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The Artist's Guide to Being 'Woke' with Felonious Munk got a nod from the Podmass crew over at the A.V. Club and we agree: It's one of our best. Click here if you missed it

Hey <<First Name>>
The year is pretty much over.

I don’t want to be pessimistic, but the end of the summer is pretty much the end of the year. Maybe my perspective is due to the fact that I live in a climate with extreme winters, but once cold weather is around the corner, the lively, creative energy I enjoy during the spring and summer starts turning into more conserving, harvesting energy. I focus more on maintaining than innovating. Working on fail-safes vs. taking risks.

If this doesn’t apply to you, then by all means, I won’t put that evil on you Ricky Bobby. But if you wonder why there is less than five full months left in 2016 and you haven’t made good progress on your yearly goals, it is probably because you gave yourself a year to accomplish them. 

I’ve started reading The 12-Week Year by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington, and so far I’ve gotten the following take-aways:

  • Give yourself less time on challenging yet approachable goals to create a sense of urgency.
  • Instead of yearly goals, create life objectives, use these to make three-year goals, and pick 12-week projects based on these goals.
  • Make sure that a day doesn’t go past without making some kind of progress.
  • Create a system of reporting and accountability. If you don’t have an accountability partner, ask someone you know, or even better, use this as an opportunity to build a relationship with a creative peer. At the end of each week, score how much progress you made on your goals (the book talks about this in more detail). 
  • Create some external pressure. While you may be tempted to wait until you have all the pieces done before you tell people about it, identify collaborators, submit your work and so on, if being internally prompted hasn’t worked for you so far, create some external pressures. For example, if you want to have your work in a film festival, find out the deadline and plot your plan backwards.

The book is helpful, but it just reaffirms what most of us know. We get most of our work done when we’re down to the wire. This is just a friendly reminder that in terms of what you want to accomplish for 2016, that’s where we are.

Through The Wire,

This Week's Highwater Podcast: 
Comedian Dave Helem talks Black comedy, the difference between comedians and people who are just funny, RNBs vs. Blipsters, how he'd rather have a good career and a great life than fame, and why Kanye West and Gucci Mane are his role models for physical and spiritual wellness.
Click here to tune in. 
Web-based readers: Welcome! Click here to subscribe!

Highwater Weekly Picks  
Note: Award details and deadlines are subject to change. Consult each individual program's website for the most accurate and up-to-date information. 

  • WRITERS: The Second Annual BuzzFeed Fellowship for Emerging Writers is open for applications. Fellowships are given to four nonfiction writers and include a $12,000 stipend and career mentorship from BuzzFeed’s editorial staff. The fellows spend four months in BuzzFeed’s offices in New York City or Los Angeles and focus on writing personal essays, criticism, and cultural news. Deadline is October 1. Apply here
  • The original King of R&T (Rhythm and Trolling) Frank Ocean dropped a "visual" album on Apple Music yesterday called Endless (like the wait). Clocking in at 45 minutes and untracked, Prince would be so proud, or he would wonder why Frank hasn't put out five albums since Channel Orange  by now, all on his own website, I'm not sure. Allegedly, Boys Don't Cry drops this weekend. Even our favorite artists need extensions on their term papers sometimes. I'll allow it. (Apple Music, for now).
  • The Getdown is six dizzying episodes of music, youth, innocence, love, passion and the kind of cultural and creative breakthroughs that you can only have in the most dire situations. The birth of hip-hop and the plateau of disco get the boisterous Baz Luhrmann treatment and I love it. (Netflix).
If you have any suggestions, questions or submissions for The Highwater Weekly, please send them to

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