Digging Deep With Sam And Kent

It’s quite funny how the things I least expect are the ones that stay with me for quite awhile.

 

I previously mentioned that ‘Before I Fall’ is the least likely film I’d watch. If I’d seen the trailer before picking it up, I would have surely thought: ‘Oh…that was THAT film…’ — and just move on to other films.

 

Now here I am months later after falling into the rabbit hole (okay maybe ‘visit’ rather than ‘fall’ is a better term), and I’m still finding out things to explore. That is after reading (leafing through then eventually reading more and more bits) the book, writing a pilot pitch (I’m in the process of updating the next draft), having an iteration of Kent appearing in a post about finding the right connections, and three tracks will eventually appear in 2017’s album release (TBA for link and track details).

 

The post that triggered yet another exploration is this one about ‘the heart‘. I found it while sending a fellow writer some questions I think I should be asking while in the process of finding the best version of my pilot pitch.

 

Then I started to wonder about the kind of stories that have pulled me in:

  • Homeland – Carrie continually trying to find her best self (through lots of frustrations and betrayals) while adding value to the world in doing what she does best (unearth terror plots). I initially thought it was the storytelling (which I realise is of course common in stories I feel drawn to), and not I’m reminded that it’s a surface thing, that there’ll always be something that runs deeper that keeps me watching.
  • The Good Wife – How dangerous it is to sit on the fence, and not make a decision. Which means you’ll likely lose out on something special. Alicia has made a number of decisions through the 7 seasons of the show, but seem to hesitate to make ones relating to her marriage (stay or go?).
  • Better Call Saul – what’s it like when you don’t have your suit of armour yet? It now makes it easier to see why ‘Better Call Saul’ would appeal to me more than ‘Breaking Bad’…it’s because the characters in ‘Breaking Bad’ mostly had their ‘suit of armour’ (for Jimmy it was having ‘Saul Goodman’ as his persona). Another thing I enjoy about the show is Jimmy coming up with different (creative) solutions to the challenges life throws at him.
  • Rectify – Daniel journeys to find himself (while getting out of his self-destructive mindset because he has let other people define who he is…which sometimes makes him blind to the people who care for him and who are willing to give him a leg up) and understand that he is worthy.

 

 

As for Sam and Kent. I think there is something magical about having someone in your life who is able to tell you (without fear) that you are better than what you’re doing right now. Someone who’s able to give you a different (usually more helpful) perspective on events.

 

Here’s an exchange from the film:

Sam: Is that the one we used to sit in?

[Kent looks behind him at the trees outside his window. He smiles and nods]

Kent: Yeah. Yeah we did.

[He looks back at the trees again]

Kent: Do you uh…remember climbing up it? And then you jumped out and sprained your ankle?

Sam: I was stupid.

Kent: It was very ambitious

 

Sam certainly has gone through something slightly different than Daniel (though still brings it’s own trauma), so I think that’s one of the things that I wanted to explore (other than: ‘well I just wanted to know what happens to Sam and Kent when they are both 44’) was how she would get over ‘not being good enough’, particularly as Kent’s life partner.

 

As with the saying ‘jokes contain a modicum of truth in them’, I’m keen to apply that perspective in future viewings (and readings!), not only to help understand what goes on in my head a bit better — also connect better the people I cross paths with….so I can approach incidents like this much better than I have in the past.

 

Are there specific TV Shows (or films) that reflect the things about yourself that you are currently exploring? Tweet it out to me at @LeighLim (Or you can reply to this, this, this, or this)

 


Did this post spark something that you’d like to talk about more? Go for it! Send me a quick note so I can learn about your bumpy (yet exciting!) adventures.

Wait…

Was it was an action!?

Better do that first before sending me that note!

First time visiting? It’ll be great if you head here after reading. 🙂

Comments: You’ll have to reach out to me to let me know that you are keen on posting a comment. At the moment, WordPress has this weird comment system that uses cookies from other sites, so until they fix it that only cookies come from within the WordPress domain…I am unable to view new comments when they come in.

