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.

Noteworthy 9.10.19

Happy Week Folks!

I had this all typed up on Saturday and forgot to hit PUBLISH. That’s never happened before. Tends to happen when life gets in the way. Loads of noteworthy content came to mind these couple of weeks, thanks to my YouTube wanderings and escapist mind frame.

  1. Working on highlights and other content for the Oyster Ridge Music Festival, so I went to one of my favorite live performance videos from the last few years: This documentary about the Largo venue in Los Angeles. To do produce a work like this, specifically for live performance arts in this segmented form, is one of my dreams. Maybe something like this is possible in Casper? We shall see! But for the time being, it serves up a fresh batch of inspiration for me to work on the videos soon to premiere online! Stay tuned…
  2. Did I mention I came to terms with my affinity for notebooks this week? I feel an eagerness to start writing when it feels immediate, rekindling my love of notebooks is to fire up that old obsession with filling a page. So much so that this week, I finally started working on a song I’ve had in mind for over three years! I have a backlog of music that need lyrics, including a collaboration with my pal Dust Jones– So I’ll need all the momentum I can get! I stumbled upon this article outlining the various types of journaling. It’s given me some ideas this week on how to start using my notebooks for something other than creative writing. I also found this one, which just gave me more notebooks to purchase. I have a problem now.
  3. Re: Working on my songs in the near future, I’ve been looking out for solid free resources to produce beats DIY style. Reddit and this guy were super helpful!
  4. And lastly, I’d like to share a track that has been the soundtrack of my daydreams and scribblings: Michael Kiwanuka’s Cold Little Heart. This song absolutely destroys and gets me to that place just beyond the horizon where I can see my characters clearly…

Enjoy and have a great week, friends.

j

In Progress on a Busy Day

Check out #icprompts on Instagram. I’m sharing some of my photos as prompts. Coming soon to Idleblog too!

Percussion & Repetition x 11.

The formula to something ritualistic and guttural? I don’t know for sure, but I’ve had these phrases stuck in my head for a while. I used to record and experiment plenty with sound, but I haven’t had the chance recently. I do want to lay some tracks down for a few song ideas which are going to become a narrative. I should add, most of the work I do recording demos revolves around creating a story-based songs. I love that feeling of telling a tale that unfolds like rain drops collecting as a puddle; constant, rhythmic and somewhat unfiltered. This concept I’m tinkering with may be an offshoot of a demo album I recorded long ago, called Headphone Music for Nowhere People. It feels similar, perhaps it’s because I hear electric guitar and noise which feels like it belongs in a post-apocalypse, like in that old album.

The Flood, from Headphone Music for Nowhere People (2009)

I’ve thought about recording it on my lunch hour, since I have to go home and see how the cats are doing. Recording demos is really the last thing I should be doing so it doesn’t help to try to cram it in right now. I should probably reserve my lunch time for self care and time to pause momentarily. I’m troubled by my inability to slow down. I can’t blame the coffee either. The mind just wants to race and commit every spare thought to developing a story. Perhaps I need to convince myself once again, that writing and recording is my therapy, and one that yields continuous joy.

I’ll keep you posted,

j

All

All of these beautiful people

All of these people that walked the earth

And the salt of our tongue, resisted

The hall of demons in afterbirth

All of these people that walked the earth

All of these people that walked the earth

And did the Shaman run to the fire?

All of these people that walked the earth

And did the hollow gram of desire

Find you the consequence of your worth?

All of these people that walked the earth

All of these people that walked the earth

You find me not in the short carousel

You find me spiraling down the well

With all these people that walked the earth

Your dream as common as prairie dirt

And I am certain it’s what we deserve

All of these people that walked the earth

All of these people that walked the earth

All of these people that walked the earth