Originality (camp)

“Originality rises from your underground truth. When you have a passion of the truth about yourself, originality will percolate up through your work. When you go for the truth, originality takes care of itself.”

— W.A. Mathieu, The Listening Book

first☮️

What do we feel when we open our eyes?

Full moon in the backyard. Sun rising over mountains out front.

A reflection of what’s inside.

Fam. Crew. Self.

When I’m stressing deadlines—rushed, already behind.

When I’m doing me, the reflection is bliss.

Hurry up and get rejected

Been working on a submission to a literary zine for a month or so. Tweaking, editing, feeling confident, feeling deflated—repeat. Realizing I need to hurry up and get rejected so I can move on and submit more work!

This is the first time I’ve ever submitted something. Who am I to think they’ll love and feature it? Why, in any reality, would they give a fuck?

Not to say the work is bad. It’s just my first go.

I’ve seen this so many times with musicians (and BEEN this musician). “Nah I can’t perform yet, I would need to make sure everything is perfect first.” Result: never performing. You have to give it a try, fail, and get better. There is no shortcut.

Recognizing I need to do my final (final, FINAL) edits, hit send, and start writing the next thing. I need to subscribe to these zines. Purchase them. Learn about more of them. Keep supporting and reading other folks’ work. And keep writing and submitting my own.

Submission sent ✅

CREW

Chilling is anti-capitalistic

Got to have an outdoor, distanced coffee with a friend a little while ago. It felt extra special since it was months before the recent CDC mandates were lifted. It was one of those times when you don’t see a friend for a bit and they’re doing hella work and you link back up and they probably don’t even realize how badass they are.

She and I talk about work stuff a lot, maybe even too much, but we support each other in this way and other friends are better than us at making us laugh so it’s kind of just who we are.

This time she taught me about how chilling is anti-capitalistic. That not grinding for an institution or someone else, or even ourselves depending on what that looks like, is a strong statement. It says we’re not following the faster/more/now push and that we care enough to take legitimate time to honor our projects or papers or assignments or lives.

It helped me re-solidify my decision to refocus my work life to give more time to creative work. Working multiple jobs for a bit, I started feeling overly stressed and was unintendedly feeding into a system that would just keep wanting more.

We see this a lot. We might be crushing it at work and realize all we’re doing is setting the bar higher for ourselves without receiving the acknowledgment or compensation we deserve.

This is SO HARD for those of us committed to hustling. My crew is full of these badasses. Folks with experience and drive making it hard to be around anyone not pushing to the utmost. Not working hard can feel like a diss to our work ethic.

I realized I could keep honoring my hustle, but bring it to my own work VS someone else’s. I love who I work for and what I do, but it isn’t fully my shit. It’s just not and that’s OK.

The challenge is seeing and believing in the importance of our creative work and values, even when this looks like sitting in the park or backyard staring at birds. We can look at our work as more important to the work we do to pay bills—really the only way we can show up to pay bills in a healthy headspace anyways.

I’m sure this just gets even more complicated if your creative work IS paying bills, so trust I’m not sitting here thinking how easy that would be. Shoutout to all artists and anyone doing you 100 and being compensated from it.

My coffee-date friend is a ridiculously creative Fun Professional. She’s doing so much dope work outside of the paid dope work she does. Bud, if you read this, I hope you get to smile for a sec and realize how inspiring you are.

Love you! Thank you! CREW!

What now?

Was gonna write and decided to post something on Twitter first. Now wondering about an active shooter in Boulder and if my fam’s OK. How do we handle all this stuff and keep going?

I’m not in that store, or in the millions of other spaces that could be dangerous right now. I’m fortunate in so many ways and try to acknowledge this in action.

“If I can, I must.” Dr. Grace Dammann – States of Grace

Today I can make music, write, connect with friends and fam, support artists and important organizations, and work to share documentary films with messages I believe in.

In 2014 I rapped, “Awake a bit of strange to make your artery strong. No I’m not Mother T but I do care to drop bombs.” The Full Magical Wand

I wanted to recognize my imperfections and limitations while putting weight and value behind my actions, amidst the forever search for ways to keep going when stuff feels and is monumentally tuff, whether right there in front of us or through the safety of a screen.

Looking for that inner-OK and being content without its presence. Taking the small steps to rep how we can.

LOVE

Originally drafted March 22, 2021

When it works

Sometimes the practice works. We realize something that could have been rough was easier. The other day I handled a potentially mega-stressful situation with perspective. From the outside looking in, noticing, “Wow that’s challenging!” “A real difficult situation, you’ll figure it out, chuckle chuckle…” And it fucking worked!

2 days after sending a planned peace/love/moving-on email to a job where I helped launch the distribution of a film, I received another email with the subject “URGENT.” And I mean another. This is one of the reasons I was OK with gracefully bowing out from this gig. No joke, at least 1/3 of the emails had the same subject line and I just didn’t feel like carrying this project’s made-up urgency anymore.

I took a quick glance to confirm it could sit overnight without a response. The next day I had my regular email-free morning, ignored a voicemail from URGENT man, went to another meeting, and intentionally got into the 🆘 911🚨 email at about 11am. After reading it, I took a quick 5-minute walk, breathed intentionally for 30 seconds or so, and responded fun-professionally and carefree. I acknowledged the situation without entering the drama.

There was some confusion between a couple of the partnerships I booked for the film. One of them went HAM with marketing to the point it started to look like the film was their project. Super surprising as most folks don’t do anything more than sending a couple of emails to their list. They made a website and did a bunch of social promo. Mostly OK, slightly surprising, no biggie. It made another group we’re working with wonder what was up.

A few minutes after responding I called back URGENT man, leading with a perspective of looking at the situation from the outside. Not because I had moved on from the project, this was still in my zone and I was happy to help out (on the clock), but because no one needed to be this stressed.

I lead with, “Wow that’s a situation, we’ll get there.” And it worked! He was totally chilled out by it, I was chilled out by it, and instead of being stressed and adding more work to my plate, I left the call free and clear.

This is one of the things we’re training to do in mindfulness, mediation, fun-pro living, and hype. It’s, “Getting a perspective on our perspective,” as my friend Mark says. Being able to sit and think, “Dang I’m super stressed.” Seeing our minds as a space or ocean or desert or whatever works best for you, and watching things come and go. We can be a lil mini-us hovering above ourselves noticing what’s happening. Just the simple act of acknowledging our thoughts can show us all we need to do is laugh and cruise beyond to the living truly happening right now.

There were no wack repercussions from my not returning the email right away. It was fine. No one cared. Because it was an email. Letting the boss man go to voicemail that morning was totally OK too. They just wanted a response — it didn’t really matter when. Did they have a stressful few hours? I hope not, but if they did that’s on them. I was able to leave the situation like a Fun Professional, on even better terms with the team than the great terms I had left on 2 days earlier. Waiting a bit to respond with intention benefitted all involved.

CREWWW