Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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Talismans, Rituals, and the Fine Art of Procrastination

Some creatives have talismans in their creative spaces. Many an artist or writer will waste time in searching for that “right” object to serve this function and even more time arranging their spaces around the object. They do all of this instead of arting or writing. I know this because I spent time rearranging my “dream corner” and finding the right place to put my dream catcher.

Another time-waster of creatives is engaging in some sort of “ritual” before sitting down to work.    They dim the lights, light candles, fondle the aforementioned talisman (I DON’T do that with my dream catcher), make a whole ceremony over making a pot of tea (or pouring a few fingers of Scotch), and so on.

Again, I am guilty of that myself.   For example, this morning, instead of working in my sketchbook which I vowed to do every morning, I wasted time doing an inventory and making a swatch list of all my colored pencils.   Seriously.

Now I know some creatives will argue that their talismans and rituals are vital to their work.  Some see their work spaces and times as sacred and thus requiring such objects and actions to sanctify them.  I get that.  I do.  To me, the act of creating is a calling, a vocation.  You must treat the work with respect and awe.

But I know for myself that such things can be massive time-wasters.  I may do them because I don’t want to face the blank page or empty canvas.  I do them because I am just lazy and would rather screw around on Facebook than sit down and work.   Sometimes, I know the work is going to bring up uncomfortable emotional baggage.  Who wants to experience that?    All of us, if we want to live out our calling as creatives.

Don’t let your time-wasters divert you into becoming a master of the fine art of procrastination.

 

ljgloyd (c) 2018

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A Cow Bell, Two Shakers, and a Strumstick: How I Start a New Creative Project

I am an over-committed person (AKA a workaholic):   I have the day job. Then I have a continuous home improvement project that is going to take months, if not years, to resolve. I do things for my faith community. I drum as much as I can to relieve the stress of the first three commitments. I love to read (see the Goodreads list on this site). I do about forty-five minutes to an hour a day of cardio exercise and yoga for health maintenance.   And, of course, I write.

Sometimes I don’t feel like I can permit myself to try out new activities because of all these other activities. I believe, though, that to call myself a Creative, I must constantly push the boundaries through to new experiences. And once the permission is granted, it is simply a matter of making a plan and then working the plan.

One of the new activities I am considering is composing and recording some of my percussion work. Let me say here that I am most definitely NOT a musician, but nevertheless I have given myself permission to still explore this creative and technical genre.

So how am I doing this? First, I set the intention by granting myself permission to try something new AND, just as importantly, permission to set it aside mid-stream should I find it not a viable endeavor.   Next, I brainstormed the project on a pad of paper, grouping the dump of ideas into actionable items. For this project, I realized that I needed to review the technology I had on hand or could access without cost,  investigate online videos and tutorials for the software, and inventory my percussion instruments* and song sheets. After sorting, reviewing, and prioritizing these actions, I determined that I would start by learning if I could use my cell phone and the Garageband app on it to record and mix MP3 tracks.   Before I start working on this, I started a Project page in my planner.

So my process is: 1) set the intention, 2) brainstorm ideas, 3) sort the ideas into specific actions, 4) implement the first action and make note of the results.

If I am able to get past the first action, then I will proceed to the next, and so on until a finished product is at hand.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

ljgloyd 2018

*FYI:  I have four frame drums, two darbukas, four egg shakers, a flex-a-tone, a strumstick and a cow bell.   That’s going to be one weird and funky track if I am successful.


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Stop Worrying and Love Someone

You may have realized by now that I’m a bit of a planner. I brain dump everything into a journal, tease out actionable items, and then move these tasks to a separate calendar book to be done on certain days and at certain times. And this is just my personal and creative life. My work tasks are planned and organized on my computer at work.

One of my life mottos is “make a plan, work the plan.” By adhering to this, I am productive and I get things done.

I have been on vacation for the last three weeks and had planned to write, create some drumming compositions, do some art, go to museums, exercise and do yoga.

