Ten Minute Directives.

I’m at lunch and I have ten minutes left. What can I do to make creative progress? I’ve been speaking openly about my creative failures, lack of organization, and artistic aimlessness on my podcast to get a good sense of how to confront it. It’s been fun. So far, my life is starting to become a series of rigid directives in an effort to whip myself into organizational and goal-oriented shape. My goal is to work on my self-care. my creativity, and community output. This is what I got so far:

  • Every Sunday, I will define my weekly goals into achievable directives.
  • Do. Make. Execute. Even if it’s shit, just get in the rhythm of producing instead of pondering.

I’ll talk about the self-care sometime soon, but in terms of creativity and community outreach, there’s a lot you can do in ten minutes. This, I am certain of! The problem is I daydream too much. I tend to posit and keep it all in my head. I must get the word out, I must think out loud, in order to find what will work for me. I hope laying this process out in the open will help you stray readers out there who may be struggling to juggle life, work, and creativity like me. I’m noticing a sea change: Since I’ve been bullet journaling, I’ve been able to take a look at my days and notice how much time I waste during my weekdays. The usual excuse is that I’m too tired from work, or some unforeseen errand came up and now the day is ruined and all is futile because we creative folks are dramatic. Yes, this has been my whiny state of mind for a while now. The hard truth is that all of that time does not go into work or quality time with family either: It ends up washed down the drain on Reddit, reading someone else’s opinions and journeys. There’s a fine balance to be had, and honestly, I am doing awful at it. It’s unacceptable. So in the weeks and months of recent introspection, I forced myself to see what my days actually look like: Where is all this time going? So here I have another experimental plan of attack to attempt in the coming weeks: Use ten minutes on your break to communicate your passion for the arts, reach out to collaborators, and advocate for your creative process every day of the week.

  • 10 Minute Writing Sprint (Poem, Flash Fiction, Monologue, Notes for that BIG Novel, etc.)
  • Share a new Creative Prompt on IG
  • Write a Blog Post (Noteworthy Links from the web, creative status report, posts like this one!)
  • Record the Creative Drive Podcast (~15 mins at lunchtime but still counts).
  • Give shoutouts to artists you care about on your social media platforms.

So much to do. If we look closely, there’s enough time, even for a working class creative. Let’s see how this pans out.

j

All is fleeting. (10 Minute Sprint)

Mateo: Clouds are often magical. I didn’t think I would get there. It’s been 27 years and the spring stuck around a lot longer than we both thought. I saw these clouds lead me to that special place, by pointing at the ground with the shadows, much like an indecisive index finger. These mountains kept me locked in, but I still searched diligently, in the places that I knew and remembered. There was a tree nearby. In the 50 mile radius, there was a patchy cottonwood tree next to a once boisterous creek and I recall we carved our names on it. I was going to meet you there on the 2nd of March, in 1961. I made 30 cents an hour and didn’t know your last name. I found out later it was Henley. And I couldn’t pronounce it. Braceros had to make their way back home after the season came to an end, but I knew I had nothing to return to. Everything I needed was here, waiting by this tree. So why did I not meet you? Why did I leave you there to wait? Did you wait for minutes? Hours? Days? I hope your love has not fermented into hatred for me. I hope the only thing that faded has been the grief, and not the spark in your eye. If the tree still stands, I will find it. If our markings have weathered like a monument on bark, I will find them. It’s taken me 27 years to realize all of it is fleeing. All is fleeting. All of it. Except you.


Felt good to have a writing sprint after such a long while. This one was prompted by one of my prompts on IG under the hashtag #icprompts. Check them out!

Be well. Make art, make haste.

j

CD20 – The Pendulum of Responsibility & Projects with Purpose

Here we go, podcast day!

On this lunchtime podcast recording, I go over the recent surprises that responsibility throws at you, Lucky for us, that work/life pendulum swings just right for us to make the push for creativity. There is time to be fulfilled, there is time for art.

This status report is an overview of what I’m up to, and how I intend to use my upcoming short-form projects to provide avenues for creative collaboration in my community. A bunch of theories on the verge of practical application. Come along!

Much love,

j

Less is More (and a rescued novel idea!)

The last two weeks I’ve been working on outlining the children’s play, and after some discussion, I’m ready to hash out the working draft so the director can have a strong starting point. It’s going to be a blast and a rush to get it done ASAP!

Yes, Nanowrimo is halfway over. This month, my hope was to work on a playwriting project I’ve been musing on for a few years. As I’ve been outlining this children’s play to finish in the next few days, some characters I had almost forgotten came to see me in the form of a song. These were young folks that came to me in a dream and became a story idea for a novel tentatively titled, Ethersong.

My son and I had a Gorillaz concert playing on Youtube while we were hanging out this weekend, and they started performing a song of theirs I hadn’t heard before: Souk Eye. Suddenly, a switch flicked me back on! I have a deep deep fascination for mood and tone, and music has been the flickering light that guides me into the proper paths of a terrain before dawn. Years ago, I had written the beginning, lightly outlined my way to the middle and to a solid ending, only to find I had no idea how I felt about the whole thing. I was unsure of my relationship with these characters and how their world would be presented. I was uncertain of the execution. I notice my uncertainty comes strictly from being rusty at writing. I’ve been out of it for a long time. And so I sought out the song and listened to it at least twenty times in the last 24 hours. Sweet percussion, melancholy, an aching incompleteness. What the Portuguese have gloriously named Saudade. The profound longing.

While I don’t know that I will be able to finish it during Nanowrimo, I’m committing to make this the next big project I work on moving forward. I recorded a podcast episode for Creative Drive confessing much of my shortcomings in recent years, and the excuses I have made for my lack of passion for life. I’ll probably share it this coming week. Suffice it to say at this time, there is no reason to withhold that which brings you complete joy. It’s unreasonable to create work that brings no value to your life and does not fuel your purpose in life. I am finally starting at square one. I am falling face first into my passion again, and it feels wonderful. Keep making art, no matter where you are, no matter what your station in life is. Much love,

j