Creatively Frustrated

For the past five years I’ve been developing, polishing, and pacing what I hope will eventually be my first novel. I’ve been writing and reading my whole life, but I’ve never put paper to pen long enough to write an entire novella.  I can feel the story crying out to be written, and the voice of creativity shows no signs of holding its tongue.

As mentioned in my previous post A Forgotten Flame, I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts again lately, and yesterday I listened to a podcast in which the host spoke about being productive as a writer. Most of what was said would probably be considered common sense to many; such as: “Read a lot, and write a lot.” Which is great advice, but also something that I’ve already heard, many times before.

What did fascinate me, to the extent that I immediately grabbed a notebook and pen to write down what I had heard, was the last point of advice that he gave. I won’t beat around the bush, so here it is:

Once a day, do something creative, and then write it down on your calendar.  Keep on doing at least one creative thing a day, and eventually you won’t want to miss a “something creative” day because of all the positive, creative momentum that you’ve built up. The idea being that you’ll eventually reach  a point in your life wherein each day will always provide you with a creative achievement to your name.

Now, it is worth mentioning that we all have different ideas of what constitutes as a creative achievement, and that’s great! Our creativity differs, which is kind of the defining characteristic of creativity.

Personally, this blog post is today’s creativity challenge.  I’m a little sick. I’m not feeling well, and I have some work to catch up on, but gosh dangit, I’m writing this post!

Ultimately, the novel I write will be a collection of many days’ creative writings culminated into one story of epicosity.  I know that’s not a word, but screw it, I’m sick.

So…

Are you feeling creatively frustrated?

Are you hungry for a creativity revival?

Are you someone who’s been waiting too long to get things done?

Well then…

Take it one step at a time.  Or in this case, one creative gesture of symbolic freedom, at a time. Draw a picture, write a poem.  Write a sentence.  Whatever!

Dylan

10-09-2015

P.S. This damn cold better go away, or I’ll be forced to write about it.

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A Forgotten Flame

Recently I rediscovered something that I used to have a deep admiration for.  The interest in this particular thing had faded over time and eventually completed disappeared from the spectrum of my interests.  What is it you ask?  Well, technically it’s not an “it” but rather a “something.”  Okay, I’m taking to long to get to the point.  Here goes…

Podcasts.

I recently started listening to all my favourite podcasts again.  Now for those of you who don’t know, podcasts are basically like radio shows, except they’re recorded in the form of episodes and are usually released exclusively via the internet.  Some of my favourites include:

The Nerdist Podcast, Fatman on Batman, Smodcast, and my absolute favourite podcast of all time… Radio Free Burrito, which is a podcast written and performed by Wil Wheaton, the person who actually got me through several rough patches in my life.

So anyway, I started listening to these podcasts again and catching up on all the episodes that I’d missed, and during all this catching up I felt a kind of sudden shock.  Why on God’s good Earth had I lost interest in something that I so clearly have an absolute passion for?  Doesn’t being passionate about something mean that you should never tire of it? Apparently not.

I went through the archives on several websites and listened to these internet radio shows every day when I had a chance, or if I had to spend some time doing menial tasks.  But the more I listened the more I struggled with the fact that I had simply forgotten and left these wonderful podcasts behind, in the blink of an eye.  It then occurred to me what had happened.   To put it simply, I had gotten so busy trying to find things to be passionate about and to love, that I had completely forgotten to be passionate about and love the things that I had already found.  It sounds tremendously silly but that’s what happened.

So here I sit on a wonderfully calm Tuesday evening listening to a podcast, writing this article, and smiling, because I get to spend my evening doing two things that I love and am incredibly passionate about: To listen to people who inspire me to be better and to work harder. And to write about the wonderfully simple and elegant medium with which they do that:  Podcasting.

So I urge you to take a step back and look at your old loves.  The things you used to be passionate about.  Why did those passions disappear?  Is passion like a candle that slowly melts away, or is It rather a rapidly burning fire that needs to be fed accordingly? 

So don’t spend too much time trying to find things to be passionate about. Odds are you’ve already found them.  You just need to be reminded as to why you loved them in the first place.

Hell Yes I Like To Party

This past weekend I attended a party. But not just any kind of party.  This, peasants, was a Board Game Party.  Hosted by a local company here in The South of Africa in the city of Johannesburg.  A good friend of mine and I decided to go.  It should be no surprise to you, regular and valued DWIWINS reader, that I am in fact, a HUGE board game enthusiast.  It might however come as a surprise to you that I have never been to a party of that type before, until this past weekend.

We walked through the doors and witnessed what can only be described as what I hope heaven looks like. Lots and lots of super friendly people laughing and having a genuinely good time. All of them in communion with one another, thinking with each other, and trying to beat each other, in most cases that is.

This was not a movie you go and watch with your friends, a movie where you go and sit down to watch a big screen and usually don’t say more than a few badly timed whispers to your friends. This… was table top gaming the way it’s meant to be. We walked in and paid a small fee.  The payment let us play as many games as we wanted, as much as we wanted. It also included all you can drink coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and juice.  Yes, hot chocolate.  ALL YOU CAN FREKEN DRINK.

