Linkages

(This piece by Oliver Burkeman is the best I've read this year, so far.)
And mediocrity is cunning: it can disguise itself as achievement… Throw yourself at every opportunity and you’ll end up doing unimportant stuff – and badly. You can’t fight this with motivational tricks or cheesy mission statements: you need a discipline, a rule you apply daily, to counter the pull of the sub-par… Mediocrity is no mere character flaw, but a deep tendency of the universe, to be ceaselessly fought, with no hope of final victory. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.

Beware the Gravitational Pull of Mediocrity

People know that boasting is unseemly, but a certain amount of self-promotion has become obligatory in publishing, with authors sometimes contractually obliged to blog, tweet or maintain some kind of other social media presence. Expanding your ego becomes part of the job and what is initially undertaken as a necessary evil can easily morph into habitual self-aggrandisement.

Why All Writers Are Vain

I mentioned before that there are many like me. Outliers, outsiders, passing as non-Muslims in the vicinity of other Muslims. When confronted, our stance on religion is waived off as a rebellious phase or an urge to fit in with the dominant non-Muslim society we live in. Despite this feeling of not belonging, we are, generally speaking, not tormented by this existence. We live very healthy, dynamic, and diverse lives. We've established connections and common ground with many different groups of people and we don't feel like pariahs. We've accepted that until a drastic cultural change happens, we're going to continue to lead dual or multiple lives.

Practicing Islam in Short Shorts