260: Kevin’s Blog – Need something ridiculous to produce and deliver your art?

January 15, 2014 | 13 comments. | Comment on this post

sunset_200I just got back from four days in a motel. A cheap hotel. Only about 20 miles from my home. I sat in a chair in front of my two computer screens with only short breaks to drink coffee, exercise, eat and sleep. Well, and take a leak every hour. I like to be hydrated.

I had good music on most of the time to inspire me, though when I was thinking deeply I turned it off. The motel room was not inspiring, but I had a great view of the mountains (the picture below is from my room) and a stream. I lifted weight in the tiny fitness room and went on a couple runs to help keep me energized.

I didn’t shower much, eat much or do anything much other than search, think and type.

What was my purpose? To produce and deliver my art.


*I talked through this in a live show at FreeAgentUprising.com/live. The replay is posted at the bottom of this post.


art
– the expression or application of human creativity, skill and imagination

Folks have told me I have ADD symptoms. I don’t know about that, but it is hard for me to focus. I’m so easily distracted. My wife gets irritated when I don’t listen to her share her thoughts, but truth be told…I have a hard time silencing the voices and ideas in my noggin enough to listen to my own thoughts. A reason she’s referred to me as the ‘absent-minded professor.’ I’m staunchly holding onto the notion I’m creative instead of prematurely senile.

On that note, I’m way behind on launching our new Free Agent Uprising brand and revised member platform. I think it’s excellent, will serve people so well and I’ve got some strong minds helping bring it to life. I want to start a movement. I mean to make a dent in the flow of our culture, freeing people from the grind and the norm. From being…minimised.

But there’s a lot of content creation and steps to get it set for delivery that are just up to me.

I got more done in the past four days than the past two months. And I’m not talking about tons of busy work (though I did get my email box empty!). I’m talking deep, strategic, meaningful work. My…art.

You do believe you have art, right?

The question then is…what does it take for you to produce your art? And then…deliver it. I think it was Seth Godin who said something to the effect of our art being moot if we can’t deliver it.

What environment or event or circumstance would best help you create and produce your art?

You may know, and feel it’s kind of ridiculous. Or you might not have ever contemplated what would best enable you.

Salvador Dalí is a famous surrealistic artist and was interested in the images that occur at the boundary between sleeping and waking. His infamous technique was putting a tin plate on the floor and then sitting in a chair beside it, holding a spoon over the plate. He’d then relax his body and begin to fall asleep. The moment he dozed off the spoon would slip from his fingers and bang on the plate, immediately waking him to capture his ‘surreal’ images.

Pretty goofy, eh? Well…who cares. Made him famous.

Lots of folks talk about getting good ideas while in the shower, or driving. I often do when on a run. But the idea is just a seed. Lots of us walk around with pockets full of great seeds that eventually rot. We don’t take time to plant, fertilize, grow and harvest anything.

Would a long weekend away help you? Pulling an all-nighter? A week on the beach? A cabin? Need to take a road trip alone with your laptop and stop 50 times to put your idea on paper?

Or maybe you’re home or office is sufficient. Need a lava lamp? Stereo system? An inspiring mural? Need to dress in a tuxedo or sequined dress? Or like a cowboy or ballerina?

I’m served well with lots of totally uninterrupted time, access to music and great…strong coffee. I love wine for busy work, but in thinking deeply, the sharpness of caffeine serves me better than the fuzziness of alcohol. The sacrifice is being totally removed from my wife and our seven kids. My wife is superhuman and I don’t think it burdens her remotely as much as it does me. I always have some guilt in being gone. Probably unnecessary, but it’s true. I have to fight it to do what I gotta do.

To do what seems kind of ridiculous, to me. “Really? You have to go sit in a motel for days?” I guess so. For now at least.

So…what would do it for you? I’d really like to hear about it.

Now when can you plan it? I, and the world, need your art.


Hear the show where I expanded on this topic:

Right-click to download / Listen or subscribe via iTunes

  • http://christiannick.com/ Nick Christian

    I am an introvert at heart, so the solitude would help me think through a lot of the details, plan, organize, and get everything ready. I also need some large paper around to write stuff out and see it. Last summer I took a 3 day retreat at a monastery and it helped me put some things in perspective. First time I had done it, so it took a little to get used to the quiet and get myself ready for the peace. Highly recommend it!

    • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

      Big pieces of paper…great point. My friend Jonathan Pool does that. Good addition for this topic, I’ll mention it in the show. The monastery too…I’ve known a few people who have done it. Thanks for sharing Nick!

  • Doug G

    This is great Kevin. I think everyone has those places they go to to re-calibrate their lives or make plans (their fortress of solitude I guess). With my zest for the culinary world I have found that sometimes being around like minded people working in that world gives me renewed passion and energy to get out and do it. Not too long ago I spent a week at the premier culinary school in New York and it gave me so much confidence and drive. For me, those times fuel my soul.

    • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

      That’s what makes us all unique, eh? Some get energy from being with others, some don’t… Though, as much as solitude is good for me, I can get amped from some social gatherings if they’re on a specific topic, like you attest to. I’ll read your comment on the show!

      • Doug G

        Though sometimes the mountains and nice cup of coffee is just what the doctor ordered. Yeah, and I agree about your wife…she must be super human…7 kids and now school…wow!

  • martag

    Getting outside is important to me that is where a lot of ideas come but to implement and deliver the art I need dedicated time of sitting in front of the computer and that rarely happens in my home office. To many distractions – too many “I should be doing this instead…” type of thoughts. Getting out of my normal environment. Outside on the porch, in the living room by the fire when it is cold outside (when no one else is home and the dishes are done :)!), a hotel, a park bench or the corner coffee shop are a few of the places I have tried.

    But I also need collaboration. There is magic in brainstorming and bouncing ideas around with another person and talking through ideas and getting immediate feedback. My ideas are almost always improved this way.

    • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

      Sounds really similar to me Marta. While in my solitude, I’m usually emailing people (like you) constantly to ask questions and get feedback on my work.

  • https://www.facebook.com/pages/MacGowan-Metals/206608859401595 Jason Smith

    Getting away is pretty key for me.
    If I can’t get away, just getting into the shop, alone, with a good set of Freeagent Uprising, 48days, EOfire.com podcasts, or just good music can get me working, building the art. Then the art… the art helps my thinking, which just creates a creativity cycle that is self feeding.

    • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

      Art begets art, eh? I hear you. Produce my brother!

  • Jim

    Kevin, I am looking forward to sharing and drawing on your expertise as I seek to find a new and creative way to express my gift.

    • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

      I’d be honored to journey with you, Jim.

  • Steve

    As a person who loves rivers, stream-side would be nice. I’ll think I’ll try it.

    • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

      Do it Steve.