Writing Through The Cheese

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Ideas often come when we are vulnerable, when our defenses are lowered, when our filters get dirty and are being replaced. But a funny thing happens when we present our ideas to others. Suddenly we become self-conscious. We try to dress up our ideas, make them more presentable. We button its shirt. We squeeze on a tie. We spit in our palm and press down its cowlick. And our rough, beautiful idea looks awkward and out of place, uncomfortable and insecure.
As I work on writing my book (Create More Better Different, I am struck by the tightness of the presentation at times. Instead of a playful, natural child I have a stiff, unhappy kid stuffed in a suit. This comes as a direct result of writing for the critics, for the haters, for the uncreative-unbelievers. It comes from defensive writing, from presenting what I think people expect instead of presenting what there is.
As I review and rewrite the work I am loosening the tie, letting the ideas run around and get dirty, trying not to care if their suits might need dry-cleaning tomorrow, or if a sleeve might need mending. I am writing this book for me, and I want to capture it in a natural state rather than the forced smile after the word, “Cheese!”

Pick Your Nodes

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I had a dream that Life is a limited dispersal of energy through Nodes, or connections, with other people and objects. Your Energy is neither created nor destroyed, only distributed until depleted. Your job is to choose how and where you direct your finite energy into the infinite. I woke up feeling inspired to make a creative difference in the world, to spend more energy on things that matter to me. It’s the first dream I’ve remembered in a while.

Begin The Beginning

I often write and speak about Action as being the fundamental element of creativity. It is the foundation upon which everything is built. I am writing a blog post every day because if you want to be a writer, you actually have to write. Doing the work is the biggest part of creation. But sometimes getting started, getting over that barrier of fear/doubt/procrastination/distraction is really really hard. Ze Frank is rebooting his video show, and is slightly terrified. To begin the beginning, to ‘jump the gap between zero and one’, he wrote this Invocation for Beginners. It is wise and funny and crass and ridiculous and beautiful. Here are a few quotes, followed by the full video below. To new beginnings!

Let me think about the people that I care about the most. And how when they fail or disappoint me I still love them, I still give them chances, and I still see the best in them – let me extend that generosity to myself.

Let me thank the parts of me that I don’t understand or are outside of my control, like my creativity and my courage. Let me remember that my courage is a wild dog, it won’t just come when I call it. I have to chase it down and hold on as tight as I can. Let me not be so vain to think that I am the sole author of my victories, and a victim of my defeats. Let me remember that the unintended meaning that people project on what I do is neither my fault, nor something that I can take credit for.

~ ze frank

10 Tens

  1. 10
  2. Ten
  3. X
  4. 1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1
  5. Dime
  6. Long hand on the two
  7. All Fingers
  8. October
  9.  J
  10. Perfect

Make Dormancy A Phase

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In orchids, dormancy can happen over the winter months. It is a period of inactivity, where the plant is still alive but is not growing. A few weeks ago, I mistook this orchid (see photo) as dead. The stem was brown, the leaves were wilted, and the soil was bone dry. And then suddenly a new flower spike appeared, and then another. I gave it a bit of water, turned it toward the sun, and in no time two beautiful flowers were blooming. If I had given it up for dead, it would be compost fodder right now.
Creativity has a few parallels with orchids. If you are feeling dried up, feel like you are stagnating and not growing, don’t dispair. You may be going through a dormant phase. This is natural (and disconcerting) for some of us. Just be ready to nourish that new spike when it comes.

5 Alternate Signs That You Are Going Down

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Pretend you have never seen universal icons or signage before. You are in an office building, and come to a door with this sign posted on it. What could it possibly mean?
1. Downwardly Mobile
2. Smoking is allowed above the jaggy line.
3. No drug-dealing in the stairwell (my daughter’s suggestion)
4. Bring a lunch for getting down the pyramid.
5. Enter at own risk. The stairwell contains a man who has broken through the stairs with his right foot, and has been stuck there for many years. He may throw his oversized wallet at you and ask you to buy him some cigarettes.