I'm one of those people who loves to do it myself. I want to figure out how things work, to learn from experience (aka the hard way). That's why for The Streetwise Cycle I created my own website, recorded my own podcast, took my own photos (mostly) and used cool tools I found around the web to share the stories. It's why you'll find my book on Lulu and Smashwords.

But it's more than that. It's an aesthetic. In the world of music, they call it "lo-fi" and it's a movement. Creating amazing music by using the limitations and imperfections that come with your home studio or with recording on the street.
    
This aesthetic has been around a long time. Think about all the bootleg Grateful Dead cassettes fans used to record and pass around. In print, think of all those photocopied 'zines you used to find in your local, indie bookstore.

Web templates and print-on-demand technologies allow us to create prettier, glossier DIY books than ever before, in the same way that digital recording equipment lets musicians create more amazing sound at home than in the old days.

Still, there's something to that scratchy lo-fi sound and that smudged 'zine look that gives the work life and personality. The brilliant web video shot in a friend's back yard. They're like the delicious misshapen homemade cookies a friend brings to a party. The imperfections are part of what I love. They tell me that real people made them; they show the hard work it took to make them.

So I say do it yourself in literature, music and life. When it comes to your art - your writing, your music - give it your all to make it the best possible. When it comes to sharing it with the world, let your heart and your hard work show. 

If my lo-fi aesthetic could be boiled down to a bumper sticker, it would read like this:
 More human, less perfect.
 


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