How do you spend your time? Some ideas to consider

How do you spend your time?

The answers may vary according to lifestyle, personal philosophies, daily tasks among many more factors.

It requires a lot of effort and patience to track our habits and observe exactly what we do with each hour of the day.

How long will things be the same? Surely, I will be awake, I will sleep, I will be hungry, I will be cold, I will be hot. Is there no end? Do all things go in a circle?

seneca

Continue reading “How do you spend your time? Some ideas to consider”

Creative lessons from ‘Get Back’

One of the greatest documentaries released last year was, without a doubt, Get Back. The Beatles, even after years and years of their split, can still give any of us creative lessons.

The recording of the band’s sessions took place in the 60s, a decade in which I wasn’t even born yet. It’s impressive for me to be able to see how The Beatles composed their wonderful songs. It means a lot to me to learn more about their creative style, their personalities, and their natural gifts as musicians.

Here’s my list of creative lessons learned:

  • Playing is the best way to work

Watching them play with their guitars, piano or drums was like watching kids have fun. Their spontaneity led the way even when they were under pressure to record an album.

At times, they would perform other artists’ songs to take a break and refresh their minds. There was always room for laughs, smiles, and some jokes.

  • Exploring one idea from different angles is a must

They never made rushed decisions on the final version of a song. They tried different options and worked on all of them until they were truly satisfied. A creative idea may have true potential if explored from different perspectives.

Magic can happen if you don’t obsess with a single take.

  • Having some ideas ready always helps

Paul had a good chunk of Let It Be ready. That means he spent some time working on the song outside the studio and then shared his progress to keep refining it.

In the creative world, not everything happens in an office or in a studio. When you’re on your own, you need to keep ruminating. Process never stops.

  • Paul is not dead

This is not exactly a creative lesson, but I couldn’t let this chance pass without mentioning “Paul’s death”. A tremendous talent like his has no match. There’s no way someone else could have composed masterpieces like Let It Be and The Long and Winding Road.

I think the documentary proves any conspiracy theories wrong.

 

What did you learn from The Beatles’ creative process?

Personal fears: An exercise for self-reflection

I want to write openly about my personal fears. Since fear can be used as a GPS, I think it’d be a good exercise to see where it’s leading me. On the other hand, it’s difficult to be vulnerable in public. It’s a common belief that the more you hide your flaws, the stronger you will look.

It’s time to get rid of that belief and let my authentic self show. I’ll start by naming three of my greatest fears while elaborating a bit on them. I’ll mention where they come from and how I can overcome them.

Let’s see how this goes.

Continue reading “Personal fears: An exercise for self-reflection”

20 things that made my 2021 interesting

We’re just about to finish 2021, a year full of life-changing events. I’m grateful for all the experiences I had, and all the opportunities that came my way, especially for writing.

New priorities redefine the way I live my days, but there’s always a chance to make room for all the things that matter to me. I’m confident 2022 will teach me how to become better at it.

Here’s the list of 20 things that made my 2021 interesting.

  1. Getting pregnant and giving birth to a baby boy
  2. My mom’s visit for two months
  3. Publishing an article on women’s empowerment in Excelsior, one of the most prestigious newspapers in Mexico. (The article is available in Spanish only).
  4. Collaborating as a blogger in Apocrifa Art Magazine. I wrote about indie authors, creative entrepreneurship and writing life in general. (All articles are in Spanish).
  5. Taking a course on creative writing for the first time in my life. It was wonderful.
  6. This video on the importance of being yourself. It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever watched on YouTube.
  7. Reading more in Spanish. This year I read El Amor en los Tiempos del Cólera, Ficciones, Cuentos Naturales, Plagio, La Ciudad Oculta 2, and Mucha Madre.
  8. Discovering the following musicians: Chet Baker Quartet, Debussy, and Vangelis.
  9. This song
  10. Finishing my book!
  11. Dave Gahan’s Imposter album
  12. Depeche Mode’s photo book
  13. A playlist I made to celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day
  14. Discovering that I want to explore folklore through dancing. Watching Amalia Hernandez’ ballet was inspiring.
  15. Deciding that, someday, I’d like to become a judge at the Olympic Games
  16. Playing Mario Kart again
  17. Meditation as a more regular practice
  18. Writing about beginnings
  19. Writing more in Spanish
  20. Buying books for my son

Writing on paper: an analogue tool that still works

Writing on paper is one of my favourite activities. It allows me to slow down and think better. Seeing my hand in motion as I scribble down is still a fulfilling experience.

I can strike out ideas on the go and stop at any time to find out what comes next. On a digital format, I find this process a bit more intimidating. The text box is blank, and all I can see is the cursor blinking; waiting for you to come up with the perfect words to type. It’s a lot less spontaneous.

It’s almost an obligation to come prepared to work at the computer.

Continue reading “Writing on paper: an analogue tool that still works”

Analogue process is still around and will always be

Analogue process is part of our daily lives in the XXI century. We still need it. We still use it.

On the one hand, we all look for digital tools when it comes to making creative work: doing research, creating graphics, blogging, building a website and more. Technology is an important component.

