It’s hard to admit this on my blog that features the word ‘creative’ in the title, but I’ve been creatively blocked for a while now when it comes to my own projects (as you might have guessed by the lack of posts recently).
I have a bad habit of starting up something creative with great gusto and spending loads of time on it but then giving up as soon as the going gets tough – or when I realise that I just can’t carve out that much time on a regular basis.
I’m well aware that starting small is the key to establishing a new habit but even when I’ve tried to keep things small in the past, things have somehow got out of hand. My Mad Genius “Micro-Guides” are a good example of this. There was very little that was “micro” about them in reality because I didn’t set clear constraints in advance and each ended up taking a considerable amount of work to produce. And for various reasons I’ve never quite finished the series of 6 I planned to write (although I do still plan to remedy this at some point before the next ice age).
So I was delighted when my online pal and accomplished illustrator Cathryn, aka concretemoomin, shared the idea of “mini time capsules” on her blog. The idea comes from the talented photographer/videographer Xanthe Berkeley who shares weekly mini films of her weekend adventures on Instagram to great effect.
Here was something truly tiny to try – Instagram limits video uploads to 15 seconds (except for advertisers who are allowed to upload 30). And if I stuck to one video a week, this would surely be a manageable and sustainable project to try! Thankfully I had already filmed some footage that week from our trip to Torquay for a family wedding. I shared the video on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and it got a really nice reaction from friends and family.
I was delighted to be invited to take part in an interview for Radio Enso, a fantastic podcast by Gregory Berg, who I met in Portland at WDS 2012 and who lives in San Diego.
Greg is a true gent, asks fantastic questions and once you hear his voice I think you’ll agree he was born to be a radio host. In fact he recently celebrated 130 episodes, three years on the air and 200,000 listens overall!
We talked about some of my favourite topics, which it turns out are also close to Greg’s heart – meditation, masculinity, music and the DIY ethos, and making a living from creative work for clients whilst also juggling personal projects.
Another week of podcasts for you, most of which ended up having a train metaphor running throughout – plus I answer a comment from a listener on last week’s round-up post.
To catch up just go to the SoundCloud Playlist and you can listen to all the podcasts so far.
Well I’m pleased to say I’ve managed to keep up with recording my new daily podcast for the Sustainably Creative One Thing a Day in May challenge so far (the rules stipulate 5 days per week).
So for those of you who haven’t spotted these on my various social media accounts, or if you simply missed one or two or more of these, here’s a handy round up of the week’s recordings.
A video of Future Islands performing on David Letterman has gone viral. Why? [Warning – this article contains very strong language.]
Freedom in the present moment comes from letting go of the need to know what will happen in the future.
From trusting that you will make the right decisions if you listen to your heart, your gut instincts and feelings, and ignoring the constant chatter of the “monkey mind”.
Freedom comes from letting yourself ‘be’. Accepting who you are. Not forcing yourself to be something you’re not.
Caring for others is an essential part of life, but can’t we do that without sacrificing our own happiness in the process? We shouldn’t be required to live up to other people’s expectations if they are no longer in alignment with who we are and what we want out of life.
Society expects us to decide definitively what we want to do with our lives by the time we leave school, or university.
But being a ‘Clear-Minded Creative’ doesn’t mean you know exactly what you’re doing. That wouldn’t be very interesting!
It means you accept that you may never know – but that you keep trying and experimenting anyway.
One year after Fabian Kruse and I first began our ‘podcast with no name’, we’ve arrived at, in our usual leisurely fashion, the 10th episode of what came to be known as ‘Mountain Shores: The (Un)Productivity Podcast’.
This bumper festive episode also features our regular guest/co-host Michael Nobbs from Sustainably Creative.
You can hear it below if you’re reading this in your web browser, or you can find it (and all of the previous episodes) at iTunes, Stitcher, or mountainshores.net. I recommend the latter, as you can also read the full details including show notes and feast your eyes on the brilliant ‘Morrissey ruins Christmas’ picture by Jim’ll Paint It in its full glory!
Podcast: Play in new window
p.s. this might be a good time to check out my ‘bah humbug’ post from last year: 5 Ways to Stay Sane During the Festive Season
Some pics from our trip to Montreal in October.
This is how I lived my life for years and years. I drifted through the day at the mercy of chance and happenstance. Whatever came along, I did it.
If you’re a writer or an artist, you can’t live like that.
You have to run your day. You can’t let your day run you.
You must roll out of bed each morning with an unshakeable focus and intention. Your novel, your start-up, your movie. That’s your day. That’s why you’re here.
Steven Pressfield – Managing Your Day
I like sci-fi because of its sense of possibility. For any creative person, it offers the ability to explore space and time, giving a potentially unlimited canvas for the imagination.
I’m also a big believer in the importance of ‘fandom’. Fans, the so-called geeks who aren’t afraid to demonstrate their love for their favourite TV shows, films, superhero characters and bands – often unjustly get a bad press.
But from music zines to cosplay to fan fiction, these fans display tons of creativity and often keep ideas alive that shortsighted industry types do their utmost to sabotage.
It’s amazing, and heartening to think that a ‘daft’ idea about a man who travels through space and time in a Police Box that is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside, could last for 50 years and bring so much joy to so many people.
I had tears in my eyes and fire in my heart by the time I finished this book, which charts Sean Platt’s journey from working in his father’s flower shop to full-time fiction writer.
I discovered Sean via his site Ghostwriter Dad (you can now find him at seanmplatt.com). His book Writing Online makes a great companion to this one, with loads of great advice for writers. This book however is much more personal and as a result was even more inspiring – and I believe will be for any writer.