daily doses

Every day I’ll be posting some small thought about art, creative processes, and community.

Longer posts, often written in collaboration with other artists, can be found here.

  • Finding the Joy

    I’ve been spending too much of my time thinking about productivity, procrastination, habit-forming, etc.

    The effort it takes to focus on the how often distracts from the what.

    I’m trying to give myself permission to let things ~be~ sometimes. I don’t have to be working on a play draft while writing in a journal while memorizing monologues… Digging into too many projects takes away the joy of creating for me.

    I’m happy to work on something just for the sake of working on it. Even if it leads nowhere (©Adele). And especially, of course, if it brings in good money. But the joy isn’t found in the fussing about how efficiently things are getting done. It’s in the act of creating something from nothing.

  • Percolate

    Not every idea comes in a sudden rush of inspiration. Not many at all, actually.

    It’s OK to sit on things awhile. Let them percolate. Right now, for example, I’m working on rewrites for a play, and it’s taking a long time. I often find I’m just waiting for the characters to tell me what to write next. I believe they’re having an ongoing conversation somewhere in my mind while I’m not paying attention. Every so often, a line of dialogue or plot adjustment enters my consciousness and I write it down. Then, once a good amount of those thoughts are laid out, I get to work on piecing them together.

    Trust that the process is happening even while you’re working on other things. Let yourself keep thinking about the project while focusing temporarily on something else.

    Things have a way of getting clearer with distance.

  • Odd Choices
    Tyler Doyle and Sarah Currie in Morris Panych’s The Ends of the Earth. 2016.

    In 2016 I directed a production of Morris Panych’s The Ends of the Earth. It’s a tale of two men who, acting on unfounded paranoia, flee from each other, only to meet each other again in a derelict hotel. A series of strange encounters and coincidences unfold during their adventures. The piece dabbles in absurdity, and I must say, the choices made in this production were… interesting.

    I’m really drawn to strange worlds that only make sense within their own specific parameters. A woman suddenly coming out of a linen closet with a meat cleaver, then disappearing a moment later… a staircase that may cause one to “catch their death”… a fortune teller with a wood-whittling sidekick… The play lends itself to an almost unsettling comedy that I absolutely love.

    But it only works with brave choices. It’s not a play for the faint of heart. Delving into something this absurd requires a certain level of confidence from the creative team… We made choices that probably didn’t read very well, but we also made choices that hit the mark (a perfectly timed falling chandelier, for example). However, I believe we wouldn’t have found success with anything had we not been willing to take risks.

    When you encounter odd material, lean into that oddity and don’t look back. For if you do, you may “catch your death”.

  • Solo

    There’s no denying the creation process can be a very lonely journey.

    I’m finding the many days alone are pretty hard. Trying to get work done and move forward with different projects is proving next to impossible. The weight of this whole pandemic thing can definitely have an effect on a person. And artists, whether naturally introverted or extroverted, can really struggle with finding the momentum to keep making.

    And that’s OK. I’m not trying to provide any solutions here. Sometimes we simply have to lean into it all. Yep, it’s a crappy time. Exacerbated, for me, by the recent loss of some very meaningful people. And that’s just how it’s going to be for a bit.

    Sometimes it’s OK to sit with the loneliness, boredom, and restlessness. The more we try to push against it the harder it becomes. And there may be lessons in there somewhere. Something may spark when you least expect it. Loneliness can teach us the importance of having others. Boredom can point us to our biggest interests.

    Or, it could just suck for a bit. And that sometimes has to be accepted. But hey, I hope you know there are others out there feeling the same way.

  • Insecurity Loop

    It’s so easy to get caught up in it. Someone reveals they don’t like you, you wonder what it is about yourself you could change, you work on changing that thing the next time you interact with someone, they reveal they don’t like you, and it continues.

    I find as someone who’s spent a good amount of time on stage trying to impress people, when I don’t impress someone I spiral.

    Artists are vulnerable. We put our full selves on the line. And when someone perceives one of our core values as a flaw, we can get pretty hurt. I do, at least.