I did none of those things. Instead, I got sick, and between that and making preparations for holiday activities, I did none of the things I had planned to do. I was just too tired. My body was calling for rest, and because I ignored it, it knocked me down hard.

Yesterday, someone told me to slow down and listen to the voice of Spirit. I was admonished to stop worrying about plans for the future, live in the present and “love someone now.” This little bit of advice is so profoundly simple that it knocked me back on my heels. Upon reflection I have come to the conclusion that if I were to have a New Year’s resolution it would be to slow down, to engage in more self-care and to seek out people who need to be shown love, kindness and compassion.

No small order in this messed up world.

Ljgloyd 2018

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One Book July 2017

 

I am taking part in the 2017 One Book July challenge. The challenge is to use one book and one pen for all planning and journaling for the month of July. The fact is I did the challenge last year and have continued using one book and one pen (for the most part) for the last year. The organizers of One Book July added another challenge for journallers like me– change the size of the journal. Here is a very brief video about it.


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#OneBookJuly2016

This month I will be participating in a challenge called “One Book July 2016” offered up by the members of the Coffee and Planner Addicts Club on Facebook. Their motto is “First I drink coffee, then I do things.”  These are MY type of people, for sure!

The challenge is simply this: consolidate all of one’s productivity planning into one book, using one pen, for one month. Some planner addicts have multiple journals and planners for different purposes. I have more than one as well.  The idea is to enhance productivity by using one book for everything.

For quite some time I had been using a pocket-sized “faux-dori” notebook for planning and a separate journal for creative planning (I do a lot of mind-mapping and brain-dumping).  I was never satisfied with my “faux-dori” so I recently acquired an 18-month Moleskine Weekly Notebook to take over the planning.   For this challenge,  I inserted the planner into the Oberon Design leather cover (depicting Hokusai’s wave) which I had been using for my creative work.  I also attached a pen holder.

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So here’s a quick flip-through the new set-up:

planner dashboard page
This is my dashboard page. The image is a collage I made a number of years ago when I was a regular participant at the Soul Food Cafe. It is to remind me that I am first and foremost a Creative.  I am not particularly “arty” when it comes to my planners since every last bit of space is used for a note or bullet.  So this image will probably be the extent of any imagery.  I do use Washi tape to affix notes and make separations.  These do add a bit of color.

The front of the Moleskine planner had several pages of information primarily aimed at users who do international travel and interaction: air flight time, international dialing codes, international clothing sizes, et cetera. Those pages are of no use to me so I covered over them and am using them to hold permanent lists such as Books to Read, Movies to Watch, Websites to Visit, Birthdays, Phone numbers, and the like. The front of the planner also has several yearly calendars for overviews and advanced planning and eighteen monthly calendars where I put my long-range appointments. The bulk of the planner is comprised of weekly spreads. The days of the week are on the left with plenty of open space on the right for notes:

Planner weekly page as is

I am customizing the weekly spreads to accommodate appointments, daily tasks, notes, weekly goals, shopping lists, among other things.  The configuration of this customization may change as my needs change.   Here is what this week’s spread looks like:

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To handle my brain dumps and creative mind-mapping, I clipped a pad of lined paper onto the back pocket of the planner.  The pocket has post-it notes, tags, and other loose bits.

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An additional challenge, called OneBookJuly2016 2.0, is to dedicate a place in the book for working on a special project.  For this purpose I used a large rubber band to affix a cahier inside the back cover.  My special project this month is writing a series of essays for this blog.  This is where I will outline the essays and keep research notes.

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We’ll see how this all pans out.  I’m not crazy about the thickness of the planner/journal combo.  If it won’t fit in my bag, that will be a problem.

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 I’ll post again in a few weeks and let you know how it’s working out.

My past posts on Productivity:

Make a Plan, Work the Plan

Brain Dumps and Bullet-Journalling

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#OneBookJuly2016

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