We explored new games and made new friends. We played an amazingly fun game called Smash Up, which I actually bought before leaving.  We couldn’t spend as much time as we would have liked, but the three hours we did spend there, were arguably the best three hours of my week. Needless to say, I CANNOT wait for the next one!

Dylan

2015-08-20

Did I Miss The Memo?

Lying on my warm, comfortable bed, listening to some smooth jazz while gently sipping from my cup filled with tea is really the way I’d love to spend most of my time. It’s the way I like to unwind.  The way I like to forget about all the troubles this world likes to throw at us. Miles Davis and some Camomile for me thanks.

There seems to be a really odd and quite frankly, silly, social stigma going around these days. That it’s okay for young people to go out and get floorfaced drunk and party till the next weekend. Now, I know how saying that makes me sound.  Like some old prune of a man who hates fun. DAMN YOU FUN. Well actually, I’m not against fun, at all.  I love fun, and I think it’s important for young dudes and dudettes to go out and live life to the fullest.

HOWEVER

My problem is not people not having a problem with all the excessive alcohol.  My problem is that people think that it’s okay, and then giving me and my friends a tough time because we don’t like to get floorfaced drunk every weekend.  It’s strange and weird for us to enjoy things like board games or cosplay, but it’s “normal” for us to go out and do things we’ve been told are wrong our whole lives.

Did I miss the memo?

Please forgive the rant.

Dylan   A.K.A. The prune of a man who hates fun

2015-08-12

In Flux

I recently discovered a card game called Fluxx, and it instantly became one of my favourites because of one simple reason. And that reason is that Fluxx has one simple rule: Draw a card (from a deck of cards) and then, play a card.  Simple, right?  No.  The thing about Fluxx is… the rules constantly change.  That card that you drew from the deck might be a “new rule” card, which can then be played.  The “new rule” card will then change the current rules.  Crazy right! Well yeah, that’s why the game is called Fluxx, because the rules are constantly “in flux.” Cue the witty giggle.  Anyway I thought that that was quite interesting.

Apart from the discovery of a new card game, my life has been pretty busy lately. Working as a full time lecturer and studying copywriting part time is no joke.  Apart from work and studies I also have to find time to write.  I’ve recently been asked to write for a new website called Business Casual.  I’m really enjoying that because it’s taking me out of my comfort zone, writing about topics I don’t generally find myself writing about.

Apart from studies, work, this blog, and the Business Casual website, I’ve also recently been contacted in regards to a big project. I won’t go into that too much now but big things, and even bigger opportunities are on the rise.

I’m pretty much always working one way or another. In the rare moments of free time you’ll find me writing music, playing a board game, or learning Mandarin.  What I’ve noticed is that in this current chapter of my life (being busy all the time) I am actually the happiest I’ve ever been.  This constant feeling of productivity has really slapped me through the face, permanently leaving a smile on my face, and more importantly a happy heart.  Very poetic I know.

Having said all that… where I am in my life right now has enabled me to reflect on something I heard many years ago on a much deeper scale. I don’t know who said it, but it goes something like this…

“Work is more fun than fun.”

I can officially wholly agree with that statement, although I might make one slight adjustment and say: “Productivity is more fun than fun.”

Now stop reading this blog, and go and be productive. It’s a hell of a lot of fun, I promise.

 

Dylan

2015-08-09

Who Doesn’t Love a Good Boardgame?

As a young boy growing up in America in the 90’s, there were a few things that I was required to be well educated in.  Namely: Pokémon, Video games and Star Wars.  I would spend hours with my San-Diego friends discussing the best Evee evolution, or the best way to clean our Nintendo 64 game cartridges. Watching the Star Wars movies on loop for a whole weekend was not uncommon either. These things became a part of me, and I still have brief moments of spontaneous excitement when someone brings up a lightsaber, or even Pikachu.

There was however, another love. The love of board games.  And while Star Wars, video games, and Pokémon stuck with me, board games seemed to lose their charm.  Why?  Heck if I know.  Maybe I grew out of them, or maybe I just stopped seeing the appeal of what was usually, quite a repetitive system of play.

Recently however, I discovered a show that would change everything for me.  TableTop, a YouTube show on the Geek and Sundry channel, which is hosted by one of my favourite actors: Wil Wheaton.  It’s basically just celebrities playing a board game.  It’s a different game each week, along with different players.  It’s actually a ton of fun to watch. Give it a try.

Before I carry on, you should know this: Board games have really developed over the years.  It’s not all about buying property or capturing Australia anymore.  These days, board games range from simple family games, to complex tactical fantasy role playing games.

After watching enough TableTop and deciding on which game I was going to spend my hard earned money, I opted for the classic: Dungeons and Dragons.   I cautiously opened the box, which revealed a bible like rulebook filled with every possible scenario the game could ever put you through.  I giggled like a little girl. I unpacked everything and then convinced my little sisters to join in on a game.  Sadly, the rules were so complex that we had to stop just to allow a chance to make sure we all knew the rules.  It was fun spending time with family around a table with nothing to guide us but our imaginations though.  We laughed, a lot.  These days, not enough people play board games.  While watching a movie with the family is always nice; playing a board game provides a whole other level of bonding and simple satisfaction.  I think that were going to start having a family board game night, once we learn all the rules that is.

