Category Archives: Creativity and Goal Setting

Hello. My Name Is: “Work In Progress”

Photo by Nigel Tadyanehondo

I have a desire to revamp my life, career, and social circles in a BIG way, and I pretty much want all of it to revolve around authenticity, growth, creativity, and empowerment. And love… Always LOVE.

I did a new show this past summer. It wasn’t really ready when opening rolled around. Yikes! But I performed anyway, and… that opening performance was barely okay. Definitely not great. I had messed up the timing in a big, big way and ended up having to cut out some really important pieces of the play that add more depth and heart (and without it, the play doesn’t really work). And, of course, it just so happens I was reviewed on that opening late afternoon performance. *facepalm*

It seems this is always my horrid luck — to get reviewed on the very first performance of a brand new show or production. It’s happened countless times, and I hate it. It was a pretty harsh review, too… but alas, I digress; the past is the past.

But I bring up this play to share a few things. First off, although the first performance was decidedly… shall we say, in need of vast improvement, many (most, actually) of the following performances went rather well! Some were perhaps even great! The reason being is that I would continue to experiment and improve the show with each performance.

Recently I’ve come to realize what kinds of creative techniques or approaches work best for me, and it doesn’t involve meticulous planning and research and routine and taking little steps each day that will progressively and ultimately result in my greatest creative work. …Nope. Perhaps that approach works for many, but I can’t seem to make myself do it — that’s not how my creative output thrives.

I’m my best creative self under pressure. I need a deadline. (Granted, I had a deadline for my show in the summer, but a deadline is only one of the components necessary for my ideal action strategy.) But I also need to bounce ideas off of people. I need to create something fast, and then present it, and then tweak it, and repeat the process until I have something I love.

What’s funny though is that I have been fearful to use such an approach… I have this strange hang-up when it comes to sharing a work in progress. Maybe it was based on a fear of being judged for something that I knew was incomplete and imperfect; or maybe it was a fear of being too vulnerable, inviting my raw creative self to be viewed and judged during a very fragile process that is creation. It could be both of these things, and maybe even something else too.  …Hell, I remember even after going through a full 4-year university education majoring in theatre and drama, I was still often hypersensitive about rehearsing anywhere where I might be overheard. And so I’d often whisper during rehearsal, which is really quite stupid unless the scene actually involves whispering.

I want to get rid of this weird hang-up or phobia or whatever one might call it. I want to conquer it. And I think one way of accomplishing that would be to start making videos and publishing them online via either Vimeo or YouTube. …And even better, it would involve needing to adhere to deadlines with time pressure and public accountability. What better way to conquer this hang-up than by committing to a video challenge?

I’m not sure if I should commit to a 10, 20/21, or 30 day video challenge – the challenge being to record and publish a video online every day. I’m also not yet sure when will be the best time to carry out such a challenge, but I’d definitely like to do it sometime in early 2018 — perhaps even January 2018. (Although, I’m also wanting to commit to some screenplay writing challenges earlier in the new year too, so that’s why I’m not sure if jumping into this challenge at the top of 2018 will be the best idea. It might, so I’m not completely writing off the idea… but I want to give it some thought and planning first before I jump into. …So we’ll see!)

Anyway, consider this as an official announcement that I will be undertaking a video challenge sometime in early 2018. 🙂 I’ll figure out further details and announce when soon. (…My first videos will undoubtedly suck (lol), so I hope you’ll bear with me as I navigate through this new (to me) territory.)

AND, if you don’t hear from relatively soon regarding an update on this, please bug me in the comments! …I’d sincerely appreciate it! 😉

My Creative Struggle (And What I Want To Do About It)

My Eternal Creative Struggle of Heart vs Mind. Image credit goes to http://www.zastavki.com/

My Eternal Creative Struggle of Heart vs Mind.
Image credit goes to http://www.zastavki.com/

 

I’m trying to figure out why I don’t write more… why don’t I share my thoughts and ideas more often than I do? Why do I so often have this feeling of perpetual stuckness?

What’s strange is that I don’t even think I have writers block per se… I have a lot of ideas; it’s just that most of the time whenever I finally sit down to consider an action plan, or sit down to write out particular thoughts and ideas to share online or turn into a story or a product or whatever, the ideas seem to crumble up before my very eyes and suddenly seem entirely worthless and unnecessary and no longer worth pursuing or sharing or bringing forth into this reality.

…This causes me to feel that I should immediately discard the idea, and instead think up of different projects to pursue, or different topics to write about. But sadly the same thing happens all over again, creating this never-ending cycle of nothingness and stuckness.

