Tag Archives: blogs

The Last Post: Closing One Door, Opening a Window

It’s been eight months since I started this blog and I’m very proud of the work I’ve done. But more importantly, I’ve immensely grateful for everything I’ve learned in the process. I’ve found tools to enhance my creativity and productivity. I have rekindled my passion for writing. I’ve developed a routine that harnesses my imagination. And because of that, I’m dedicating myself to living in a way that best serves my creative goals.

What does that mean? It means that there may come a day where the right company offers me the right position behind a desk with hours that range from 9 to 5. And when I say “right” I mean a company that produces the content I wish to produce and a position that will allow me to grow and build with a team of storytellers. But for today, right now, I’m going to strive to live and work outside of a cubicle, outside of the 9 to 5.

To achieve that I must put on my “indie” writing hat, or should I say “hoodie” and get to work. So I won’t have much time for Creatives Culture anymore. Should you come across this posting many moons after its original publishing, I highly recommend reading two works that changed my life. First check out a commencement speech by J.C. Herz and then check out The Accidental Creative. Between those two you will find everything you need to survive in corporate America and/or be a creative individual.

If you are looking for me, you can find me on Twitter @dubysquared to see what’s engaging me, on Tumblr at wandaweithers.tumblr.com to see what is inspiring me or see what I’m writing at writtenbywanda.com–my online portfolio. I leave you with the famed 2005 Standford Commencement speech by Steve Jobs. Rest in Peace.

Wanda
Living with no plan b!

What do you smell like at the office? BOOK REVIEW: Ignore Everybody by Hugh MacLeod

Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity

I enjoyed this book. I recommend it for anyone who is looking for a pick me up while working on a project or anyone contemplating leaving their job for a more “creative” one. Hugh takes his blog postings and card cartoons and expands them into what I took as mini-lessons about what it means to live and make a living as a creative.

I didn’t agree with all his assessments. He says not to quit your day job. Too late for me. But Hugh makes some excellent points about how to own, asses and manage your creativity, your process and your ideas in the marketplace. My favorite chapter, was #29.

Power is never given. Power is taken. People who are “ready” give off a different vibe from people who aren’t.”

Wow. That hit me in the face. I had to close the book and let that settle in me for a few days. I started to think about what vibe I give off. When I started working a new job in New York (I’ve had three. A blessing.) I gave off the intelligent and eager vibe. By the time I left each one, I gave off a “I could care less vibe.” Ha! I can laugh now, because I was fortunate to have employers that could still remember me when I smelled of talent and promise.

What vibe do you give off? Is it obvious that you only come in for the free bagels and the good dental plan? Does your body language and vocal intonation express timidity in meetings? This is what you have to know. When you are a ball of energy in the building, everyone will tell you. They’ll compliment you on it and anticipate your presence in the hallway. But when you reek of complacency and have “checked out after breakfast!” on your forehead—guess what–very few people will tell you. They’ll just talk about you behind your back.

If you have a good boss, they’ll sit you down and ask about you. If you have a great boss, they’ll tell you they know you are better than this corporate zombie they see everyday and challenge you to pick up the pace.

But if you have a boss who knows her job, but doesn’t know how to manage, they’ll wait till review time and drop a bomb on you. They’ll slowly and systematically shift good projects away from you so that when layoffs come around, the work will already be re-allotted. Trust me. Very few people like confrontation and fewer are courageous enough to still do it.

So instead of sitting at your desk playing Angry Birds or daydreaming about the lottery (which I used to do a lot) pick up this book. It will help you transition from being a one-dimensional slave to Outlook by giving you permission and principles to own your creative energy. From there, he gives many tips and warnings about the road to creative living and livelihood.

For someone of you, it means getting back on track. Maybe you like your position but you’ve lost the romance between pseudo brainstorms and the ever evolving power point deck deadlines. Others of you will need to start that side hustle or pick a creative passion back up. It will revitalize your office hours and provide a creative, and possibly financial, reward.

Hugh talks about the difference between dreaming and really being ready to step into your creative calling. (My term, not his.) He explains the challenges and prepares you for temptations, like what he calls “pillars.” “Pillars” are things we claim to need to work, but are really self-made excuses nurtured by fear to keep us from moving forward. “I need a better computer before I can write.” “Once I upgrade my camera, I’ll go back to shooting.” Hogwash!!!

Another quote that I am dying to share and proves my point about Hugh pysching you up is

The best way to get approval is not to need it.