    One thing I’m working on is trying to get out of that loop of continuously trying to “fix” myself and getting hurt even more. It’s hard. I find I have to be a bit delusional. But looking at my successes and positive qualities, practising self-compassion, is absolutely essential. Otherwise I will constantly dig deeper into sadness. Ick.

    What makes you proud of yourself?

  • Rest

    IT’S HOT.

    I’m trying not to expect too much from myself today. My mind’s been racing with thoughts of inferiority, and a large part of me feels pressured to be productive. “Get stuff done. You have to prove yourself worthy.”

    Naaaaah. It’s hot.

    It’s fine to embrace the heat and take a breather. The work can wait.

    And you are worth the rest.

  • Dedicated Times

    Instead of approaching my day with a list of tasks and trying to get as many things done as I can, I try to section the day off into chunks of time. I’ll dedicate the first two hours of the day to one small group of tasks, for instance. Thinking in this way helps me with procrastination. If I don’t finish the things within the time I’ve allotted myself, then I can always adjust my expectations the next day, but at least I sat down and worked on the things I set out to do.

    I find that if I just have a list with no scheduling, I get overwhelmed and end up doing next to nothing.

    It’s good to consider time management as an artist. Think about whatever project you’re working on as a job. Dedicate times of the day to subsections of the larger project, and be sure to get as specific with your tasks as possible. Put away all distractions and be at ease knowing that all those other things swirling around in your head will have their quality time with your attention.

  • Willingness to Be Wrong

    We are all bound to make mistakes. Sorry. But them’s the rules.

    The artist who says “Sure sure sure, I get it, but you’re not understanding me” is always going to fall way behind the artist who says “Ah, I see now! Thank you for pointing that out.”

    Humility is important. And, as Michael Healey said in his webinar through Citadel Theatre, so is delusion.

    We have to have a willingness to be wrong, yes. And be able to fess up to messing up. But equally important as artists is our ability to fool ourselves. Launching into a creative project is to jump into the abyss: not many, if any, have done this before. It’s brand spankin’ new. We have to somehow convince ourselves that taking that risk is worth it because we are worth it. “Heck yeah, I can write this play.”

    It’s delusional to think that we can bring something into this world from nothing. But it happens.

    It’s nice to dream that we will never run up against failure. But it happens.

    And the failure inches us even closer to the impossible.

    So take it in strides, learn from it, and keep pushing.

  • Take a Note

    Celebrated Canadian playwright Michael Healey led a webinar through Citadel Theatre recently. Many things stood out to me but one thing I thought I’d share is his note on taking notes.

    In the writing process, we have to be able to take notes from others. You create a play in order for an audience to experience it, not just for your own entertainment. So you have to develop skills in taking notes.

    My knee jerk reaction when receiving a note is to launch into a never ending explanation. “Well yes, I did think of that, and here’s how I see it implemented…” When more often than not it’s best to say “Aha. That’s a great note. Thank you.” Someone is interpreting something you wrote in a certain way, and it could breed distrust when you minimize their courage and invalidate their opinion. Just take the note, thank them, and move on.

    And, even more importantly, look for the note within the note. Sometimes people can’t explain themselves in a way that works for you. Try to dig deep and understand what they’re getting at.

    One thing that was missing from Michael Healey’s advice was to recognize who is in the arena with you and who isn’t. Often people are sitting in the cheap seats and don’t actually understand the process you’re going through. They just like shouting from the rafters without actually fighting on the ground. Notes from those people can be politely ignored.

    Being an artist doesn’t happen in a vacuum. We are constantly opening ourselves up to criticism. But there’s a way we can be open and learn from each other without throwing ourselves into the fire. The skill of taking notes, like all skills, needs practice.

  • Always Decentring

    To “decentre” is to question current power structures. Who is currently in focus and calling the shots? Are they meeting the expectations required of that central position? Is it time for a replacement?

    It’s not always about people in charge. What is common practice, and should we look at changing that? Do traditions in place exclude people and therefore need updated? Sometimes old patterns retain their position of power and we need to ask ourselves if that way of working still… works.

    To me, this is what getting uncomfortable means. We fall into old patterns and become complacent, and when we look at how our routines need to change we get uneasy. That is necessary work, not just for the revolution happening right now, but for each day moving forward.

