Ben James World
Shortly after typing a little, self-indulgent whine of a Facebook post about how nobody had listened to my recent record, I received an email from my friend Darwin. I'd been liberally exclaiming my sadness that week that some of my more well-connected, encouraging friends had chosen neither to acknowledge nor support that piece of work, until I realised that wasn't actually what was bothering me at all (I understand all the reasons why it's not that simple!), I just wanted to feel closer and more important to people, a symptom of spending most of my time far away, on the internet. Darwin's message was short and sweet, as usual. He just suggested that if I'd wanted to reach out to people I should've emailed them.
Written words, a letter in the mail, a surprise message in your inbox from an old friend, three of my favourite things that I'd completely overlooked, because for a moment there it was as though the Facebook lottery is all there is. Terrifying!
It got me thinking about an idea Luke and I discussed in the summer, where I would start a mailing list of sorts (Inspired by his excellent, weekly enlightener, Ten Things) and write about my projects, travels and tips, thoughts and works in progress from that month or period. Sort of like the letter my Uncle Tony (Not my real uncle) sends Mum every Christmas. I'd love to encourage you to reply and keep in touch more regularly, removing this strange reliance on a wholly unreliable selection of social media platforms. Talking instead of stalking, you know? Except by talking I mean typing, because as Matt knows all too well, my Skype calls rarely come in under two hours and nobody really has time for that.
I'd like to share my patterns and designs, too. Maybe I could show you how to make some cool things of your own, rather than asking you to pay me for things you may not actually want.
I've never felt so energised and inspired to create and I find sharing my work a huge incentive for making more and getting better, so I've set up this Mailchimp called Ben James World. You can join it here, if you'd like to. The things I post will still find their way to Facebook but when Facebook eventually eats itself I hope not to be poorly digested with it.
The flaws in this plan are many. My initial emails probably won't be particularly personal to you and you almost certainly receive far too much junk mail already (Try using unroll.me to fix this!). You might also find this insight into my life a little too intense and yes, still utterly self-indulgent. That's ok, you don't have to sign up, I'm not so easily offended.
Looking forward to hearing from you!