Does the world really need another blog post? Does anyone besides my Mom want to hear what I think about journaling? [Hi, Mom!] In the age of cacophony why would I start weighing in with my perspective strictly on the merits of living a creatively fulfilled life? Because (a) people asked me to and (b) I think finding a channel for your personal voice is more important than ever before. Literally ever.
We are living in what “Medical Medium” author Anthony William calls “The Quickening.” As journalist Thomas Friedman noted “...the rate of technological change is now accelerating so fast that it has risen above the average rate at which most people can absorb all these changes.” It’s a time of beeps, prompts, packed schedules, multiple screens and chronic sleep deprivation. There’s a palpable sense of things speeding up. Amidst all this it’s easy to lose sight of the importance of tuning into what is truly, authentically you. This can be solved with a piece of paper, a pen and a few minutes each day. It’s that easy.
Meg Whitman, the former CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise has said, “I am convinced that the world is driven by validation...” and I say “screw that.” You are allowed to have part of your life that isn’t about external mirroring, that is just for your own eyes. I find it an utter relief to fill the pages of a notebook for no one’s eyes but my own, and want to remind others that such a simple and effective tool is there, ready and waiting..
So as of today, I’m launching a series of personally penned blog posts that include accessible tips, simple exercises, things that have worked for me -- as well as some pitfalls to avoid -- to kick start and stick with a creative practice. Dig them? Find them useful? Don’t like them? I am down to hear any and all feedback on what kinds of content you’d like me to include (or not, as the case may be).
See the link below to post numero uno mixed in with the latest installment of AllSwell Reads, which is chock full of points of inspiration including journeys external and internal. I hope you’ll enjoy reading / watching them as much as we enjoyed finding them for you.
Untold Odyssey: White Whale, Nowness
The Arctic tern is a seabird that migrates the length of the world from its breeding ground in the Arctic Circle to winter in the Antarctic. In 2014, Barcelona-born skipper Albert Bargués decided to emulate the birds’ annual journey and spend a year captaining his aptly named boat The Sterna, with the (ultimately unrealized) goal to spend 365 days in total daylight. Tune into his journey, featuring a voiceover excerpt from Orson Welles’ unfinished film from 1971, “Moby Dick,” via the link up top.
The Value of Deep Work In an Age of Distraction, NPR
Many of us react to the buzzes and beeps that come from our phones with the urgency of a parent responding to a baby's cry. We know this probably isn't the healthiest nor the sanest response to a vibrating hunk of a metal, so we tell ourselves we should be less distracted. We shouldn't be so gripped by social media or the churn of work email. But Cal Newport, the author of Deep Work, says we're downplaying the problems created by constant interruption.
The Beauty of Inuit Life in ‘Keeper of the Flame’, Monster Children
This incredible short tells the story of Inuit culture and provides the viewer with a deep understanding of their way of life. Trying to do away with the cliches of exploration and adventure, director Jason Van Bruggen creates films that highlight the tensions between the strength and fragility of the region. Watch the film and read the Monster Children’s interview with Van Bruggen above.
How To Be Creative, New York Times
Everyone – adults and children alike – has a creative streak. But while most of us have a spirit of invention, major or minor, for too many of us it lies dormant even though it can be awakened with the simplest of acts. For instance (ahem), putting pen to paper. Hope this how-to guide helps.
Dear Pepper: Drawing a Blank and Reluctant Muses, New Yorker
In this illustrated bi-weekly advice column one reader dares to ask: “I never know what to draw. I spend loads of time thinking about what to draw but only a very small amount of time drawing. I have a heap of paper, pencils, and erasers. What’s my problem?” Not surprisingly, Pepper’s response is genius (and perfectly applicable to writing, too). Read her advice at the link up top.