Advertisements

The Best Way To Stay Present

While in the process of writing the second draft of a guest post about my thoughts on my spiritual journey in relation to the film ‘Stranger Than Fiction’ I caught myself before getting fully lost in my own thoughts: ‘Wow…I’m not thinking of any other thing at the moment. I’m totally immersed!’

 

Whether that means that I might drop off the time spent on making music….I don’t know. I do know that music is still a bit part of my life. I recently felt my heart swell a tad while listening to an arrangement of Adele’s ‘Hello’ by an orchestra (I couldn’t find the version I saw on SBS though this one sounds similar to that arrangement).

 

Could that mean that I’ll be more of a listener (maybe the music discovery project might take the front seat more?)? For now, I think what I’m supposed to do with that reminder is to keep track of those moments when I am able to easily be present in what I’m doing

 

It’s one thing to find out that I need solitude to recharge, and another to find out what kind of ‘activities in solitude’ helps the most. It may turn out to be a combination of G rated clips from The Graham Norton Show and running through my to-do list (particularly the ones that have me working with specific constraints: may it be addressing notes from an editor or trying to mesh two ideas together to birth a unique one)

 

 

 

 

 


Did this post spark something that you’d like to talk about more? Go for it! Send me a quick note so I can learn about your bumpy (yet exciting!) adventures.

Wait…

Was it was an action!?

Better do that first before sending me that note!

First time visiting? It’ll be great if you head here after reading. 🙂

Comments: You’ll have to reach out to me to let me know that you are keen on posting a comment. At the moment, WordPress has this weird comment system that uses cookies from other sites, so until they fix it that only cookies come from within the WordPress domain…I am unable to view new comments when they come in.

Systems vs Goals

One takeaway I got from Scott’s chat with Srini was the idea of setting up systems rather than goals.

For me it makes sense, because I do believe that we have no idea where a project could lead to. So as Scott shares how he just started blogging, which ended up helping him write his book (as well as write for publications like The Wall Street Journal), which in turn helped him get speaking gigs.

 

Systems:

  • Writing a joke a day
  • Posting on your blog every week (even if you’re inspired or not).
  • Starting conversations with 10 people a day (Say you’re hoping to find a friend…who’s closer than a 4 hour drive!)

 

Goals:

  • I want to perform at the Late Show (not really a goal of mine! I just thought of Jerry’s one joke a day as an example — so this would be a related goal!)
  • I would like 100,000 views per month on my blog
  • Finding 5 new friends

 

The biggest upside of having a system (or at least focusing daily actions broken down from your goal) is that I can easily focus on what I have control over. I mean I can’t control the number of people who visit my site, and I also can’t control where a conversation leads. Though I can schedule to write every week and publish on specific days, and find a way to start up a conversation with someone who’s carrying a copy of Creativity Inc!

 

 

A supporting theory was mentioned during his chat with James about no one knowing what a good idea is (so don’t be too discouraged if someone tells you something is a bad idea — unless well…it’s a bad idea…like what Jimmy cooked up during Season 1 Episode 1 of ‘Better Call Saul’ to get the Kettlemans to sign with him).

 

 

 

 


Did this post spark something that you’d like to talk about more? Go for it! Send me a quick note so I can learn about your bumpy (yet exciting!) adventures.

Wait…

Was it was an action!?

Better do that first before sending me that note!

First time visiting? It’ll be great if you head here after reading. 🙂

Comments: You’ll have to reach out to me via Google+ (click on the hangout button), Youtube (when you’re logged in, and on this page, a ‘message’ button would pop up), or Tumblr (visit any one of my pages, and there would be a button for you to click on (the one with the smiley face!) that would make a new window pop-up for you to send me a message…or multiple ones…) to let me know that you are keen on posting a comment. At the moment, WordPress has this weird comment system that uses cookies from other sites, so until they fix it that only cookies come from within the domain…I am unable to view new comments when they come in.

Tribes

People who inspire your work.

People who are inspired by your work.

People who make you see other perspectives.

People who make you laugh.

People who get your sense of humour.

People who inspire your journey.

People who are inspired by your journey.

