Embrace the weird

Embrace the weird

The other day I was complaining to a friend how I've been spinning my wheels lately, having trouble finding any projects or gigs I could work on.

He came back with a quick, short, smart response:

Who cares? Just make weird shit.

It hit me like a ton of bricks. Over the past year I've told my spouse, my therapist, and my friends how I couldn't find any fun existing projects to work on, or worse, I'd find one but I couldn't figure out a way in. Everyone responded to me in a similar way: why not go make your own stuff you like?

I love a thought technology, and "Just Go Make Weird Shit" lit a fire under me. I rolled the phrase over and over in my head for days and lo and behold one idea and opportunity after another started coming my way soon after.

Maybe it's just another year of saying yes (or of saying no). But after I morphed the phrase into a mantra of "Embrace the Weird" everything suddenly got easier.

This week I'm working on three projects that I've never attempted before. One is a book proposal for a weird, niche topic that I love and I plan to self-publish it completely (more about that in a future post). Another is I started recording my first audiobook narration (something I've always wanted to try) and it's going well. Lastly, I'll be a guest on a podcast I've never heard about a subject I stopped following years ago.

Why? Because: why not do these things?

In my friend groups we often warn each other to be careful of what you're working on, because people will expect you to do those same things forever. We tell each other to focus on our end goals first, and backtrack to find a way to get there that checks all the boxes along the way.

For 2024, I'm going to embrace the weird. I'm saying yes to things I normally wouldn't when they don't fit in any existing boxes. I don't know where it will take me, but in the days since I've made the change, a lot of things have started to go right.