Having just turned in the last assignment for my last class at university not even a week ago I have been given the gift of time as my first graduation present. Stunned from having accomplished one of my life goals, the first leg of my creative journey, and suddenly having all the time in the world I have taken a couple days to recoup and center myself back into my work and healthy habits. Naturally, to do this I had to dive a bit into research and rediscover things I have saved for my future self-years ago. I thought I should share some of my findings here.
First, let's start off with Jake Roper's video My Favorite Piece of Advice. This video had a lot of really good advice that pushed me along in my early days of university. For instance, I struggled with, and still do on occasion, comparing myself to others. His advice of taking something and making it your own helped readjust my attitude from trying to become someone else with my content to sharing who I am in my content. This and the advice from his friend "You've got to put in the time." (I highly recommend following his personal youtube channel and Vsauce3.)
In speaking of putting in the time I got some really good advice from my friend Chris Metzner when I made the first episode of Creative Flow, a documentary series about artists and how they work. In it, he describes that if you want to make it as a creative professional you have to work at it every single day. His words helped push me not only to finish this project the best I can and really make it my own but to work hard in all my future endeavors.
As Lynn Taylor once said, "How you begin your morning often sets the tone and your attitude for the rest of the day. It can also derail or direct your focus. If you remain committed to good morning work habits, you won't fall prey to feeling unproductive and distracted at the end of the day or week." So I've begun doing research and working on my own rituals to help me be productive during the day starting with some ideas from Thomas Oppong's article as I have a bad habit of breaking my own day when no one besides me is counting on my projects completing.
In speaking of breaking bad habits, I've begun to create a content calendar and tracker utilizing Microsoft Excel, Trello, and Google Calendars. This will help me not only to get projects done in a timely fashion as I move towards a weekly youtube video and daily Instagram posting schedule but to also learn from what I have done and get better at what I do. I was inspired to do this thanks to Luke Cutforth's video How I Changed My Life In One Week.
Over the years I have learned that it is important for one to have a set of rules and guidelines to help when feeling lost or disenchanted by creative work. Austin Kleon has recently given a talk about how to keep going as a creative in chaotic times. In it, he shares his list of tips and tricks taken from other artists that have helped him. They are extremely useful and I am adapting some of them to my own list of rules and guidelines.
I am super excited to begin the next leg of this journey. I feel a bit nervous like I did when I was a kid before embracing any stage, but I know that anything is possible so long one has the drive, passion, and ambition to do what is necessary to live one's own truth even in the face of adversity. I hope these videos and articles can help you as much as they have helped me.