  • Made Up “Rules”

    Racism and white supremacy are complex. There are so many difficult conversations to be had and many layers to unpack.

    I’m struck by something Austin Channing Brown and Brené Brown were discussing in a recent episode of Unlocking Us.

    White people often depend on rules to help them make sense of what’s going on. When those “rules” change or aren’t followed, we blame those who broke them. “Well my Black friend told me this before, so what you’re saying is wrong.” We depend on rules to protect our ego. When we’re called out, we don’t want to face the embarrassment. “This is what I was told, so it must be true,” etc.

    This isn’t an easy process for anyone. There are not steadfast rules. It’s a constant game of listening and researching and learning more. It’s not about proximity: relying on the Black people or POC in your life to position you as a good person. If you are going to be on the good side of all this and work toward progress, then you have to actually put in that work yourself. You will inevitably rub up against embarrassment or even humiliation. Mistakes will be made. But we can’t hide behind the mask of “rules” that are always changing and growing.

  • Overactive Imagination?

    One beautiful thing about living as artists is the tendency to live within our imaginations.

    As a new experience begins to take shape, I find I think way down the road to its potential outcome. When I start a project it’s important for me to determine the makeup of its finish line. It gives me something to get excited about and work toward.

    But it can be frustrating when things don’t pan out. As soon as there’s a shift in approach or the project is put on pause, panic sets in. “What was I doing wrong?” “Why did I fail?”

    There can of course be many reasons why experiences change shape and the imagined finish lines morph into something else. Life is chaos and filled with randomness. But when change does happen, I find it easy to blame my imagination: “Well if I didn’t have my sights on that outcome I wouldn’t be so upset. Next time I’ll have fewer expectations.”

    That’s probably the wrong way to think about it.

    In fact, when there’s a sudden turn in the road, we have to hone our strong imaginations in order to adjust. What is this new finish line? What new tools do we need now? How are we going to make the most of this change?

    I find that I too often think (and get upset) about the loss of what could have been, rather than focus on what was actually lost and what is now taking its place. But instead of planning on no longer imagining possible futures, I put my imagination to use by rethinking what’s happening in the present.

  • I Am Bigger Than This Moment

    I want to use my voice and my privilege for good.
    I want to give ears to the earless (the voiceless actually have voices and have been screaming for centuries).
    I want to step into discomfort and have the hard conversations.
    I want to share the beautiful art and activism of Black people.

    I am and will continue doing those things.

    I am also struggling.

    There was a moment within my intimate circles that made me feel incredibly small. It made me second guess the validity of existing friendships. It’s gone so far as to make me question my reality. It’s been very hard. And I feel that no one is wanting, or able, to help.

    On days like these that weight on top of me is so suffocating that I feel I can’t use my energy for anything but my own healing.

    And all of this has been caused by a moment. A relatively brief flicker of time.

    The mantra I’m repeating to myself is “I am bigger than this moment.” There’s more to my life and my abilities than that one instance of being pushed down so far I couldn’t see the light. Light exists elsewhere within me.

    I contain multitudes. My right to experience something more than just this moment far outweighs the pressure to feel lesser than.

    And I mean… that’s coming from a place of intense privilege. My “moment” has nothing to do with the current movement, but I am going to try (and possibly fail) to draw a comparison.

    I don’t believe in comparative suffering, in ranking any one person’s pain alongside another’s, but I do know that racialized people have been facing down a much longer and darker moment. For centuries they have been fighting against a monster so large that it infiltrates all minds.

    We all contain multitudes, and unfortunately we all engage in racism. But we can also choose to be anti-racist. When we are called out on the moments when we are racist, we have to learn and be better. We have to actively fight that moment. We have to understand that just because we engage in racism doesn’t mean we are inherently racist. In other words, we are bigger than that moment. But we do have to work to prove it.

  • Casual Convos

    I know a great deal of people in my life who are wizards with words. I don’t consider myself one of them. But I love having conversations with friends and loved ones who have a gift for beautiful imagery and storytelling.

    Pay attention to how people in your life describe things. What words do they use? What sort of analogies? What are the images they’re conjuring?