It makes sense. After all, it’s the norm in this day and age.

On the other hand, let’s not forget that analogue process is still relevant. Isn’t it wonderful? There’s a lot of trends that indicate that our lives will be relying more on artificial intelligence and other tech tools, but some things can’t simply fade away.

Continue reading “Analogue process is still around and will always be”

Eliminating distractions in the next decade

If we are to think in decades to track our growth, we better start eliminating distractions and prioritize the things that matter.

Here’s a few considerations from various sources I’ve come across:

  • Put your family, friends, and partner in the first place. Meaningful relationships are crucial for personal fulfillment.
  • Analyze the content you consume on TV, books, and the Internet. If you constantly find that you’re not learning anything, it’s time to be more selective.
  • Make sure that you’re doing something that makes you happy. There is no time to waste in things that you dislike.
  • Cut negative people out of your life. Protect your own energy.
  • Have clear goals for every day, every year, and of course, every decade. Time runs faster than you think. Make every moment count.
  • Be bold and ask for what you want.
  • Judge less. Focus on your own progress.
  • Play the long term game.

How would you start eliminating distractions from your life?

20 things that made my 2020 interesting

An unforgettable year is ending. In spite of all the terrible events that took place around the world, I found value in highlighting 20 things that made my 2020 interesting in my personal life.

This exercise gives me a sense of accomplishment, and it’s also a great way to practise self-reflection. From now on, I’ll do it every year to see where my focus has been and celebrate my own efforts.

Here’s the 20 things that made my 2020 interesting:

  1. Reconnecting with myself through therapy. Yes, this was the year I finally realized I needed help to solve issues from the past. The pandemic moved all my emotions and decided to pay attention to what was happening. Fortunately, I’m in a much better place right now.
  2. Knowing that my family has been supporting me throughout this process. I wouldn’t be able to do it without them.
  3. Discovering the orange book on Twitter. This account was quite the discovery in the middle of my personal crisis. Whenever I read this person’s tweets, I always get new ideas and feelings about life. It’s simply that powerful.
  4. The 99u conference. This year, it adapted a digital format and anyone in the world could access it for free. In spite of the circumstances, it was wonderful to gain knowledge in every conference and meet the brilliant speakers who make things happen. My two main takeaways were: an hour of your time can make a difference to nurture your creative self, and noticing the world around you can fortify your creativity.
  5. Writing my first book! I’m taking the self-publishing route and, if everything goes well, I’ll publish it next year. Whoa.
  6. Speaking of self-publishing, my personal journey is allowing me to learn other aspects of writing. The editing process is crucial, and it’s important to invest in it and learn what kind of editing you need.
  7. Rediscovering bossanova music. Every difficult moment got better as soon as I listened to happier and more energetic tunes, such as Magalenha by Segio Mendes.
  8. Music always makes a difference under any circumstance. Here’s a more specific list of songs that defined the sound of 2020 for me.
  9. With strange highs and strange lows, these things helped me find light in times of darkness.
  10. Learning about compound knowledge. It’s a mindset worth adopting, and something tells me it’ll define how 2021 will unfold for me.
  11. Watching Sailor Moon with the same enthusiasm as my six-year-old self.
  12. Joining Tim’s listening party on Twitter when A Certain Ratio was featured. I missed the one with Friendly Fires, though.
  13. Speaking of Friendly Fires, “Sleeptalking” is one of their most perfect songs.
  14. In terms of music albums released in 2020, Petals for Armor by Hayley Williams and Freeze/Melt by Cut Copy were outstanding.
  15. Getting to know María Félix through her movies.
  16. Blogging in Spanish again.
  17. Paying off student loans.
  18. Deciding to diversify my personal library. From now on, I’m reading genres I had not read before. Here’s a list of books I’m hoping to get next year.
  19. Getting Live Spirits by Depeche Mode delivered to my home after waiting for it for six months.
  20. Being able to create my e-newsletter.

The sound of 2020: tunes that helped me get through the year

What’s the sound of 2020? I recently discovered a fantastic online time capsule of music. It’s called “2020 IS A SONG“, and it has a simple objective: sharing with the world the one song that got you through this crazy year.

While it’s hard to choose only one song, for this time capsule I decided that mine had to be Sleeptalking by Friendly Fires.

I’ve written about the importance of noticing the world around. In an attempt to explain to myself why certain songs helped me more than others, I’m sharing a list of the tunes that brought me solace, peace or joy and why. Here’s the sound of 2020 for me.

Continue reading “The sound of 2020: tunes that helped me get through the year”

Life lessons from the mysterious Orange Book

What else can we say about 2020?

It’s going to be an unforgettable year. It’s hard to visualize what 2021 has in store for humanity, but all we have is the present. This moment.

There’s still a lot to do to reshape our mindsets and move forward and navigate turbulent waters.

One of the sources that kept me grounded was the Orange Book on Twitter. The person who owns this account is brilliant and mysterious at the same time. No one knows who he or she is, but every thought that he/she posts is deep and meaningful.

I want to share how these posts helped me know myself better.

Continue reading “Life lessons from the mysterious Orange Book”