Whooo! If we were at church, I’d have to jump on that one. I’m not waiting on anyone to tell me I’m gifted or smart or unique anymore, baby. I know it and for your sake, I hope you get on board. The same goes for you my friend, change your office sent to confidence and competence TODAY! You know your skills set, mentally bathe in it every morning. Your mind, body, soul and everyone around you will be forced to inhale the whiff of your creative force.

Hugh calls ’em like he sees ’em. So don’t expect too much sugar-coating. But do expect your confidence to build. If you like it, let me know. If you don’t, share that too. Here is a visual of Hugh discussing his second book, Evil Plans. Enjoy!

Up next on my reading list? The Accidental Creative.

Stop Climbing the Wrong Ladder: How Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling motivate the late bloomer in me

I was late getting on the train to Hogwarts. While working at Nickelodeon Networks, the head of the department was appalled that I and another co-worker had not read the Harry Potter series. So as a requirement of working in children’s television, I began reading about the boy who lived.

Harry Potter Cartoon depiction from 7-8/15-11 Special Collector's Double Issue

After reading 4,224 pages from J.K. Rowling’s imagination in about 7 months, I was exhausted and exhilarated. That woman created an entire world that was impressive and engaging. I was a Potterhead fan after book one. No holes. No contradictions. Mystery, romance, action, fantasy. She did it all in those pages.

As a budding writer myself I grabbed at anything about J.K., her writing process and her story. She is a literary role model for me. Beyond her writing skills and business prowess in the publishing world (see Pottermore news here. Gangsta!) the most encouraging thing about this author is when she started her writing career.

In this week’s Entertainment Weekly (a must read for real fans–meaning you’ve read and watched) with Daniel Radcliffe on the cover, I read something that made my heart leap:

“Rubbish.” That was the producer David Heyman’s first reaction to the long-winded title of Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone by an unknown 32-year-old author named J.K. Rowling that landed on his desk in 1997.

Isn’t that just awesome?! Do you see it? “…unknown 32-year-old author.” Whooo hoo! At 32 that chick was unknown to the world. She was a researcher, a teacher, married, divorced, a mother, poor, depressed–all before 30. Then, she completed the book that would change her life.

J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement from Harvard Magazine on Vimeo.

30 is a great age. I feel like a veil of foolishness rose from my eyes the day after I turned 30. But in today’s world where multimillionaire celebrities are barely legal and the latest billionaire dropped out of school to find their fortune, 30 sometimes feels—not old—but too late.

Maybe not for you, but for me, at times I felt 30 was too late to change course and start over. And if you are nearing 35, 40 or 50 you may feel that more than me. Those few words in that article just reminded me that it’s never too late to get started on your purpose. After $400 billion in sales, I think it’s safe to call writing Harry Potter J.K.’s purpose. Not because she made a lot of money, but because she created something that millions of people, an entire generation of readers enjoyed.

The best part is maybe she needed that time being unknown. Would she be able to write about friendship, love and death so brilliantly straight out of high school? Now I’m not dogging young prodigies that find success before they can drive. I’m just saying, don’t let age discourage you. Never feel as if it’s too late to climb the right ladder. Even little Harry Potter had to catch up on what it meant to be a wizard and we all know how that turns out. At least we’ll know today.

The point is at 32 she was unknown. Today, I’m unknown. You’re unknown. But someday you could be the owner of a cute little business that makes the news online, the employee everyone admires because your side hustle pays for awesome vacations or the retiree that lived out a lifelong dream and inspires your community. One day, I’ll be the accomplished writer/producer who quit her enviable job in New York at 32.

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PT. 2 TRAILER 2

Maybe I’m just saying this because I’m so excited to finally be on my right path that I want everyone I know (and don’t know, lol) to do the same. Free yourself from the fear or comfort that is keeping you at a position you know is out of line with your passion and purpose. Stop climbing the wrong ladder! If you are anything like me, you aren’t getting that far anyway. It’s not too late to find a way to make a living (or supplement your livelihood) that is fulfilling.

For some of you that means changing companies, starting your own or changing gears completely. I wrote all of this to say…I started this blog to say, doing what you love in an environment that stimulates your creativity and innovation is not a privilege of a chosen few–tech-savvy millienials or old heads in the corner office–it’s your right. You can get on the right path at any age. And more importantly, you deserve it. Develop a plan. Build your resources. Step out on faith. Do something. Just don’t stay trying to climb the wrong ladder.