Whoa, July—where’d you go? We started July flying back from Austin on the first of the month to head to an acro workshop we had planned, were home for the bulk of it, and yet it feels like we didn’t even live July. How does that happen?
July had us in hotels and Airbnbs just nine nights, but it felt like double that time. This is likely why:
I’m in Portugal! Our Portugal retreat retreat is finally here—and has technically already gone!—and I’ve been exploring Lisbon with nine creatives for the past week and now am decompressing on an island with SVV. You can follow along in real time via my Instagram Stories.
I landed a gig writing a Nashville-themed issue for a big publication. The downside is that it was assigned right before I left and is due just days after I return from Portugal, so I’m spending a lot of the time I wanted to set aside for exploring indoors working on that. Ugh. #ThatWriterLifeThough
We went to Columbus for a video project. This was our second visit to Columbus, Ohio and we absolutely loved it. What a great, underrated destination with so many positives: affordable, ample parking, easy to get around by car, full of character. Have you been before?
I met Claire Crosby. I’ve been a huge fan of this pint-sized YouTuber for more than two years now—or approximately half her life!—and she and her family came to town to work with me on a project at the Grand Ole Opry. I spent the afternoon with Claire and her dad Dave, and they were just the nicest. Check out their vlog from Nashville (with a cameo by me!) here.
I took a fellow writer on a Nashville mural tour. You know that murals in Nashville are my jam, so much so that a national writer wanted to come to Music City and follow in my footsteps for a piece for a major publication. I gave her a quick tour, let her photograph me for the piece and will share it here once it’s live!
We’re knee-deep in developing a public art program for our community. We’ve been working with one young artist as she hones her craft and are in talks with several muralists about our next community improvement projects; we also used SVV’s birthday this month to raise money for the upcoming installations. I still need to write about the genesis of our first mural, but here’s an essay I penned for Mic about the process in the meantime.
Speaking of art, did you know Oklahoma City is a very artsy town? If not, you should read this post I wrote on OKC’s bold art scene.
We started working with Murfreesboro. One bit pivot in our business over the past couple weeks has been pursuing projects closer to home, and I love getting to explore areas like Rutherford County that I essentially grew up in but hold a different kind of charm for me as an adult looking at them through a different lens.
We’ve got a half-dozen projects this coming month we’re super stoked about. They involve: teaching another workshop back in Tennessee, flying to Boise and driving down to Alabama, among other gigs that we’ll be taking on closer to home. This year has just flown by, and we’re so grateful to have clients and projects we love—we’re so slammed right now, we’ve closed our books for the year on new projects and are not accepting any new clients until the beginning of 2019, which is bonkers.
Food allergies. I finally got my environmental allergies in check after 18 months of shots, but now I seem to have developed a couple food allergies, one of which has triggered a couple mild (yet panic-inducing) anaphylactic reactions (I think it’s because of a gelatinous emulsifier, ugh), and the other is a cooking oil that triggers serious itching. I have my annual check-up with my allergist when I’m back from Portugal, so I’m sure I’m going to have to endure another scratch test (yuck, they’re the worst!).
Tough conversations. The more successful you become, the more awkward conversations you have to have—this is one thing I’ve found to be inevitable as an entrepreneur. Luckily, I have SVV to work through problems with (running a business together is the actual best), but having to hold clients and subcontractors accountable is something I don’t love (why can’t everyone just do their jobs right the first time around?) and I still cringe when we have to point out their shortcomings.
In other news, we’re thinking about taking some time off at the end of this year and/or early next. What that looks like, I don’t know. A month? Two months? Time at home specifically or just time away from the computers where we’re constantly writing and creating? I’d love to hear if any of you fellow entrepreneurs have ever done something like this. It terrifies me, but I know that I’m mentally maxed out and my bandwidth is getting more and more limited the more we pile on our plates.
What was July like for you?
All of my past monthly highlights can be found here.