This week I did a lot of thinking. About workload, priorities, burnout, and my tendency to overstuff the first one, be bad about the second, and cause the third in myself. I have more than ever on my plate—all very good things that I am not complaining about at all! But talking to my best friend on vacation last weekend about it all, she said, “Just be careful. You’re going to burn out. I know you, Mickie. I’ve seen you do this a million times.”
And, well, instead of just saying “yeah, yeah, I got it,” I actually listened. And I thought long and hard about all I have going on and where I need to focus my energies right now. And that’s on my book, and then on my burgeoning events with Guernica and The Buzzed Word in New York and beyond. And so it is with a heavy heart that I’ve decided to put this little newsletter on hiatus. Not forever! Until late September, when I’ve returned from my 2.5 weeks in Spain and summer is over and, hopefully, I’ll have finished this first draft of my (second) book. But for now, I don’t have the time to properly dedicate to this, which takes many many hours of searching for articles, reading them, and compiling them. I want to get through the stack of books on my bedside shelf, some of which I want to write about, some of which are research. I want to be able to follow my train of thought without worrying about jumping to another project. Something had to give and sadly, this is it.
It’s really really tough! I feel extreme guilt, which I know I shouldn’t. I went over this over and over in my head this morning as I did laps at the pool. I’m very attached to this newsletter, as I know many of you are. It’s been as helpful for me over the past 5 years as it has been for other people. But this is ultimately the best thing for me right now; I trust you all understand.
For those looking for recommendations on readings in the meantime, I have vowed to direct what I would have put here to Twitter. And I put all my books on Instagram (personal and The Buzzed Word, for wine/book reviews). Don’t fear. I’ll be back, and hopefully you’ll all still be here and will be happy to see me again. So it’s not goodbye. It’s just see you soon.
Have a wonderful rest of your summer. <3 I love you all.
Must-read of the week: “Will Hunter Biden Jeopardize His Father’s Campaign?”: HOO BOY. This story. Clearly an attempt by the Biden press team to get ahead of all the stories about Hunter, Biden’s wayward, addict, skeptical-business-dealing son, it’s… not flattering. (Understatement.) I don’t think it’s as bad for Biden as his own gaffes have been, but it’s still fairly insane. To my best friend’s point: A lot of shit like this used to never see the light of day. But these are different times. Worth every minute. (40 mins)
This week in longreads: “Big Foe On The Come-Up”: I’m not tennis-obsessed, though I used to play; I’ve never watched Wimbledon, or any other televised match. But I do thoroughly enjoy reading about tennis players, and this profile on Frances Tiafoe, the rising star in American men’s tennis (from Maryland, woo!), is terrific. A young black man with extreme talent and personality, he’s poise to give the game some much-needed youthful vigor. (17 mins) “Home Court”: In more black tennis stories… Lendwand Simpson was a former black tennis star, protegee of Althea Bigson & contemporary of Arthur Ashe, who made it thanks to training at a “black country club” in his hometown of Wilmington, NC—a private home with a court that was, in those days, the only kind of place black people could play tennis. Now, he’s bringing that tradition back. A terrific story about bringing back black culture in America. (27 mins) “Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think”: A kind of depressing/anxiety-inducing piece about the ages we hit our professional best, depending on the profession, and when we start to feel the pinch of irrelevance. Silver lining, though: You’ll probably rebound when you’re 70! (30 mins) “Black Lives Lawyer”: A really terrific piece on Ben Crump, the leading lawyer representing and fighting for the black victims and families of police brutality. Crump has had an incredible career in social and criminal justice; frankly, I’m in awe. The stories of the crimes he’s prosecuted, too, are eye-opening about racial injustice in this country. (20 mins) “Why Is There So Much Saudi Money In American Universities?”: In a word: PR. A troubling, misogynist, patriarchal, & homophobic country ruled by an absolute monarchy has to get rid of that image somehow. Luckily, they’re rich. (20 mins)
This week in culture: “After winning the World Cup, O’Hara walked up to the stands and kissed her girlfriend… She just had an affectionate moment with her partner, then continued her life as normal, because what she did is normal and should not require an explanation.”—All the ways the USWNT’s open queerness matters. To get to know a place, go to the grocery store. Stop with the whole “My girlfriend isn’t hungry” thing on menus.
This week in book stuff: Very intrigued by Three Women, and also still dying to read Ruth Reichl’s memoir, Save Me The Plums. In advance of my Spain trip, on the lookout for books by Spanish and Portuguese women writers; if you know any, let me know!
Song of the week:
“Possibilities” by The Glands sounds like a million of my favorite ‘90s songs put together.
The Interwebs isn’t gone for good
Hit reply to say hi, now or in the months to come