Tag Archives: ideas

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.

JOURNAL ENTRY 7.14.11–Ready for L.A. and it’s people

I always wanted to live in New York City. From the time I saw the scene in FAME when they dance in the street, I wanted to move to the Big Apple. But last November I quit my job at Nickelodeon Networks because I realized I wasn’t on the right track. I had a very good position, but it wasn’t the right position.

After about 4 months, I took a trip to Los Angeles to visit some friends and colleagues. I was applying to a program sponsored by the Producer’s Guild of America. While I was there for a week, I seriously considered moving there. But after a few days, I just couldn’t see it. My mind was telling me that I was born to be a New Yorker. Still, I knew that if I wanted to be a writer and producer I had to move to Los Angeles.

Well, I spent 6 months in NYC writing, reading and living the life of a freelancer. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I needed that time to transform my mind, break bad corporate induced habits and build new artistic ones. My savings took a beating though. So my awesome dad told me to come back home to read and write rent free until I was ready to move to L.A. I’m blessed.

Almost three months back home in Houston, Texas, I’ve officially closed the NYC part of my book. I’m so glad I had this transition time. I’m ready to be an entrepreneur. I’m excited about what I’ve learned about my process for writing and generating ideas. I’m amazed about what I’ve learned about myself. I’m in love with my morning meditation. If I moved to Los Angeles right after I quit, I would have been chasing the wrong goals–working in another good, but wrong position. I’m positive would have burned out again.

When you transfer from the corporate world, you need time off to detox and reframe your mind. I wouldn’t have planned it that way, but I’m so glad I did. If you want to leave your job and you are not sure what you want to do next, take time to figure it out. If you don’t have a dad, family member or friend who can spot you for at least 6 months, (you may not need that long. but it’s a good time frame to work with.) then make sure you save up for a transition period before ditching your ID.

My one-year anniversary will be November. I will be in L.A. by then. I have to be. I miss the ocean. I miss the mountains. More importantly, there are artists in L.A. that motivate and inspire me. I want to be where they are and live in some of that energy. Even beyond the fact that the major film and television studios are there, I want to be in L.A. to be a part of the creative community that is working out side the status quo.

Frank Ocean’s Novacane

Who am I speaking of? If you follow me on Twitter, you already know I am in love with the sounds and stylings of Frank Ocean. I could write an entire post on him and his music. But I will spare you my current infatuation. Just check him out here. (If you like that, check out his work as Lonnie Breaux.)

ISSA RAE’S The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl

Then there is Issa Rae. I discovered her earlier this year after my trip to L.A. in March. I attended a web series festival where a series she directed and produced, Fly Guys, was featured. I laughed out loud and then found her online. Months later she is gaining attention and even has an agent. Pure awesomeness. I love New York and always will. But I’m ready or should I say eager about moving to L.A. and the opportunities that are waiting for me there. If I didn’t take time off, I never would have come to this mental space. Very grateful for time off to get clear and get on the right track. My birthday is 9.27.11 and I will celebrate in the City of Angels!

The Fly Guys