I know my actions haven’t remotely been echoed by my desires or ambition…. (At least as of late, although they have to some degree in the past.)  I can’t help but feel self-conscious and embarrassed about this fact. I wouldn’t be surprised if any onlookers might easily deem me to be completely devoid of any personal ambition, goals or desires; and yet, there’s so much I want and desire in my heart and for my life — obviously there’s a huge misalignment here.

Whether subconsciously or not (I’m not entirely sure which it is — likely a bit of column A and B), I’m pretty sure that I’m consistently sabotaging myself because I have this feeling that, because it’s been a while since (what I deem to be) my last successful creative project, I deeply need/want my next creative project to be a grand achievement and a huge success. I suppose I feel as though I’ve got to prove myself — to both myself and the rest of the world.

This is a terrible amount of pressure to put on oneself, take it from me. It can be debilitating and paralyzing. 

Additionally, I think perhaps the more time passes since my last creative project, the more difficult it seems for me to get going in a creative capacity once again. I suppose this makes sense if you think of this as a physics problem. An object at rest stays at rest, while an object in motion stays in motion — until an outside force acts upon it. I’m lacking momentum, and losing more and more momentum as time progresses.

As the sum of our parts, we humans may indeed be more than mere objects; but our bodies definitely fall under the realm of objectification, and therefore these same rules can apply to our goals as well, due to the fact that nearly all goals would require physical action on our part in order to achieve them.

So how do you get an object at rest to get its ass in gear and get into action? And, preferably, to stay in action? 

Action requires action. Force requires force. Internal must become external in order for potential to transition into the realm of the real and kinetic.

I find it pretty easy to stick with short term 21 day or 30 day challenges… I’ve done a lot of them in the past, all with relative success. For the most part, however, these short-term challenges have existed outside the creative realm. My past outcomes have taught me that completing such short-term challenges is relatively easy for me, but my main problem seems to exist at the end of a such a challenge: Once a challenge is over, I tend to give myself permission to relax… and as a result, it seems I almost always entirely lose the momentum I gained during the challenge or trial, leaving me off not much better off than where I was before — save, perhaps, for gaining the knowledge that I am indeed capable of exercising willpower and self-discipline for pre-determined bursts of time like 30 day challenges.

Hmmmm…

This being the case, and having some amount of insight into my own temperament and psychology, perhaps it will be a good idea for me to approach my future creative projects as mere 30-day challenges (or maybe even as long as a 60-day challenge, which I’ve also successfully done in the past).  This way, if my creative endeavor doesn’t turn out to be the grand success and achievement that I hope or want it to be, I figure that my ego will at least have an out in knowing that it/I was limited by the pre-determined time span that was allotted to complete the project.

Another of the key factors that I’ll have to be sure to implement in this approach to creative challenges will be to include the prerequisite of publicly sharing the finished project to some degree or another. This could mean submitting it to others for assessment and feedback, or perhaps even full-on publishing (if it’s the sort of thing that can be published). Either way, I will have to ensure that others WILL see it. I have to ensure that I’ll somehow be accountable to others in terms of completing my creative project such that I’ll be at least somewhat satisfied with my creative achievement at the end of the predetermined time period.

I have other possible ideas to turn this approach into a coaching program for other creative wannabes. If I have success with this, I’ll definitely want to consider that possibility.

At the present moment, I’m currently committed to a strange 30 day experience in Anaheim, California at the Disney properties with my beloved and partner in crime, Steve Pavlina. (You can read about our experiences here at his blog.)

This Disney experience has been occupying my time for the past 2.5 weeks, and is going to occupy my time for nearly another two weeks. In the meantime, however, I’m contemplating projects to consider for short-term creation to take on afterwards. My goal is to put out something in the world that has the potential of creating a stream of passive income for myself (even if it’s just a trickle to start) while simultaneously having some sort of positive ripple in the world, … such as the possibility of publishing and selling e-books online, whether via Amazon or this website, or both. One idea I have for such e-books would be to create some vegan recipe e-books, as my 15-year anniversary of becoming vegan is just under three weeks away! I have a few other e-book ideas too.

I’m excited about trying out this approach, because I think it’s something that might actually work for me and produce some long-desired (and hopefully long-term!) results. I’m also looking forward to sharing my progress and journey with this approach here on my blog.

In the meantime… are there any topics you’d like to see me write about to include in a possible future e-book? Or some other medium you’d like to see me explore and produce? If so I’d love to hear about it! Please let me know in the comments.

Since I’m at Disneyland… it somehow seems appropriate to finish this blog post with a creative wish for the future:

“To Infinity, and Beyond!”  ~ Buzz Lightyear

🙂