The Need for Fairy Tales

This thought has been banging around in my head for a while, but it seems like it was waiting for today to come out. The writing prompt over at the writing community today is to reflect on this quote:

“Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist,
but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” – G.K. Chesterton

Myths are Important

You may not be the type of person who’s into “fairy tales” or “crazy make ’em ups” as comedian Howard Kremer refers to them, but they’re really important. Continue reading The Need for Fairy Tales

Treat Yo Head Right

For the past few months, I’ve been in a season of “push push push!” I’ve accomplished a lot and really set myself up for this to be my most productive year (in almost any way of measuring) in a long time. But with all the pushing I’ve also had some times where my body just flat out decided it was time to stop pushing, whether I agreed with that assessment or not.

Something I came across last week that I wish I would have found a few months ago is Headspace. I know that “meditation” is a word that conjures up a lot of weird associations for people, but when you say, “sitting still and silent for ten minutes in order to learn how to be present and not so distracted during the day” it all of a sudden sounds like a thing everyone wishes they could do.

If you’re having some stress or anxiety issues (basically I mean, “if you’re a human being”), give their app a try and let the technological marvel that is your smartphone teach you how to do something people have been doing for thousands of years.

Pub, Pubs, Publish

I built a picture sharing app as an exercise a little while ago, but it never turned out the way I wanted. I detailed my problems with this app earlier, but I solved all of the problems and still didn’t like a few things about it. So I scrapped it and started over.

It was amazing how quickly it went this time. I caught a snippet of code I missed before and was able to add new features. There really is so much wisdom in the “wax on, wax off” philosophy of just practicing, practicing, and practicing. It seems like all I’m doing is going back through codeschool, building stuff for practice of for my portfolio, sending out resumes, and interviewing (where’s the time to write???).

So, here’s what I built over the weekend: BrewPinting. Just a sample, but I think it’s going to be the car in my garage I tinker with for a few weeks, adding features and refining style. Seems like I’m getting a lot of front-end hits in my job search, so I’ll look at adding some JS magic as well.

Commit and Schmidt

The temperature in Louisiana has been alternating between the 80s and 30s, so nobody knows whether it’s time to layer up or throw on the shorts and hit the park. Today was nice and sunny, but as soon as the sun went down I started making GitHub commits and fiddling with refining projects. When your office is your laptop, it’s too tempting to have access to everything you’ve been obsessing about when you’re supposed to be enjoying a beautiful day and watching LSU basketball and baseball.

But fear not! It’s not all work, I have come from the internet mountaintop to tell you about the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I’m not really going to devote hundreds of words to the show, I’ll just say it takes decidedly dark subject and finds genuine comedy and hope, which is like catnip for me. It’s also co-created/written by Tina Fey, also my catnip.

What spurred me to write about it, though, was the show’s tagline: “Life Begins When the World Doesn’t End.” I think this is basically the theme of Turning Pro restated. When you’ve gone through it all, tried to find solace or happiness in all the things that you know won’t bring them, or been stuck in a situation not even of your own making. It’s time to start your life. (Actually, no matter what, go ahead and start living your life now).

Myths of the Muse and the Creative “Class” has an interesting article today on Demystifying the Muse: Five Creativity Myths You Should Stop Believing. The TL;DR version (but you really should read it) of the five myths are:

  1. Creativity Is Something You’re Born With
  2. You Can’t Control When Inspiration Will Strike
  3. You Can’t Learn to Be Creative
  4. Creativity Happens in Isolation (the Myth of the Lone Creator)
  5. Creativity Comes to Those with the Time and Means

I want to keep up a theme I’m trying to advance on this blog, which is a deflating the word “creative” from the lofty heights of Picasso or Steve Jobs or pick whichever amazing artist/visionary you want. Try to remember that creative isn’t a title or separate class of person, it’s a quality you imbue your life with.

I don’t know if these myths are from people who want to keep potential creatives out of the club, or from people who gave up too soon and want a reason for why they never succeeded in their dreams. But I do know that most of us go through life doing a lot of things we don’t even think about, much less imbue with love and labor (to borrow form Steven Pressfield). Just a thought for today.