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Arts Life & Philosophy Writing

Tying together the world’s attention triggers

Walking with our steady cam, our eyes scan the world. See enough, we write it down.

The more we get down, the more connections we can make — the more disparate items we can intermix the better.

Should we not lace anything, we wait. We given the brain a night’s rest so it can untangle shaggy shapes into coherent bodies of thought.

All of a sudden the ideas come without asking for them, all by turning off.

Reality is a catalog of attention triggers. It is our job to draw analogies across divergent subjects.

Categories
Arts Creativity Productivity & Work Writing

A still inchoate creator

A woman spinning in a chair
gif by Sharon Liu

The blank page doesn’t write itself. It stares at you, pleading for you to quit and move on to something else.

Those who persist pace themselves into unfamiliar territory. A big bang does no artist any good. What matters is not the end result, but pushing through in a gradual approach.

Creators strive for long-term serotonin over the short-shock dopamine.

They’re the ones that embrace vulnerability. They dance with fear while building up the bicep of the brain. Confidence speaks as if it were alone, dying to go public.

The barrier lies within the self. It tries to impede greater personal growth. You are your own worst enemy of nuclear insignificance.

To wait in the ambiguous middle while everyone else flies by on the racetrack of certainty.

You have to do the work now, because you don’t have forever.

Spike Jonze

Doing the work is a conscious anxiety-ridden habit, but it can run with it like a GIF loop. Chances are if you did it yesterday you can do it again today.

The race to patience is on. It’s settling that’s the problem.

Categories
Creativity Productivity & Work Writing

Creativity is a fancy version of productivity

People confuse busyness with productivity. Answering emails all day is mostly a waste of time, as is instant messaging co-workers. Doing something — typing into little boxes all day — fulfills the human desire to feel useful.

Similarly, people often perceive what artists do is an unnecessary use of time. But creativity is a fancy version of productivity.

When it comes to painting, songwriting, and any other artistic vocations, nothing gets wasted. Scraps and shitty rough drafts lead to the best answer.

Sensible work gets us paid. Yet, when we photograph everything, we look at nothing. Without propelling the imagination and putting work on the canvass, we are just waiting for the next rebound under the basketball hoop rather than looking how to score.

Categories
Creativity Productivity & Work Writing

V is for vulnerable

A pencil doing circles, drawing and erasing
via giphy

Shake it up. The only reason to play it safe is to blend in. But the artist wants to be vulnerable.

Unsure of their work but certain of their originality and passion, the maker prides themselves on self-expression. They’d rather show their work then let it sit in the tiny backwater of the internet.

Art can appear egotistical, but it’s more of a sign of individuality and wakefulness.

The will to feel alive runs through the canvass. Grounded in the moment, creators strive for originality and the quality of the experience.

Categories
Music Productivity & Work Writing

Want to focus? Seek ambient sound

A gif of woman stirring coffee in coffee shop
The gentle hum of a coffee shop

One of the greatest myths of our time is that silence is golden. But complete silence will keep you from working effectively. It may even put you to sleep.

J. K. Rowling left the solitude of her own home to write the Harry Potter series in a coffee shop amid the cacophony of people chatting over grinding espresso machines. The noisy environment inspired her to get to work. Just enough sound creates an ambient environment conducive to working by drowning out any other unpredictable racket in the background.

Studies show that learning to play an instrument makes it easier for children to learn how to read. Additionally, the “Mozart Effect” is said to improve concentration and study habits. Popular music is used during operations to relax both patient and doctor. Muzak takes the awkward silence out of the elevator.

The right type of noise is critical to working effectively. In fact, many CEOs expect disruptions in the form of email and calls to ensure the business is actively operating. Silence is the antithesis of productivity.

In order to stay motivated and remain productive, we need perpetual sound rather than peace and quiet. Sound is productive. It is the silence that can be deadly.


art via giphy

By the way, if you’re looking for scientifically optimized music to help you focus, you must give the app Focus@Will a try. Use my affiliate link and you’ll get two FREE weeks.

Categories
Arts Creativity Productivity & Work Writing

Writing all the time

Some of us ”sweat the night into words,” the poet Bernard Spencer wrote in his poem “Night-Time: Starting to Write.”

Morning or night, day time or lunchtime, it really doesn’t matter when you write. A note, a recording, a scribble — we write it down to remember it now and for later.

Everything goes in the hopper.

The writer often feels compelled to notice and the readiness to do too much. But that’s part of the scribe’s title, to remain curious and connected to the tone of social mores, stuck in a perpetual now and the now of yesterday.

Writers are collectors, not hoarders. They snatch ideas to remix into something else, a type of innovation of words.

Why write? To make something”

Claude Simon

It is in the prose the writer plunges and finds themselves. The pen is an addiction, a duty, and a stress outlet, and pure enjoyment. It shatters the notion of work and life, swaddled into the need of an aliveness.