Five Star's 305th Great Blog Roundup Is Brought to You By Helen Oyeyemi
This week's Five Star roundup is brought to us by some pretty great advice for online creatives, how we find our way, holding a son, what privilege is and how it works, perceived greed and the limitations of time, knowing we have enough courage, great acts by LGBTQ youth, and Helen Oyeyemi:
Don't work for free for rich people. Seriously. Don't don't don't. Even if you can afford to, you're fucking over the labor market for other creators. Haggling hard for money is actually a beneficial act for other freelancers, because it is a fight against the race to the bottom that's happening online.
When I got home and went through the Solnit essay again, however, I found that I’d been mistaken. While a section of “Woolf’s Darkness” indeed shares a title with Kalman’s book, Solnit doesn’t mention Kalman at all. I’d made the whole thing up. I’d bought the book by accident. Which was kind of interesting to me, because I am so interested in the connections between books, how they speak to one another, and now I’m fascinated too by the idea of the mistaken allusion, the connection that was never there at all. But now it is, because I supposed it was. Our reading lives are such a tangled web.
I held you in my lap on Monday. I was in the passenger seat and I clenched you, the brown boxes of you, as we wound along the roads from there to here.
Every single one of us has some kind of privilege over somebody. What matters is whether we’re aware of it, and what we choose to do with it, and that we not use it to dismiss the valid and real concerns of the people who don’t share our particular brand.
And here’s what I fear: that one day, I will look back only to see, in the uncharitable light of retrospect, a mother distracted. Because this writing thing is a double-edged sword. Simultaneously helping me live within the moment, my senses piqued, noticing more — but also removing me from it, stealing me away, transforming me into an outsider looking in. Greedy with my time, unrelenting, always leaving me wanting more.
Jumping off script with people. Touching strangers. Going out on a limb and feeding them. Telling people the truth about your fear. Inviting people in. Passing out courage like Halloween candy. Reminding people to Use It All Up Today. Love. Passing it on. Understanding that that gifts that we’re given — whether they are talents or Cheez-Its or bracelets — are for giving away. Living as if our gifts are important and good enough to heal the world.
…while we talk about young people a lot in the LGBT community, it’s not usually in a very positive light. For example, I just searched the HuffPost for “LGBT Youth” and I found a litany of stories about homelessness and suicide that stretched for pages. These problems are very real and very serious, but our young people are so much more than just passive victims.
Please come back and share good writing with us over the coming week to be featured on the next Five Star. Submit it by Tuesday at midnight CST to nominate it for inclusion in the next roundup.
And because you are a fan of finding good, new writing on the internet: