A Good Storm

A storm came this week. It was a torrent of wind, air, and rain. The wind battered my windows. The thunder shook my roof. I took the time to listen until I could hear the storm in separate parts. 

The wind sought a new place; its goal, to balanced its temperature. The rain followed its common pattern:  ground to sky then back to ground. The lighting was simple. It sought to ground itself.

It made me think of the days where I try to do everything at once. My phone calls, my emails, my word count goals, it can be overwhelming. 

To find calm amidst the chaos, breathe and listen to the distinct sounds. Not just any sound, the sounds that matter and the sounds that move you forward. 

A good storm is one of the best opportunities to listen.

Photo by Nighthawk Shoots

P.S. I’m entering the endgame of video editing and entering the rough cut phase. Time to let a trusted group scrutinize the work and get it polished-up for the world. “Let’s GO!” I yell out loud. The day is yours. Go and do something amazing.  

Shipping

This week, I was a bit worried. I hadn’t written a word, and I was wondering if a writer’s block was building.

I had a million new ideas for stories and films, but I wasn’t writing them down, because of the more urgent tasks I had to complete each day.

I spent most of my week like this, working on the small, the finite, the urgent. I had my managerial fire extinguisher, and I was ready at a moment’s notice to rush-in and solve whatever problem manufactured by the infinite machine of problems called email. 

It was the middle of the week, when a drop-everything-urgent email arrived.  I glanced over at my notebook, and I realized my latest projects were stuck in the same place, and the world around me, the one of chaos, frenzy, and instant-success was receiving every bit of my time and attention. 

Meanwhile, the pulse of my notebook faded, and I imagined more problems than plot twists for the worlds I built on the page.

There are times we give away our most precious assets, because of false urgency and the frenzy of quick tasks that populate our inbox. While true urgency, may be simply keeping your ship in the right direction.

Photo by Andrey Sharpilo


P.S. My latest short is live today. It’s the newest addition to my series on the crazy world of rideshare driving. I’m experimenting with romance, and it’s just as dangerous for my characters as it is for me

The Test of Patience

I was at my window this week, watching the wind blow, watching the cars pass, watching the weeds grow. I thought of getting out the mower, ready to start a spring and summer and fall, in the South, of mowing, clipping, and composting the yard refuse. Imagining the work, the sweat, and the neighbor women who’d come to their porches in the middle of the day to observe, it made me wonder: why is this important?

Instead of mowing the lawn, I could plan my next book or outlining my next script. But like always, I’d choose the sun, the mower, or the possibility of getting rid of my lawn all together. Who needs things that make more work for you? 

I grew up working in the heat, watching things develop at a slow pace until done. The value was I learned patience and how to stick with something until I finished. 

The outcomes were slow, but the reward of leaving and returning to see the outcomes made it worth the hassle.

So, I dusted off the mower and got ready for my exercises of patience. The walking back and forth, the clean-up afterward, the leaving and coming back to see an accomplishment.  

Photo by Rockstaar

P.S. I hope you are making progress with your next big move. If not, make the phone calls, outline your ideas, plan and make the hustle pay off. I’m taking a crash course in color grading. I’m picking up a few dozen new skills as this web series takes shape. Happy Saturday! The day is yours.

Rain

The rain is a constant reminder of the process of healing. There is the intensity of the storm, the bend and sway of trees, there is light and darkness beneath the blanket of clouds then the storm passes.

After the storm, we return to ourselves, and we have time to reflect on what we have experienced.

For the Artist, the Avenue of Hope is ever present. We need only reclaim our purpose with a roadmap to our authentic place. We do this by sticking with our process, then polishing, refining, and cultivating our very best work.

Inevitably, the rain will come. Our power is in realizing the storm hasn’t arrived to slow us down.

Photo by Geetanjal Khanna

P.S. Through diligence, and a lot of research, my web series is coming along pretty well. I’ve realized that stories, good stories, are a breath of wind you catch each day if you are listening. I hope your pen is moving. Make something beautiful with your words.

Transcend

I commonly work 18 hours a day. Six are for my dreams, 2 are for meals, 2 are for driving, and leisure. The other 8 hold up my world. I’ll never grow frustrated with this circumstance, the gift of purpose overshadows this challenge.

It’s easy to grow satisfied with the hustle to manifest your dream, but often, we never take inventory of our progress and human connections along the way. We’re so interested in the next move. We forget the simple things that are most important.

Take a breath to remember where you are. The world is vast. The air sustains us. Breathe often. Breathe with purpose. Breathe, because, of all the things we do, our next breath is literally the most important task of all.

Photo by Martin Adams

P.S. The world is a beautiful place. Don’t forget the landscape, the pebbles, the alleys, and the small places have the best inspiration. Still editing my webseries and putting the pieces together to make the project whole.

The Heart of Ambition

The artist, the maker, the creator breaks things apart to create efficiently. They find time to focus and commit to their practice, and along the way, their mind, body, and soul develop as they craft their beautiful work in small increments.

Sometimes, we lose our way in bad habits and fears. We end up circling, wrestling with mainstream ideas, talking ourselves out of breakthroughs, and granting opportunities to empty time-wasting.

The best part of reaching the aforementioned life storm, is overcoming the test. We are stronger artists and entrepreneurs, as we become battle-tested and ready to create despite any obstacle. 

The beating heart of your ambition pulses no matter the storm. This is proven true, when after years of neglect, our art still calls to us and we fight the urge to return to our discipline. We must learn to breathe before being consumed by storms. We must learn to listen as we create. We must learn to work in increments. Compile your work over time, and no matter how loud the world becomes, never silence your own ambition.

Photo by Jon Tyson

PS. Another busy week of manifesting the dream. Editing my web series has really changed the way I view television and film. I see the color correction, the lighting set-ups, and now I care about shadows and framing. This author and filmmaking journey has made me see the world in a new way. It’s good to see old things with new eyes and to find inspiration in the smallest facets of life. Keep striving, the day is yours.

“Connections” vs. Connections

This week, I was perusing through the internets and I happened upon this article. It turns out the top three reasons people visit social media sites are news, comedy, and filling spare time. 

I envisioned a warm glow from a blue screen and a person mesmerized by social media posts. I saw digital marketing strategists concocting grids and drafting their content calendars, segmenting things into thirds, and maximizing reach to improve their metrics for the quarter. 

My other side, the part that likes a more personable world, imagines ways to foster real interactions and authentic growth, not from casting a wide net, but by making smarter decisions about who we serve.

We can serve everyone or focus on the 1000 people we truly value, and we’re motivated to serve. 

Photo by Adeolu Eletu 

P.S. Editing a Webseries is still no joke. It’s like building a plane and flying it at the same time. Stamina is one of my talents, and I’ve become a lot more efficient at editing thanks to Youtube University and that never-give-up thing I learned from television. Be direct! Stay focused! Go get your dream!

The Artist’s Playbook

The artist’s greatest goal is thriving from creativity. We have stories to share. Photos to capture. Scenes to paint. Businesses to build.

For true creatives, there is a compulsion to craft new art. It’s a need that must be satisfied, and we won’t be happy until we build our greatest vision.   

Of course, there are obstacles. We must overcome them. Joy isn’t the same without the struggles.

The artist’s playbook is a simple set of guidelines that any artist can use to make sense of the incoherent world of creative life. 

Write things down. Brainstorming and note taking are your friend. A schedule with time for creativity is the key to understanding your power. Shun unnecessary time wasters and work to understand your process to manifest your genius.

That’s it, just four things. The simplest plans help you thrive the most. Consistency, the right way, builds your vision.

Get out there. The rest lies in your ability to stay on the path and keep going. Peace and create something beautiful.

Photo by Debby Hudson

P.S. Sometimes, more is less. Keep working on those projects that take refinement and concentration. The journey is worth it.

Storms

There are a million distractions to keep you from your greatest goals. There is a ringing phone. There is doubt. There is the belief that you may not be good enough to achieve your dream. 

We can derail ourselves with self-doubt,  lose sight of our biggest goals, and talk ourselves into a storm of our own creation. Or, we can look into the storm’s eye, consider the source that brews the trouble, and work to understand the inputs that lend power to our obstacles.    

Building inner-strength, despite recurring clouds of doubt, is the routine of the courageous and the cornerstone of the warrior. The warrior commits to their best, despite obstacles, and despite circumstance.

Be brave and benevolent as you step into your grace. Learn from your missteps and celebrate your victories. Sometimes, we all need a reminder to keep going. And most importantly, be kind on your journey. You will travel the same roads and see the same faces again and again.

P.S. Recently, I’ve been in my lab working on my web series, and I’ve been churning out the pages on my latest book. Each day, I get a little bit closer to my completion dates. Deadlines are devils, but they help.  With grace, dedication, and a whole lot of determination, I’ll get these latest works done. Have a safe and amazing day. The day is yours.

Grace and Bravery

This week, I wrote a page of songs. I’ll never sing them. I’ll never share them. I’ll lock them away in my notebook with grace. 

Sometimes, we rename our fears. We call fear grace. We call fear procrastination. We call fear an abundance of things, but its greatest side effect is wasting our time. 

Write your page of songs and be brave enough to give them voice and amplify them with strategy. 

The alternative, locking your best work in a tower, sounds like the plot of a fairy tale movie. Be your own hero and break free of fear. 

P.S. The next installment of of Life Cycle of an UB3R driver is live. And I’m still editing my webseries. Can’t wait to share the artist statement and present the work. Grace and Bravery, Always.