Affirmations 3.6.20

Reminders about self-help and productivity from a creative with a day job.

A few reminders and strategies for myself this week:

  • Write Down 10 Ideas a Day. I love this exercise I heard about on the School of Greatness podcast, in an interview with James Altucher. LEt them be shitty ideas or inklings or intuitions. Let’s train the brain to be comfortable in the mindset of generating dots to connect later. It’s all about building muscle memory for the creative brain.
  • It’s time to care about the right things, and give. I want to put together a creativity workshop in town, but I’ve been fearful of the commitment. Nothing else is stopping me but my own insecurity over what I have to offer and what I can say. I get tired of looking inward to see what’s wrong. In reality, helping others is one thing that can heal what’s going on inside. I am committed to this mission already, so why not continue?
  • Find collaborators. It’s easy. I connected with a musician on Reddit and shared some lyrics. This is the beginning of a new habit of mine:
  • Scribe Lunch Crunch – I wrote song lyrics on my lunch. I’ve been so short on time this week that I made a choice to actually finish something. So I set a strict deadline: I had 30 minutes to write a cohesive set of lyrics. I recorded audio of this quick writing session so that I could listen in on the process. I want to get better at articulating what I am doing. I want to get better at explaining my creative process. May become a regular thing! Point being: Walk the talk. There is enough time in the day to do so.
  • Nourishment. I picked up Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing. I cannot believe I have not read this. Growing up, I loved Ray Bradbury’s approachable nature in all of his work. I’m going back to my old heroes a little bit. That’s fine too.
  • Rest is good. I don’t want to do anything for a day or so. This week has been one of productivity, but I will choose to make time for my family now.

As always, make art, make haste.

Much love,

j

Affirmations 3.3.20

Daily lessons in self-help and productivity from a creative with a day job.

  • It’s true that the best way to help yourself is to help others. I have phases where I obsess over maintaining procedures for personal growth until I get burned out. While it’s always on my mind, I force myself to look outward, stop being afraid, and try lending a hand to others. I talked to my Mom today and I shared a few things I had been picking up on self care and changing your mindset. She valued that information and said she would try it. It made me so happy to know I was reaching out and offering some value to a person I love so much. It made for a day full of optimism, because I shared and communicated. This is what it’s all about.
  • I pushed myself to the limit yesterday, but every now and then, that is what we have to do to make progress. I stayed up until 2 am to finish a major chunk of the script I’ve been avoiding for months. I hope to finish the second half in the next day or so. Giving up sleep is a trade off I often can’t afford, but last night, it was worth it. I proved to myself I could commit to a deadline. I marked it off my list, and now I am compelled to get the rest of the week taken care of.
  • Reach out and find your people. Those who believe in you and want you to succeed. We artists need to find each other and lift one another up. There’s enough of us out there. Make art, make haste.

Much love,

j

thinking out loud about managing the four parts of life and how they meld.

A Productivity Exercise for a Working Class Creative.

When I stop writing blog posts, I’m at home ignoring the internet, being a father and husband, as well as watching Schitt’s Creek. Since my last post, I’ve ruminated on the following. Life can have compartments, but they’re stitched onto the same satchel. A satchel I can still load up with all of my favorite priorities and motivations. After all this time of people telling me this, I have concluded for myself that organizing and compartmentalizing are two different things. Most of my life, I have prevented different areas of my life from touching in order to prevent cross-contamination. This is such a childish, desperate argument to keep track of life. Nothing works better than bits of your life clashing into one another like a personalized hadron collider of feelings, tasks, and all other life happenings. Each part of your life strengthens the other. That is what I am after, and what I want to achieve. I’ve solidified my theory that life can be broken into four manageable areas of focus: The Self, The Emotional Home, The Nuts and Bolts House, and Community.

  • Self. If I want to do something that will keep me physically healthy, emotionally strengthened, creatively or intellectually fulfilled: This is where it’s going to go.
  • Home. The emotional well-being of the relationships in my life, from my wife and son, to the rest of my family, friends and loved ones. This means commitments, following up, being attentive, and present. Always be present.
  • House. A house with walls and a roof is a practical thing. I imagine that any task or responsibility to keep the house intact is more of a nuts and bolts endeavor. To keep the house going, we gotta pay bills, do chores, schedule appointments, and probably plan for the future, if possible. The adult shit.
  • Community. Showing up and reaching out for the causes and things that make your community better. Volunteering, sharing, and giving, are proof that things are going well, and it’s a natural extension of all the other shit going well.

Made sense to me. I drew up a new spread reflecting these ideas and it turned out to be just four checklists alongside my usual spread. It worked surprisingly well last week, and yesterday, I noticed I could clearly see where the imbalances were occurring, and what areas I needed to invest time and effort into. Will report again this coming week on this system of productivity. Wish me luck!

What do I want to do this week? Aside from husband/father duty:

  1. Get the script draft done tonight.
  2. Publish Creative Drive Episodes (backlog from last week).
  3. Our Kid’s Asleep Episode coming soon feat. a friend!
  4. The goddamn cat boxes.
  5. Put the phone down.

Looks like a plan. To be a working class creative is a give and take. More to come. Much love,

j

How do you find time to make art? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Mango Resistance: A poem from a prompt (10 Minute Sprint)

I’m not as still as you want me to be

Supposedly, I have rage underneath

Come closer,

the surface glides but the shades and the tones they skip

like rocks over the water and dirt cycling into the blades of green

I’m not as smooth as you’d like to believe

lopsided beating heart racing to burst at the gleams

and everybody belongs to the lines and

object to the grooves and oh, so disapprove of my

piously round and

unabashedly scandalous

shaped obstination

curvature, foul and indentured

soulful as fruit on a useful, yet lifeless plank.

j

OKA Podcast #36 – Mrs. Maisel, Circe, and The Invention of Lying

It’s go time:

Stop by and say hi at ourkidsasleep@gmail.com

Much love,

J&M

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even Apollo was afraid of the dark sometimes.

Apollo, you froze

as the sunlight of your eyes grew cold

the lyre, smashed across these cobblestone streets of Epidaurus

where you sought sanctuary

when the flowing melodies ceased as water in hard frost, unlike before

the day you remembered this place yielded no crops

in refuge of quiet, inquisitive starlight as you looked up

for once in your life.

Do you mend the sores of your intuition?

Your moral infection, rampant, plaguing the shoe less mendicant

when the bow became the archway to your temple of wax

and the arrow you left behind, atop the mangled olive tree

the one the muses grew bored of pursuing, on your behalf

before you knew if you had anything to give to your son

before you knew of Daphne, and how it would feel to watch her leaves depart her person.

And I recite what I see for when I close my eyes I see fear, instead of the tomorrows hidden in your eyelids.

The city waited for you to rise

and I also waited to see if you could heal yourself, you shining oracle:

be fearless again.