📖 From Word document to book: Part 5 / “Amazon categories + keywords” write.as

Thursday morning stroll.

I’ve been enjoying local bus trips lately to a nearby town, mixing up my morning coffee spot

After seventeen conversations with writers of all kinds, drafting today’s daily email for the ninth - and final - day of the Introvert Writer Summit.

[fueled by peach iced tea 🧋]

I watched the first part of The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh (1977) on Disney+ this lunchtime, a rare weekday one with my parents. So delightful and nostalgic. I remember many of the words by heart. 🧸

Getting some travel inspiration this afternoon 🇪🇸

The story of a crisis that started in my mid-teens, and lingered for over a decade.

Written for all those who have been – or are going through – some kind of an identity/career/life crisis at the moment.

📝 My identity crisis

Brandon Sanderson just raised $19 million on Kickstarter to self-publish 4 novels he wrote during the pandemic. Here’s his launch video.

Last month, Cal Newport summarised Sanderson’s advice for “doing hard things” on his blog:

📝 Brandon Sanderson’s Advice for Doing Hard Things

Susan Cain, author of Quiet, has a new book for introverts and for society as a whole: Bittersweet

And a throwback to a previous blog post I wrote, quoting Susan Cain + others:

📝 What is an introvert?

Watched ‘The Batman’ last night, which seems to have mixed reviews.

It’s different, more raw + dark than usual (melancholy, even), with an almost ‘Sin City’-esque feel to it.

It didn’t feel like 3 hours to me, either. It was worth the cinema trip. My brother enjoyed it too. 🦇

A new discovery I made at Starbucks today: a hot chocolate with nut blend milk. Very tasty.

A song on Spotify reminded me of Okiem, and I’ve been listening to his music alongside my work this morning.

It’s beautiful + incredible to listen to with headphones, and experiencing his performance in-person last year was one of the most memorable events I’ve been to.

Given the events that have unfolded in Eastern Europe in recent days, I am curious to explore books looking at the history of the Soviet Union, Russia, and Ukraine.

I am ideally looking for commentary that is both thorough and objective.

Does anyone know of such a book? 📚

I wanted to applaud at the end of the latest episode of The Crown that I’ve watched over the last couple of evenings.

A brilliant script + acting, with wonderful and wholesome storytelling. I’m going to miss Claire Foy and Matt Smith in the lead roles when Season 2 is over. 📺

I’ve had a fun time getting work done + chilling with fellow indie makers at Weekend Club today. It was at the same space that I visited earlier in the week. This has to be the closest thing I’ve found to an IRL “makers and creators” community. Well worth the trip across London.

Pleased to see Payhip, an indie company I use & like, go from strength to strength. As of today, the platform supports “live courses” (in a way that looks both fair & easy), in addition to the existing items they support: digital + physical products, coaching & subscriptions.

Colin & Samir’s take on jeen-yuhs is pretty neat, reflecting on Kanye West’s story and how certain moments from his documentary footage reminds them of their own experiences as creators.

“Some of the best stories are full of moments, not shots”

📹 Our thoughts on Kanye (Jeen-Yuhs)

I saw Choir of Man at the Arts Theatre over the weekend, and it was unlike anything I’ve seen in the theatre. Very organically-immersive, it felt like I was in a cosy pub with friendly barmen and locals who could sing & dance… and I could join in as I pleased. Really impressive.

Update: i’ve switched to Cloudfare, the site seems to load faster on average but can still take 10-15 secs to load at times…

Not sure what else I can do at this point 🤔

(re: https://blog.jasraj.me/2022/02/21/i-have-a.html)

I have a website (this one) which is taking very long to load from Europe (loading just fine in the US).

I’m going to try changing my domain nameservers to Cloudfare to see if that does the trick.

Any other suggestions from the micro.blog community would be greatly appreciated 🙏

My friend, an accomplished photographer, took some headshots and candids of me earlier this week, as I look to update my website and my branding.

Here’s a couple of them, taken in between our chatting about life, work, and other conversational tangents Tom and I often take.

jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy on Netflix

I set a reminder for jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy the moment I spotted it in the ‘coming soon’ section on Netflix around a month ago.

