My breakthrough COVID

#69: Dwelling on down-time, a Pontcha Surf Club feature, and a peak behind the scenes of tour


After becoming symptomatic for COVID last Monday, I definitely didn’t send an issue of Miscellanea on Tuesday — but I did feel better by Thursday! That said, quarantine has accounted for the least inspiring string of days I’ve had in a very long time. If nothing else, you don’t want COVID for the debilitating loneliness.

What I’m Dwelling On… 🤔

My good friend Nick shared this in a caption, and it struck a chord in me because it echoes much of what I’m trying to do here:

“We only have ourselves to give and so much of what makes us who we are is what we’re into.”

What we’re into is decided by our passions and in our free-time, much of this the down-time in which our thoughts are not trying to produce so much as being prodded by all the leftover space.

In the same way that about 90% of communication is non-verbal, could it be that 90% of creative work is non-work? Like an open-ended walk that takes us wherever may seem interesting, creative work requires that open-ended connection – the space to explore new places and ideas. We cannot just happen upon things unless we start walking towards something.

Author James Clear put it this way:

“Maintain a bias toward action, but leave room for the unexpected.”

…and Mason Currey of Subtle Maneuvers put it this way:

“So much of the real work there is thinking and daydreaming and problem-solving around the writing. Some of this happens when you’re sitting at your desk, but more of it happens when you’re taking a walk, doing the dishes, taking a shower, watering the houseplants, or engaged in other rote, lightly physical activities that tend to get the mind wandering in productive directions.”

The reason I’m thinking about these things is because I’ve been in a bit of a rut. Nevermind the quarantine — I just haven’t seemed to make much creative progress lately. So I’m trying to think through it all, and figure out what kind of activities are going to spark the next wave of creative work for me.

I’d hoped that getting on the road with friends would be a nice outlet for me — to let the brain breathe and wander. But I’ll admit that coming back with COVID might’ve thrown a wrench in that. While hoping for a breakthrough of sorts, the only thing that broke through was an infectious virus. Back to the drawing board.


Some things I enjoyed reading 🗞️

“Louisiana's eroding coastline provides a dynamic jigsaw puzzle to those willing to ride its waves, a group of about 70 dedicated surfers. They are made up of a combination of old and new — old style, new mindset.”
Louisiana's best kept secret: Surfers find a sweet spot off the coast of Grand Isle

“There is a desperate hope that if we all become perfect enough and demand the same perfection from others, there will be no more harm or suffering.”
Why People Are So Awful Online

“A castle raid is worse if its inhabitants are slaughtered and all its jewels stolen; with vaccines in place, those cases are rare—many of them are getting replaced with lighter thefts, wherein the virus has time only to land a couple of punches before it’s booted out the door.”
Your Vaccinated Immune System Is Ready for Breakthroughs

For your pleasure 🎧

The ultimate summer bop from my friend Judson’s new project, world wide web:

Extra, extra 📷

A quick peak behind the curtains – from my time on tour with Motel Radio and Summer Salt (just imagine the viral loads, floating in the blank space).


You may have noticed some aesthetic upgrades around here. Miscellanea needed some polishing! That’s the pleasant and calming illustration work of Ryan Asher McShane.