Preamble: Once a working friend told me that she didn’t want to take on “sex worker” as a politicized identity (1).
I respect that: no one should be obligated to a certain way, or to take on politics that don’t inspire them. But for myself, I’m certain that sex work is…
Folks harm reduction is super important to me. I have friends and family living with and struggling with and surviving addiction. I have watched people overdose and die because folks just didn’t know what to do. I am in the process of getting funds together to pass these out for free with every on-line and in person order. This is a short and accessible guide for preventing overdose put together by Mission Mini-Comix. Donate and help BRZD distribute “Lil’ Dope Fiend: Overdose Prevention Guide!”
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My tour wife, Cristy C. Road made Brown Recluse’s official logo! Thanks babe!
1. Waiting for the ‘right’ moment
How many times have you said, “I’m just going to wait until I have enough money saved up,” or “I need to research more.” As the Chinese proverb goes, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
Stop waiting for the unicorn and take the bull by the horns now. Any action is better than no action.
2. The approval of others
While it is important to receive validation for your work, constantly seeking that pat on the back from others will get you nowhere. Do not feed into the ego of your ever-needy self-esteem. It is nice to receive good comments on your work. But do not mix up what is good for the ego for what is good for your productivity.
3. The need to always be perfect
Perfectionism is crippling. By all means strive for excellence and seek to produce the best product you are able to deliver. But spending far too much time on any task can become detrimental when you have people waiting for you to deliver. If your work meets their expectations, then drop the product. If you exceed it, even better. But do not keep them waiting too long. You could spend an eternity improving a product.
4. Giving too much respect
Even Einstein made mistakes. Just because someone is in a prominent position, it does not mean they have all the answers. This habit cripples many people who listen to ‘respectable’ figures who are in a completely different field to them.
How many times have you seen an actor endorsing a product they know nothing about and people listening just because they are famous? Terrible habit.
It should not only be great leaders that aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty, but anyone striving after success. Getting your hands dirty means engaging in a task that is outside of your responsibility.
Win the respect of others by doing something beyond your duty.
6. Not learning from people ‘less’ than you
Pride is like putting poison into your own glass of water. Great knowledge can come from anyone. But if you simply shut someone off because they do not have a PhD or they are not a CEO, you are potentially robbing yourself of a golden nugget. You never know what kind of experience a person has or who the person may be connected with.
7. Rushing the last look
You are so excited with finishing your work that you just want to ship it straight out the door without giving it a final once-over. This is the Achilles Heel for most writers. But what separates a good writer from an average writer is patience- many writers will let an article sit overnight and then make more edits in the morning before sending it. This applies for other industries also, take time to give it one last thorough check. Even get someone else to have a look before you ship or hit the send button.
8. Not being vulnerable
It is easy to feel the need to put on a mask in your career, particularly if you are in leadership. No doubt there is a clear line that needs to be drawn between employers and employees. But you need to take off the iron suit every now and then.
Admit to making mistakes, make apologies when you are in the wrong. You will be respected.
9. Too stubborn to let go
While grit, tenacity, and perseverance are all great qualities, they can be crippling when they are directed toward the wrong goal. This is difficult with any project that you have poured your heart and soul into. But if it is not profitable nor bringing you closer to your goal, then you need to recognize when you are being stubborn and let go. Treat any humiliation like water off a duck’s back and direct your energy toward the next project.
10. The contentment plateau
There is a dark side to being satisfied with your work and accomplishments. Being content and comfortable is the enemy of improvement. Take time during your journey to stop and smell the roses, but do not let be left standing there when the roses are long gone.
Keep setting the bar higher. Knock down a goal, celebrate it, move on.
BRZD is on Hiatus until the distro and I return from the Rough Cut event put on by University of Illinois Chicago and Chicago Zine Fest! LAZF re-energized and inspired me around zines, writing and pumping new blood into BRZD! I learned a lot about tabling for the first time at a zine fest.
BRZD is adding a ton of new titles to the distro upon returning from CZF! Expect the following (not all pictured): The Spitboy Rule: Tales of a Female Punk Band by Michelle Gonzalez, Fix My Head #2 and #6 written by Anna Vo, Musings of a Jook-sing written by Diana Mai, Mad Mulatta by Brittany Couch, Trust the Knife by Joyce Hatton, Rise-Fall-and Repeat by Isidro de la Luna Fox, Profane and The Body is a Wild Wild Thing by Tomas Moniz, AND Shotgun Seamstress 1-6.5! And who knows what I’ll return with from CZF! Do you have a zine you want to submit for consideration?
All of this was made possible by donations, orders and folks who bought zines from BRZD at LAZF. When you buy from this distro you are not only supporting this project you are supporting POC writers and artists too, making our stories and our histories more accessible to one another! Thanks for the support: PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE!
Check out the website here: www.brownreclusezinedistro.com
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