“Everything starts with the truth and goes somewhere else”
The Edinburgh-based FOUND Arts Collective have followed their brilliant (and BAFTA-winning) Cybraphon project with a new interactive sound installation called #unravel. They’ve collaborated with songwriter and storyteller extraordinaire Aidan Moffat, former frontman of Arab Strap and who recently collaborated with Bill Wells for the excellent ‘Everything’s Getting Older’ project.
I spoke to FOUND and Aidan Moffat at the launch of the project yesterday at Edinburgh’s Inspace Gallery and cobbled together this video today (despite a number of technical difficulties!) to give you an idea of what the project involves.
Fear not though as there will be a proper short documentary about the project coming soon – for more details see the official website.
Don’t worry, I’ve not suddenly been overcome by a massive dose of hubris, but I am on a little bit of a happy high, because The Clear-Minded Creative been included in highly respected Scottish culture magazine The List‘s ahem, list.. of Best Scottish Websites, coming in at no.14 out of the 30 they mention.
The List do clarify that they were looking for unique and interesting ideas rather than the biggest and best known sites (thankfully for me!) But of course some of my other favourite Scottish blogs are notable by their absence, as always happens with these things.
Once the full article is up on the List’s website I’ll share it here. But for now, here is an extract from the kind words that List writer Kirsten Innes penned about this blog:
The most recent start-up in our list, Milo McLaughlin’s fascinating blog does exactly what it says on the tin: it helps creative people stay focused and, er, clear-minded… McLaughlin is no catchphrase-spouting self-help guru, though. The blog is equal parts personal journey and guide, and was set up as much to help him trace his own clear-minded path as to assist others with theirs.
Which makes me extremely happy as it’s exactly what I intended this blog to be. Sometimes, when you feel like giving up, you get just the encouragement you need – and this, combined with everyone’s generous comments and tweets regarding my last post, have been really touching and helped me to stay positive -so thanks.
If you’re in Edinburgh or Glasgow pick up the latest issue of The List now from all good newsagents – it also comes with a massive free Edinburgh Festival guide.
Hi and welcome back to The Clear-Minded Creative. As I’m writing this, it’s the beginning of July 2011, which means the year has reached the half-way point. And this blog has now been going for 6 months too. So it seems a good time for a little reflection.
I feel like I’ve achieved quite a bit since the beginning of the year. Three things that have happened since January 1st are amongst the biggest achievements of my life:
Starting this blog and getting a positive reaction to it
Getting consistent paid freelance copywriting work which I enjoy
Getting married (ok this one should have been no.1!)
All three of course are not just down to me – they’re all down to the help and support of other people.
So I feel especially grateful to have those people in my life as well as these amazing opportunities to reach new people through the blog and gain new experiences through my freelance work.
So why do I feel like giving up?
It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve given up on a good thing. In fact, I’ve done it consistently. For example I used to write a regular column/produce a podcast for a local magazine, but I gave it up as I felt the work involved far outweighed the rewards.
In retrospect it wasn’t always for completely the wrong reasons. Making some space in my schedule allowed me to get paid freelance work, after all. But now I feel like giving up again, even though I know I’m headed in a positive direction.
The trouble is, I got impatient. I thought that now I had a bit of freelance work, maybe I could leave my day job. Maybe if I just got a bit more work, I could give up the security of the job which pays my mortgage and bills.
So I took on a few other pieces of work, and subsequently struggled to get them done. Not only that, but my work at my day job has also suffered – the worst of both worlds. Now I realise it was far too soon to expect to make a comfortable living freelance.
What’s even worse though is I’ve failed to keep to the schedule I promised to on this blog, even though I reduced the posting frequency recently from twice to once a week. I haven’t even managed that. And it stings.
Because I know I can do better.
And because I’ve become the polar opposite of clear-minded again. I’m overwhelmed, confused and frozen by indecision. And I’m trying to escape through reading all the blogs I follow in Google Reader and surfing my social media feeds – which only makes my mind more cluttered.
But hey, we all have relapses right? We all need to take a step back, reflect on what went right and do more of that and less of the other.
So I’m not going to give up. I’m just going to ask you to be kind and be a little patient with me, as I try and get back to full speed again. And I’m going to be a little more patient with myself and my situation and not try to force things to happen that aren’t meant to happen yet.
If you’ve not achieved your goals so far this year, could you turn things around? Or could you at least be a little kinder to yourself and celebrate the things you have achieved?
I hope so.
Here’s a wee video I made at the weekend to mark the six months mark of the blog and with a few hints of what’s to come for the rest of the year.
Thanks for sticking around so far. Let me know in the comments where you find yourself at the mid-point of the year and if you have a goal to achieve by the end of it. From now on I really want to bring the focus here back to how I can help others instead of moaning on about my own problems all of the time!
p.s. there’s more info on the record I mention in the video over at Song, By Toad.
p.p.s. In an effort to spend less time messing about with social media, I’m going to put Share Your Wares Sunday on pause for the time being, probably just for the rest of the summer. Thanks very much to everyone who’s taken part over the last few months.
Hello! I’m excited to kick of 2011 with my first ‘proper’ post on this new blog – and I decided to record a quick video just to explain a bit further what you can expect.
In the video I talk briefly about the need for creative people to gain clarity, consistency and confidence in order to move ahead with their work.
The lack of any of these can seriously hold you back – and coincidentally, straight after I recorded it I was checking my Google Reader and found this excellent video by Chris Brogan on the exact same topic: My Escape Velocity – Confidence is a Key
I think he might be copying me with that beard though..
I’ve now also added an About Page in case you’re interested, and over the next few weeks I’ll be exploring what I mean by Clear-Minded Creativity a little further. In fact, posting here regularly is my ‘blogging new year resolution’, as you can see from this post over at Blogging Teacher in which I and 34 other bloggers reveal our intentions for the year.
Image: I Think I'm Starting to Crack by Nina Matthews Photography
Hello and welcome to The Clear-Minded Creative, thanks for stopping by
I’ll be posting new content here every week starting from January 2011. But before we start, you probably want to know what the blog is all about – well if you answer yes to any of the following questions then this is probably the blog for you.
Confused about what you want to do with your life?
Desperate to be more creative, but struggle to find the time?
Forever trying new things but never spending enough time on one thing to get really good at it?
Unable to find a job that you enjoy and truly motivates you?
Stuck in a destructive loop of procrastination and “analysis paralysis” as you flounder from one day to the next in a drunken, confused haze?