People who think about working with you when they start their next project.

People who you think about working with when you start your next project.

People who help you get out of ruts.

People who you can help get out of a rut.

People who you can’t forget.

People who can’t forget about you.

 

I’d say this is an extension of these three posts: here, here, and here.

Thinking about the number of people in that list (if I limit one line to 5 people), it’s quite within the tolerance of 120 (or 150) of the number of people believed that we can carry social ties with.

 

If you notice the number of people I follow on Twitter increase and decrease at certain times — chances are, I’m in the process of doing a review of the people who I’d like to focus 85% of my time on…while on the platform.

 

It also makes me see future connections differently (before I hit follow) — and it certainly makes me pay more attention to their feed and the people they also follow when the number is less than 150.

 

Additional Reading:

 

P.S. Your right in thinking that with the correct chord progression — these sentences could morph into a song like this. (TBA for link once that day comes!)

 

 

 


Did this post spark something that you’d like to talk about more? Go for it! Send me a quick note so I can learn about your bumpy (yet exciting!) adventures.

Wait…

Was it was an action!?

Better do that first before sending me that note!

First time visiting? It’ll be great if you head here after reading. 🙂

 

Comments: You’ll have to reach out to me via Google+ (click on the hangout button), Youtube (when you’re logged in, and on this page, a ‘message’ button would pop up), or Tumblr (visit any one of my pages, and there would be a button for you to click on (the one with the smiley face!) that would make a new window pop-up for you to send me a message…or multiple ones…) to let me know that you are keen on posting a comment. At the moment, WordPress has this weird comment system that uses cookies from other sites, so until they fix it that only cookies come from within the domain…I am unable to view new comments when they come in.

The Best Way To Reach Me

As I was having a quick look and update on ‘My Cheeky FAQ’ I realised that it might help if there was a specific entry (and I can’t wait to hear from you if this post indeed helped!) that helps you know how to best send me a message.

 

  • Tumblr – I am on there at least once a fortnight (unless intentionally focusing on completing something and my fan tendencies need to be ‘on hold’ because they are a hindrance rather than a compliment!)
  • YouTube – Though sometimes notifications cross over with Google+ — I still find it a handy playform to send (and receive!) private messages.
  • Google+ – apparently there’s a way to send me messages even if I am not ‘online’ (I’ll get your notifications and that would prompt me to check my messages)
  • Form – This comes in handy if you are on a device that you avoid using to log-in to your various social media accounts. Even if you don’t put your email address, as long as you give me your Tumblr / YouTube / Google+ handle, and I can chase you up there.

 

 

What you’ll need in your message:

  • your email address!
  • How I can help you. (Really. Tell me! Don’t worry about sounding all ‘sales-ey’. Because the sooner I find out how I can add value to you, the sooner I am able to generate ideas! It’s as easy as completing this statement: ‘Leigh, I want _____ to happen. Can you help?’ If there are multiple items, take some time to consider what is most important for you to achieve. Whether it be finding someone who is equally smitten by BrainDead, or needing creative juice to improve your interactions with people you serve.)
  • If you have references (such as my tweet or a post), it would help a LOT if you include it too!

 

 

 

 


Did this post spark something that you’d like to talk about more? Go for it! Send me a quick note so I can learn about your bumpy (yet exciting!) adventures.

Wait…

Was it was an action!?

Better do that first before sending me that note!

First time visiting? It’ll be great if you head here after reading. 🙂

 

Comments: You’ll have to reach out to me via Google+ (click on the hangout button), Youtube (when you’re logged in, and on this page, a ‘message’ button would pop up), or Tumblr (visit any one of my pages, and there would be a button that would make a new window pop-up for you to send me a message) to let me know that you are keen on posting a comment. At the moment, WordPress has this weird comment system that uses cookies from other sites, so until they fix it that only cookies come from within the domain…I am unable to view new comments when they come in.

The Journey To One Thousand

My approach to finding my 1,000 is by thinking of the different ways I could serve others.

Since I have a mind that likes churning out ideas, I’ve combined it with my appetite for exploring things (films, books, music, essays, personal development…) — and as a result, there are days when I am a recommendation machine!

Then to make it clearer which group of people the content is for, I make sure that they are classified accordingly. For example, personal development stuff would be on my personal blog. Artist explorations are done within the WNE Q&A Series. For film comments/recommendations — I’m considering signing up to Rotten Tomatoes. Musical ideas are lumped in my YouTube Channel.

Now there’s the cooking and gardening explorations…still not sure which site to publish those entries with. Though I’m thinking it might work better if I just approach sites I’ve found helpful.
Sounds like a lot isn’t it? Well…it is! And my solution on not being overwhelmed (and avoiding losing hours of sleep) is to focus on two actions that I think would make the most difference. Though I’ve known this for awhile now, the path to action was helped along after reading a bit of ‘Good Strategy / Bad Strategy’ by Richard Rumelt. I managed to come up with those two actions based on spending some time with Richard’s three guiding principles in the book.

 

 

  • Diagnosis – “The Challenges the business or project faces”
  • Guiding Policy – “Overall approach for overcoming the obstacles, channeling actions in certain directions without defining exactly what shall be done.”
  • Coherent Action – “To have punch actions should coordinate and build upon one another…”

As a result, I’ve now been dedicating 5 of my 6 days to those two actions. It’s a pain…because the thing I hate the most is doing things repetitively…then I remind myself: ‘For those who are aiming to get to a certain fitness level, daily strategic actions are required to get there.’

 

Action #1: Do 100 Pitches per week for the ‘10,000 Notes of Encouragement‘ Project

Action to switch to once milestone (20% funding) has been achieved: Send next 1000 notes.

Action #2: Send 100 Q&A invitations per week.

Action to switch to once milestone (20 interviewees engaged enough to have a weekly response rate) has been achieved: Publish next 10 Q&As.

 

Note: This post started out as a comment for this entry. I liked how the sentences kept coming, so I wanted to do a version here! (At the moment of writing, my comment is pending approval.)

 

Are you also on your journey to finding your one thousand true fans? I’d love to get a chance to cheer you on!

 

 

 


 

Did this post spark something that you’d like to talk about more? Go for it! Send me a quick note so I can learn about your bumpy (yet exciting!) adventures.

Wait…

Was it was an action!?

Better do that first before sending me that note!

 

First time visiting? It’ll be great if you head here after reading. 🙂

‘AHA’ Moments (Guest Post #1: Bryan Roth)

“The difference between writers and everyone else? Writers remember what they were thinking about in the shower.”

 

I have no idea where I first heard this or where it came from, but it stuck. The Shower Thought, that moment of clarity where nothing else really exists in the world around you except the flow of hot water, steam filling the room and a clear mind. It’s in this moment, countless times, I’ve been lucky to experience an epiphany of creativity.

 

The hardest part is holding onto that memory, lest you lose a serendipitous opportunity to craft something new, and if you’re lucky, unique.

 

The trick is to not let those thoughts marinate too long, simmering in your brain instead of slicing, dicing and preparing them to share with the world. The easiest way? Write every day.

 

That habit has helped me not just become a better writer, but become more efficient in how I write. Inspiration can be so fleeting, it’s pivotal to get pen to paper or fingers to keyboard in order to hone your moment of clarity into something tangible.

 

Take, for instance, a recent post on my blog from a Friday in mid-February. All week, friends and I had been discussing the topic du jour in the Beer World – an inflammatory article about how one person decided craft beer was dead to them because a style they didn’t like has become popular. There was a lot of huffing and hawing about the usefulness of such a clickbaity piece, so it was stuck in my head.

 

Then, on Friday morning, as I got ready for work, I let my mind wander to all the weird places a companion post might go … Could I write about craft beer being “alive” like a person? Could I take apart the author’s argument piece-by-piece? No – I’ll take the post for face value and think about why *I* would want to write something like that.

 

I’ll “apply” for a job at the website.

 

So I “did.”

 

I kept that thought flowing, never letting it leave the forefront of my mind. I scribbled some notes on paper and as soon as I sat at a computer, I started typing and didn’t stop.

 

In all, I probably spent about 60 minutes working on the piece, but it was that initial spurt of imagination that got me started. Because I let my mind drift in the shower.

 

This is not to say a shower is the only place to find revelatory thoughts. Exercise is a great distraction for the body that I’ve found lets my mind wander, too. The important part is to not let those thoughts drift too much, otherwise instead of being a writer, you’ll just be “everyone else,” letting your shot at creativity float away like the steam in your bathroom.

 

Bryan Roth is a freelance writer and the man behind ‘This Is Why I’m Drunk’. Follow his random thoughts on Twitter at @bryandroth and his pursuit of “beertography” on Instagram at @bryandroth.

 

First time visiting? It’ll be great if you head here after reading. 🙂

 

Creativity Exercises

Allow yourself to play and follow your interests. I know it is a challenge to quantify what you get back when you veer off to other things and spend less time on your work…

…somehow it just pays itself over!

 

I granted myself a bit of ‘play’ when I came across an idea: ‘take a section I like — and do an electronic version of Austin Kleon’s Newspaper Blackout series’.

Here is the result:

 

Now…how did that exercise pay me back?

  • An idea for a song
  • Future topic for a blog post
  • a reminder of the importance of showing my work to others — because…I might just find (at least) another person that likes it too!

 

More Brain food? Check these out!

 

Oh…one last thing? Make sure you are REALLY in a rut (or due for a break) when you do these! Please…please…please…(I’m begging you!)…veer away from the temptation to keep doing these exercises…(and other things you find)….unless you have gone back to what you need to finish that hour, day, or week.

I do like to hear which ones resonate with you the most (and also which ones have given you ‘more back’). Drop me a line will you? 🙂

Distracted by Corgis?

The problem with having all the good intentions of ‘time management’ by tracking down each task, is at times, other tasks meld into it (like looking at pictures/videos of cute faces of dogs, puppies, and cats).

 

When it happens to me, my time tracking sheet ends up looking like:

  • 1:32 PM – 1:45 PM – Check WNE Facebook responses
  • 1:45 PM – 2:10 PM – Lunch
  • 2:10 PM – 5:45 PM – Check email (whoops! got distracted a LOT here!)
  • 5:45 PM – 6:10 PM – Exercise Time

 

Because I tend to have multiple tabs open at a time (those ideas have to be caught when they drift in!), I’ve found myself getting a thought…wanting to watch a quick video (to make sure it is the one I wanted to forward)…then ending up losing an hour or two while on my ‘check mail task’.

 

My solution to minimise this happening is to set a 20 minute timer, and to make sure that I vary my tasks between 20-40 minutes (to avoid sitting for long stretches of time). This way I can escape the hold of those cute furry faces (or even an interesting article or essay — as I would be best to catch up on it later).

 

…of course sometimes it doesn’t work as well…and I drift towards…well…what ‘feels good to watch’ (again…like cute furry faces that make you smile and go ‘awwww…’)

 

If I get frustrated when I have those moments when I realise that I’ve lost track of time or have not invested it wisely. One of the quotes I’d turn to would be from a review of ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ — which was written by Mark Hughes:

 

 

Need me to be your timer (maybe not every 20 minutes…maybe just to check how you are doing)? Say the word…um…I mean…send me your message here! 😀

How much time, really?

Being able to track the time you spend on a task not only stops you from having no idea where the rest of your day went, it also could serve as inspiration — if you do want to find ways to invest the next (unplanned) 2 hours when you are free.

For the Q&A, the approximate time I have in my head at the moment is that it takes me approximately 10 hours to finish one. This includes:

  • Question Prep
  • Research
  • Editing
  • Follow-ups

 

Thing is, if I do want to improve myself in terms of where (and how) I invest my time — just approximate numbers wouldn’t do. So I’m now tracking the time I spend on each Q&A.

 

Some things that may help with your own relationship with time management:

 

Interested in updates about my experiment? Sure! You can send me a quick note via YouTube (don’t forget to log-in!) or here. 🙂