It felt really good to connect to an element of my past with elements of my present, in the form of my little sisters. They couldn’t wait to play again. I don’t know why I lost interest in board games.  That doesn’t matter anymore though. Playing Dungeons and Dragons with my little sisters made up for all those lost years.  It wasn’t just a simple board game in that box, It was a part of my childhood that I hadn’t seen in years, and golly, did we have a lot to talk about.

Dylan

2015-06-22

Pronunciation Is Key

Okay, so here’s the deal, the brass tax, the main headline, and the bloggy business. Also, I don’t want to bore you my lovely reader person, so I’ll try to make this as entertaining as possible.

How do you pronounce the name of this Blog?

What is this Blog about?

These are both valid questions, and  It’s high time I answer them. (Especially the first one)

The name of this Blog is DWIWINS, and it is pronounced (Dawi-wins)  Say it loud and slow, then slowly accelerate the speed at which you make this delightfully homey but at the same time foreign sound.

Perfect.

Now for the important question.  What is this Blog about?  Well honestly, It’s about nothing, and everything.   It’s my personal view of things.  My personal experiences. My loves, my joys, and my hobbies.  This Blog is also going to talk about what it’s like to live in a 3rd world country.  You’ll soon discover that I’m a movie fanatic who hates reading movie reviews (or writing them) More about that later (In another post).  It’s also honestly just going to be about what I feel like writing.  Which is important.  If you want to read about things that only you enjoy, then start your own Blog! Write a novel! All great ideas.  This Blog however, is mine.

If after that rant, you still care about what I have to say (and write) then I think we’re going to be good friends.  Despite the fact that this will touch the personal side of blogging, I can assure you, it will be an entertaining personal side.

The world is full of people writing what they want to write, which is exactly how it should be.  This is another one of those Blogs. Love it or hate, I will be publishing posts everyday.

Dylan

2015/06/18

P.S. Once you’ve practiced it a bit, the name does get easier to say.

Yacht Happiness

First of all:  This Is my first real post that isn’t an introductory one, yay!  Hi Ho Silver and all that.  Now, let’s get down to business, the bloggy business.

Over the last two to three years, I’ve often heard people speak about: “Finding your voice.” and how, as a writer, one needs to find the sound and style they wish to convey to the audience.

Easier said than done.

This logic suggests that I will slowly discover my voice as a writer, and consequentially, the voice of this blog.  What’s the point of all this meandering about voice you might ask.  Well, basically… I don’t have a voice for this blog yet, and as a result do not  have a direct target to aim for now that I have started writing it.  In other words:  This Blog will find its own sound, its own voice, and its own style.  For now, I’ll just put some words together and slowly draw the outline of what will eventually be the canvas of personality and style that is, my blog.  Sound a bit cocky don’t I?  My apologies.

Now that the bloggy business is out of the way, let’s get to the first (non-introductory) post for this Blog.

Yacht Happiness

Now, you may be asking yourself: Yacht happiness?

Yes.  Yacht happiness.  It’s exactly what it sounds like.  The happiness you feel if you own a yacht, or more precisely, have vacations using that yacht.  Let’s assume that somewhere in the world, Leonardo Dicaprio is sitting on a yacht.  He takes a deep breath of refreshingly clean ocean air and smiles.  He looks to his left and sees several super models talking about diets or something.  He laughs.

Sounds pretty happy right?  Yes, it does.  That my friends, is yacht happiness.

Now let’s imagine that somewhere else in the world, there is a man named George.  George likes potatoes, a lot.  His favourite restaurant serves a particularly lovely roast potato meal.  Every Sunday he drives there for this meal.  One day, he finds out that they have removed it from the menu.  He is devastated.  A year goes by and he can hardly look at a potato without weeping.  One night George decides that he needs to move on from his potato past.  He drives to the restaurant to make amends with the chef who was responsible for the terrible crime of changing the menu.  As he walks through the door, a familiar smell slaps him through the face.  The roast potato special is back.  George sheds tears of delight and joy.  All is forgiven and no questions are asked once he has eaten his fifth plate.

Sounds pretty happy right?  Yes, it does. That my friends, is potato happiness.

Now, my point.  To put it bluntly, is that…

Yacht Happiness = Potato Happiness

You, the reader, have experienced both of these levels of joy at some stage in your life. To suggest that the happiness old Leo experiences on his yacht is somehow, better than the happiness George experienced when they brought back the potato special, is actually pure nonsense.  Many people think that once they have more money, or once they have enough money to get that nice car, or nice house, it means that they will experience a new kind of happiness: yacht happiness.  Now, let me not confuse you.  You will experience happiness.  That happiness will not however be a better brand of happiness compared to what you are used to.  The sooner we realise this, the easier life becomes.

So whether your happy about your first cup of coffee in the morning, or happy about the fact that your fifth flat-screen TV didn’t break after you threw your Rolex at it.  The happiness is the same. It is we who give happiness its own category, when it has none.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to eat a potato on my yacht.

Dylan

2015-06-17