posts in this monthly series, head on over to helario.us for the master list.
Pictured above: the cover for Issue 1 of Side Project, a group effort between Sam, Sabrina and myself (okay, mostly I just hand modelled).