Joy at the Core of Your Creative Work

Have you ever thought of joy as a core value in your creative work?

It’s worth considering it. Joy isn’t just confetti vibes. It’s the conviction that you’re creating a piece of work that’s important to share. It’s expressing what you feel needs to be expressed.

I’ve been thinking about a few writer friends I’ve met along my journey. I remember they would read my work, and they would give me wonderful feedback. However, when I read theirs, they wouldn’t always take a compliment. Their reaction was actually quite harsh.

“I’m not that great.” “I’m supposed to be good at this, and it sucks. I write pages and pages, and I just end up with garbage.”

To me, these thoughts indicated that they were trying to achieve perfection to feel like their writing was valuable. Sadly, an activity that was meant to bring them joy had the opposite effect.

When you’re working on your creative craft, are you obsessed with how perfect the end result will look like or are you making sure you’re having fun creating it?

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The Power of Documenting Your Experiences

This illustration caught my eye while browsing Instagram.

It reminded me of a place I visit frequently in my mind when I need to think. When I was younger, I tried to draw it many times. As an adult, I stopped and didn’t attempt to do it again. However, Iulia Bochis’ illustration made me remember it.

I was so intrigued and impressed with her work that I visited her website. I found out that her art journey began as she was travelling in Asia. She kept a journal to document her inner experiences, and later on, she started sharing her work on Instagram.

It made me think of the importance of documenting experiences in any form. At first, it’s a personal exercise; for your eyes only. Then, one day, you decide to take some parts of it (or maybe all of it) and share it with the world. Without realizing it, you’re touching someone else’s life because it connected with them.

So next time you feel you’re called to share a thought, a photograph, a journal entry, a drawing, a painting, a playlist, a collage…think that it will reach the right people.

Genuine work finds a genuine place. This is the power of documenting experiences.

Things that made my year – 2022 edition

We’re getting closer and closer to the end of 2022. Where did the time go? Funny how time flies when you’re having fun.

Here’s a list of things that made my year:

  1. Celebrating my son’s first birthday.
  2. Having my mom around for two months and celebrating my son’s birthday with her.
  3. Publishing my debut novella Kaleidoscope Eyes.
  4. This interview about my novella.
  5. Realizing that, as independent author, learning takes place every day, and it’s scary and fun at the same time.
  6. That it’s important to focus on the step in front of me, not the entire staircase.
  7. Learning about Amazon Ads for authors.
  8. Writing #LetrasDesnudas.
  9. Joining Té de Querer for some great writing workshops and making new friends.
  10. Publishing three articles on Excélsior (Mexican newspaper, all available in Spanish): Carta para la niña que se convertirá en mujer, Promesas de hoy para un mañana seguro, and Urge modelo de salud con perspectiva de género.
  11. Discovering the Curious Fox podcast.
  12. Rediscovering The Chase Jarvis Live Show.
  13. A great podcast in Spanish, Hablemos Escritoras.
  14. Joining Good Reads as an author.
  15. Learning that Depeche Mode is releasing an album next year.
  16. Finding joy in writing my newsletter.
  17. Listening to some great artists: Neo Soul, Toni Braxton, Sade, Tom Jobim, The Human League, Spice Girls, and Alicia Keys.
  18. Castella tarts.
  19. Tuna and salmon poke bowls.
  20. Janet Jackson’s album “Control”.
  21. Learning the meaning of surrender.
  22. Tara Brach’s talks and meditations.
  23. Waiting Game by Junior Boys.
  24. Toda Tercafeira by Soul Quality Quartet.
  25. Deciding that my new NFL team is the Seattle Seahawks.

 

Grateful for all the lessons learned. Grateful for the wonderful people who walked with me every step of the way. Grateful for all discoveries. Looking forward to 2023!

What’s the value of your time? Hint: It doesn’t have to do with money

As you get ready to start a new day, let me ask you: what’s the value of your time?

Something that may come to mind is “I’m worth $25 an hour”, or maybe more dollars depending on your occupation and experience level. While that’s a valid answer, time goes beyond the value of money.

One thing you can’t buy more of in this world and that is time.

Minimalismmadesimple.com

The relationship between money and time is peculiar. When you have some cash in your hands, you can either spend it or save it. The same thing happens with the way you use your time. However, unlike money, you can’t get back the time you’ve spent.

Therefore, the value of your time is higher than you can imagine. How are you currently managing it?

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sense of wonder and creativity

Sense of wonder and creativity: surprise yourself daily

One element of creativity that’s worth revisiting as often as possible is sense of wonder. This concept tends to be associated with childlike wonder, which makes sense. What else would come to mind when thinking about a person who’s constantly surprised by life?

James Clear puts it in precise words:

Children are joyful and treat each day as a miracle. (…) Each day, they hear a new word or listen to a new song or learn about a new animal. It’s their first time visiting that restaurant or jumping in that pool or riding that rollercoaster. The world is continually unfolding before them.

 

Clear also asks a couple of important questions: How can you introduce more surprise into your life as an adult? How can you renew your sense of wonder and creativity?

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Declutter your mind: creativity lies deep within you

Declutter your mind, and creativity will flourish.

Now, this may sound a bit confusing. When hearing the word “declutter”, you might immediately think of cleaning your house or work space. However, tidying and organizing also takes place in your head. This a more complex task to work on.

Yes, aesthetics is an important aspect to feel that you are in a healthy and pleasing environment. Therefore, if your space is uninspiring or doesn’t reflect “you”, then a redesign might be necessary.

To declutter your mind, though, actions have to go deeper. It takes time, energy, and willingness to dismantle barriers that inhibit creative expression.

Let’s go through a couple of key points.

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Creativity and inhibitions: a deadly combination

When thinking about creativity and inhibitions, a couple of questions come to mind:

What blocks creativity? Why is it that, at times, we feel that we can’t use our full creative potential?

We are going through some difficult times in all aspects of our lives. Creativity is one key factor that can help us figure out our next steps in what we’re trying to solve. However, if we’re mentally blocked, it’s going to be challenging to move forward.

I recently came across an article on the top 10 common factors that inhibit creativity. This is an eye-opening read, and it caused such impact on me that I decided to expand on three of them:

  • Laziness
  • Fear of failure
  • Keeping your work to yourself

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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?

The art of blogging is still alive

Some time ago, I read somewhere that blogs were dead. Online communication has mutated in such way that this kind of platform is no longer relevant. At least not as relevant as it “used to be.”

I disagree with that idea. Blogs are still very much alive. They’re the window to a person’s mind and creative crafts. It’s a platform where someone can introduce themselves to the online world without any editorial guidelines.

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