Why you should let this comic book writer inspire you to be more productive, using text messages.

People are always looking for that "one weird trick" that will rocket them to success.

Life hacks are up there with cats and reaction GIFs on the list of Things the Internet Loves. Everybody's eager to find that perfect shortcut for living a full, productive life without actually doing anything. There are probably more Super Clever How-To Guides for Being Awesome online than there are people in the world. Which kinda makes sense when you think about it: We still haven't found the One True Way to Do Things Better/Stronger/Faster, so we have to keep hunting for the next best option.

(Unless someone has figured it out, and they're just not telling us. In which case, not cool.)


But if there's anyone who knows how to get sh*t done, it's comic book writer (and certified BAMF) Kelly Sue DeConnick.

Kelly Sue is probably best known for her work on Marvel's "Captain Marvel" comic book, which inspired a rabid legion of fans calling themselves "The Carol Corps" after the main character, Carol Danvers. DeConnick also writes the death western "Pretty Deadly" and the femmesploitation prison book "Bitch Planet" while running a film/TV production company with her husband (and fellow comic book writer) Matt Fraction and raising two adorably weird kids (plus she invented the "Sexy Lamp Test," which is kinda like the Bechdel Test only better). "Vanity Fair" calls her "The Future of Women in Comics."

So basically, she's got a lot on her plate. But somehow, she gets it all done and still has time to engage with fans on Twitter and Tumblr.


Kelly Sue (kneeling, center) with a few members of the Carol Corps. Photo via Flickr.

DeConnick has also volunteered to be your very own personal life coach/motivational speaker (via text message).

You don't have to follow Kelly Sue's 3 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily schedule to be productive.

All you need to do is text @bitchesg to (971) 244.8342, and Kelly Sue will send you a daily dose of how-to hints and motivational ass-kickery.

She calls it B*tches Get Sh*t Done because as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler famously declared, women who are often considered such tend to also be renowned for their remarkable levels of productivity. Translation:

Of course, they had to censor themselves for NBC (Kelly Sue has no such qualms). GIF from "Saturday Night Live."

Kelly Sue launched B*tches Get Sh*t Done in January 2014. She was mostly just messing around after hearing about an SMS subscription service called Remind which allows teachers to mass-text their students with reminders and assignments (which, to me, sounds absolutely horrible). In this case, Kelly Sue is the teacher, and the 2,000 people who subscribe to the service are her productivity disciples.

Kelly Sue being infinitely more productive than you. Photo by Terra Clarke Olsen/Flickr.

So no, sadly, you're not the only one she's texting (sorry). But there's something about that little message that feels remarkably personal — moreso than, say, an email, or even a social media feed that you have to manually scroll through. When you hear that little ping in the middle of the day (or in my case, that R2-D2 bleep-bloop) signifying a new text, it's almost like Auntie Kelly Sue is looking over your shoulder and reminding you that you're awesome and that you're doing a good job but that seriously you need to get to work.

B*tches Get Sh*t Done might not change your life, but it will nag you with positivity until your sh*t gets done.

B*tches Get Sh*t Done's daily inspiration comes in many different forms. But perhaps what's best about it is that it doesn't pretend to be some deep, profound revelation that will change your life. It's a friendly, positive reminder that the best way to get sh*t done is to, well, get sh*t done.

Here are a few of my favorites, courtesy of the BGSD Tumblr archive:

http://bgsd-archive.tumblr.com/post/110652616978/being-uncomfortable-is-a-reasonable-price-to-pay

http://bgsd-archive.tumblr.com/post/110735923974/stop-for-a-sec-find-a-mirror-tent-your-fingers

http://bgsd-archive.tumblr.com/post/109790123084/someone-somewhere-is-playing-eye-of-the-tiger

http://bgsd-archive.tumblr.com/post/113204411771/itll-go-better-tomorrow-bgsd

http://bgsd-archive.tumblr.com/post/125526503433/12-of-sharks-glow-not-sure-why-i-find-that

http://bgsd-archive.tumblr.com/post/126442172306/overwhelmed-1-thing-at-a-time-small-bites

http://bgsd-archive.tumblr.com/post/126350499906/bitches-get-shit-d-monday-fresh-start-clean

At the end of the day, it's still up you to make sh*t happen. Still, sometimes it helps to have a swift kick in the app.

(That app being Messages. See what I did there?)

To me, the best part about BGSD is the fact that there's no new age-y mantra about it. It's a refreshingly realistic approach that's obvious and yet so easy to forget: You get sh*t done by doing sh*t, so stop searching for shortcuts and just do the sh*t.

That's why it's nice to be reminded every now and then and to have someone else tell you that you're on the right path but that also maybe it would help if you went for a walk or wrote out your to-do list and actually stuck to it this time and made sure to really cross things off as you go and also don't forget that thing that you've been putting off but really need to do!

I could keep going, but what's the point? I got sh*t that needs doin'! (Like filing this story, for example.)

Kelly Sue being more effing metal than you. Photo by Pat Loika/Flickr (text added).

Family

Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

RELATED: This fascinating comic explains why we shouldn't use some Native American designs.

Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

RELATED: This aboriginal Australian used kindness and tea to trump the racism he overheard.

Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

popular

Gerrymandering is a funny word, isn't it? Did you know that it's actually a mashup of the name "Gerry" and the word "salamander"? Apparently, in 1812, Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry had a new voting district drawn that seemed to favor his party. On a map, the district looked like a salamander, and a Boston paper published it with the title The GerryMander.

That tidbit of absurdity seems rather tame compared to an entire alphabet made from redrawn voting districts a century later, and yet here we are. God bless America.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Facebook / Maverick Austin

Your first period is always a weird one. You know it's going to happen eventually, but you're not always expecting it. One day, everything is normal, then BAM. Puberty hits you in a way you can't ignore.

One dad is getting attention for the incredibly supportive way he handled his daughter's first period. "So today I got 'The Call,'" Maverick Austin started out a Facebook post that has now gone viral.

The only thing is, Austin didn't know he got "the call." His 13-year-old thought she pooped her pants. At that age, your body makes no sense whatsoever. It's a miracle every time you even think you know what's going on.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Wikipedia

Women in country music are fighting to be heard. Literally. A study found that between 2000 and 2018, the amount of country songs on the radio by women had fallen by 66%. In 2018, just 11.3% of country songs on the radio were by women. The statistics don't exist in a vacuum. There are misogynistic attitudes behind them. Anyone remember the time radio consultant Keith Hill compared country radio stations to a salad, saying male artists are the lettuce and women are "the tomatoes of our salad"...? Air play of female country artists fell from 19% of songs on the radio to 10.4% of songs on the radio in the three years after he said that.

Not everyone thinks that women are tomatoes. This year's CMA Awards celebrated women, and Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles saw the opportunity to bring awareness to this issue and "inspire conversation about country music's need to play more women artists on radio and play listings," as Nettles put it on her Instagram. She did it in a uniquely feminine way – by making a fashion statement that also made a statement-statement.

Keep Reading Show less
popular