I’ve been waiting for it to drop and I caught a feature on the new 3-part documentary series about Kanye West in yesterday’s Evening Standard, one of London’s free newspapers available at train stations all across the city.

If I’d been looking forward to it already, that piece I read only left me more eager to get home and hit the play button.

I had not realised the years - the hours - of work and footage that led to this documentary being made. The documentary has been filmed and put together by Clarence “Coodie” Simmons and Chike Ozah, the former of whom was a comedian and host of Channel Zero, and finding himself in the unique position of showcasing the stories and the songs emerging from Chicago’s burgeoning rap scene in the ‘90s. The two filmmakers have also produced videos for Kanye’s breakthrough music including Through The Wire and Jesus Walks.

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*“We had filmed a lot of artists, but there was just something different about Kanye”* 

- Clarence “Coodie” Simmons

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This documentary is a true example of telling the story behind the story of one of the biggest names in music, Kanye West.

There is so much about Kanye’s story that fascinates me, and so much more that jeen-yuhs is opening my eyes to.

His personality and temperament.

His self-belief.

His charisma.

His ego.

His mother.

His bipolar disorder.

His musicality.

His genius.

His energy.

His story.

The archive footage of a young, early-twenties Kanye being interviewed by “Coodie”, him rocking up to Jay-Z’s Roc-A-Fella record label and rapping to anyone who would listen, his early days of making beats for fellow rappers… but his passion above all else for wanting to rap, and to be seen and respected as a rapper amongst the scene he was serving his beats to.

There was another particularly memorable scene with his mother, Donda, when they visit their old house together, teasing one another and sharing fond memories. 

In another moment they have a conversation that gives us so much insight, one where she is imparting her son some wisdom and Kanye is boyishly sat there listening.

She says *“But you know I was thinking about something I was gonna say to you, Kanye, that I thought was important. How you were down-to-earth and everything, but you have a lot of confidence that come off a little arrogant, even though you’re humble and everything, but it be important to remember that: the giant looks in the mirror and sees nothing“*. 

There’s a couple of moments of pause, the two of them just looking at one another, before they start gently chuckling. Kanye, looking down at the ground, gingerly asks: “So you think I come off too arrogant?”

There are so many isolated scenes like this, which would make this documentary worth watching. You could pause it anywhere and get so much insight.

Just a few minutes into jeen-yuhs, I was truly captivated by Kanye’s story and the hundreds of hours of work that I realised had gone into the production of this documentary.

Netflix seems to be doing something right with these biographical portrayals which, with raw archive footage, at times feel more like autobiographies than documentaries.

A couple of other phenomenal productions that come to my mind, both on Netflix and 10/10 for me, are Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell and *Kevin Hart: Don’t F**k This Up*.

I almost wrote something after watching Kevin Hart’s documentary recently, I just had to for this Kanye one.

Just a third of the way into this particular three-act documentary, jeen-yuhs has the potential to be an 11/10 for me. In fact, if it was available in UK cinemas, I’d probably ditch the comfort of my own home to watch this one on the big screen. It also feels nice that this is being released week-by-week, allowing one to experience it “live” with some space in between each episode, so to speak, just like television used to be.

I feel like this is the closest thing to a Kanye autobiography there is, and likely the closest thing there’ll ever be.

Storytelling at its finest. No sensationalism required. Just raw, utter jeen-yuhs.

~

📺 jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy

Act I: Vision - 16th February, 2022

Act II: Purpose - 23rd February, 2022

Act III: Awakening - 2nd March, 2022

The trailer for the new Rings of Power series leaves me feeling… intrigued.

I’m also eyeing a birthday trip to the cinema for the final part of the Jurassic World trilogy… those returning appearances have given me the feels; Jurassic Park was one of my fave childhood movies.

Whether it’s Christmas or Thanksgiving Day, I’m kinda curious about the origins of the days that are culturally celebrated or commemorated.

And so I’m reading Wikipedia’s words on Saint Valentine’s Day this morning.

My pal @warner and I met on microblog last year and met up a few times (here’s one of our back-n-forths).

I’ve been enjoying watching his creative take on his new minimal phone, and his recent adventures in Los Angeles, making things happen as an indie performer across the pond. 🎵