The Beating Heart of Creative Work

Social Media Detox Project: Day 29

I’m having fun diving deeper into the characters I’m creating for my novel.

Figuring out all their quirks, and how the different world-building elements affect their lives and personalities is an interesting way to examine my own worldview.

I guess I’m learning more about myself, as I slowly uncover the beating heart of my creations.

What I Did Today

Exercise

Novel writing

Posted a YouTube video

Writing critique for a friend

Something I Read Today

“The veined stone will be his monument, when his own veins are drained by an embalmer; when his limbs are set like marble, an inscription of his virtues will be picked out in gold.” -From Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Something I Learned Today

I need to continue to remain aware of my self-doubt, but not let it take control over me. I need to continue believing in what I’m doing and allow the flicker of what I’m trying to say shine through everything I create.

Sluggish Change

Social Media Detox Project: Day 28

Change is hard.

Change doesn’t happen overnight.

Change often feels like a slog.

And it happens so slowly that we don’t really notice it unless we’re actively keeping track of it.

This is why bullet journaling has been so beneficial to me. With it, I can evaluate what I did in a given week or month, and use my entries as a reminder that I am, in fact, moving forward.

Because some days it feels like I’m not.

What I Did Today

Novel writing

Video editing

Family time at the movies

Something I Read Today

People Don’t Change

“(Unless they want to)

Humans are unique in their ability to willingly change. We can change our attitude, our appearance and our skillset.

But only when we want to.

The hard part, then, isn’t the changing it.

It’s the wanting it.” -From Seth’s Blog, People Don’t Change by Seth Godin

Something I Learned Today

That my unscripted YouTube videos are kind of ramble-y. I think I need to do something about that.

Creation, Nature, Video

Social Media Detox Project: Day 27

I really love creating.

The satisfaction I get from forming something from nothing is indescribable. I love the fluidity, the multifaceted nature of creation.

There are just so many damn ways to create.

For instance, I’ve been recording a lot of video, messing around with YouTube and different video editing software, lately.

I’m also writing two different novels, this blog, freelance writing for a startup website, developing marketing ideas for my cousin’s video game, singing in a band, and songwriting.

Because of how much fun I’m having with all these projects, I don’t really watch very much TV these days, or use social media at all–unless you count YouTube as social media, which, at this point, I don’t (I count it more as a creative tool).

In addition to all that, more projects are in the works. These involve video, which is why I’ve been leaning into it more.

Another reason I’ve been loving video, specifically, is that it has encouraged me to get outside more. I now pay attention to the smaller things, like leaves, flowers, crabs, rocks, knotholes inside trees. I get the benefit of absorbing the loveliness of nature and getting a killer tan (j/k I burn really badly) while also creating something–having my cake and eating it, too.

Maybe someday I’ll become a nature documentary filmmaker or something.

Planet Earth, here I come.

What I Did Today

Exercise

Novel writing

Family time at the park

Video recording/editing

Something I Read Today

“If he gets after me again I’m going to kill him, and if I kill him they’ll hang me, and if they’re going to hang me I want a better reason.” -From Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Something I Learned Today

The basics of Adobe After Effects, and how to dynamically link it with Premiere Pro.

What You Can Control and What You Can’t

Focus on the former.

Ignore the latter.

If you do that enough, you may find that eventually the things that once seemed out of your control are not such a big deal.

What I Did Today

Exercise

Novel writing

Family time

Something I Read Today

“The only way to really care is to have human beings who care (and to give them the authority and resources to demonstrate that.)

Once you’ve got that, it’s pretty easy to show that you do.” -From Seth’s Blog, Too Big To Care by Seth Godin

Something I Learned Today

That I think I’m ready to quit my day job sooner rather than later.

Ask Yourself the Right Questions About Your Life

Social Media Detox Project: Day 25

We all have things we’d like to change.

But, a lot of the time, we find the change never comes.

This is because we aren’t thinking about personal change enough.

And when we do think about change, we see it as a monolith, a whole big mess of problems we need to fix. So, we shrug and say we’ll deal with it another day.

And “another day” never comes, because we are afraid of this perceived monolith. If we even take the time to do a little self-reflection at all, and evaluate the areas we are lacking, we see so many problems that we become overwhelmed and give up before we even get started.

The thing is, change needs to be broken down. If we have a large number of problems in front of us, the best strategy is to focus on one at a time. We can’t do everything at once; we don’t have the capacity for that.

Real change requires real focus and real commitment; it is not something you can half-ass.

You have to be honest with yourself. You have to ask yourself questions about why you behave the way you do.

If we do not ask ourselves the right questions about our own lives, then we have no hope of finding the answer.

What I Did Today

Exercise

Novel writing

Blog writing

Edited video

Something I Read Today

“It is important to remember that the environment drives our good behaviors as well as our bad ones. People who seem to stick to good habits with ease are often benefitting from an environment that makes those behaviors easier.

Meanwhile, people who struggle to succeed could be fighting an uphill battle against their environment. What often looks like a lack of willpower is actually the result of a poor environment.” -From Atomic Habits, by James Clear

Something I Learned Today

If you focus on things you can control, you may eventually find things which were once out of your control are no longer so far out of reach.

The Reason No One’s Reading What You Write

Social Media Detox Project: Day 24

Because what you write isn’t good enough.

Not yet, anyway.

But that’s because you haven’t been doing it for very long, or you just don’t do it enough.

As that realization sets in, this is where most people typically stop.

“Why should I even try?” They say.

Because the other ones who succeed ask themselves that exact same question

And then they keep going.

Just shouting at people to follow you doesn’t work, you can’t pull people by a leash. If you try to do that, the leash will snap.

They have to come willingly.

What I Did Today

Exercise

Novel writing

Time with friends

Something I Read Today

“Direct marketers don’t care how many people they reach.

They care what percentage take action.

Brand marketers have trouble measuring action, so all they have to work with is reach.

If you can measure, stop worrying about big numbers when it comes to reach. Run away from the Super Bowl or a billboard on the main highway.

Small audiences are your friend, because small audiences are specific, and specific increases your percentage.” -From Seth’s Blog, Comparing % and Mass by Seth Godin

Something I Learned Today

We are all wells, but when it comes to anything, we only have a limited amount of water.

I think too many of us are wells with only a bucket’s worth full of water, which is why we burn out so easily.

Adjusting Habits

Social Media Detox Project: Day 22

This morning I decided to wake up at 4 and exercise.

Normally, I exercise after I get home from work in the evening, but I’m doing a little experiment.

The idea was to front load exercise so I don’t have to do it in the evening when I’m already picking up my kid from her mom’s, trying to figure out dinner, and then trying to fit in time for writing, editing video or something otherwise productive.

Now it’s 7:30 in the evening and I’m already pooped!

I plan to do this for a week or two, and see how it goes. I’m hoping it will make my evenings a little more structured.

So far, I have spent the evening watching Vikings, so, while not the most productive use of time, it is instead something I will label a “transition phase”.

What I Did Today

Exercise

Novel writing

Watched Vikings

Ate a grilled cheese

Something I Read Today

“You are sure to be censured by malevolent Criticks and Bug Writers, who will abuse you while you are serving them, and wound your Character in nameless Pamphlets, thereby resembling those little dirty stinking Insects that attack us only in the dark, disturbing our Repose, molesting and wounding us while our Sweat and Blood is contributing to their Subsistence.” -Ben Franklin To Robert Morris, as read in The Quartet by Joseph J. Ellis

Something I Learned Today

Sleep is my best friend.