    Inspiration can strike anywhere, but it’s important to remain receptive. Those around us can teach us so much.

  • Assumptions

    You know the old saying.

    Assumptions can truly be very harmful. When we jump to scare tactics because we assume people are wrong or misguided and need to learn a lesson, we can cause serious damage. It’s important to have all the information before making any kind of judgment.

    I think of a director as one who directs focus. My goal is not to direct people per se, but allow people to take creative risks and see where that creation takes us. I then try to finesse these raw, instinctual decisions, shaping them into a series of events that unfold in a specific way. In order to do this, as I’ve said many times here, I have to be open to new ideas.

    Definitive assumptions about people and their ideas close our minds to truth. Allowing space for full exploration and expression brings us closer to the core of the story or emotion. Decisions need to be made, yes, but they should be made within a space of flexibility. Otherwise you’re doing a disservice to the creative potential of the piece.

  • Offers vs. Actions

    In my relatively short time working in the theatre industry and crafting stories in collaborative settings, I’ve come to notice a common bad habit.

    We assume that being open to criticism and willing to discuss issues with others is enough, but we don’t address the obstacles people face in seeking that help.

    If an individual is concerned about something happening in the creative process, there has to be a clear avenue of support for them. It’s not enough for a leader in a group to be open minded or receptive to people’s specific problems. Of course a willingness to help is necessary, but there’s often an unspoken fear of speaking up, especially when it comes to hierarchies. Speaking up, in the minds of many, may result in a loss of respectability. Because unfortunately it too often dampens reputations.

    We have to get more specific about what help looks like and what is actually on the table. Folks need to know there’s a level of safety in speaking their minds. Often this requires major vulnerability from those in charge. “I know this (company/system) has failed people in the past. But I am actively trying to be better and I am learning. I want you to know you can come to me and I will listen without judgment. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to me, here are other resources you can approach. Here is a step-by-step summary of what that approach might look like for you.”

    Folks in leadership positions tend to hear about someone having a problem when it’s too late, and then they say “Well I was always open to having a conversation. They could have just spoken up.”

    We know it’s a possibility to speak up. But we are hesitant to do so because we fear the repercussions or the lack of real action.

    Get specific about the actions you will take in real time rather than speak of the (invisible) “openness” of your mind. We can’t see into your brain. As artists, people who are being vulnerable for a living, we need to know what will actually support us.

  • Whiteness as Orientation

    The world extends the form of some bodies more than others, and such bodies in turn feel at home in this world.

    Sara Ahmed, Queer Phenomenology (2006)

    In Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others, Sara Ahmed argues that whiteness is an orientation. People who are white or white-passing tend to be directed toward objects that are considered more advantageous than those available to non-white people. White bodies are put in proximity to “styles, capacities, aspirations, techniques, [and] even worlds” that benefit them. White folks face certain things in life that, when reached, present better opportunities.

    In other words, the world takes white bodies and puts them in front of shiny objects. These same white bodies are then able to take control of the world and continue putting shiny objects in front of people who look like them. And when we are constantly plunked down in front of shiny objects, we come to expect that as a norm.

    White people are used to having access to that which is advantageous. In fact, the tendency of “facing” these benefits, as Ahmed puts it, becomes a habit. And when access to shiny objects becomes habitual, we tend to forget we were given that access in the first place.

    If, as a white person, you fail to recognize those habits and privileges and work to dismantle them, then you are a racist.

    Reading Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist makes it clear that the opposite of racist is not “not racist”. The opposite of racist is antiracist.

    RACIST: One who is supporting a racist policy through their actions or inaction or expressing a racist idea.

    ANTIRACIST: One who is supporting an antiracist policy through their actions or expressing an antiracist idea.

    Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist (2019)

    What’s important to remember in these conversations about racism is that policies are key. Policies are in place that prioritize white lives over black lives. The people making these policies tend to think that white people naturally face good things, and fail to realize that it’s the policies in place that actively turn white bodies toward shiny objects.

    Black people are not naturally less intelligent, as Trump claims. They are not predisposed to live in impoverished neighborhoods. They are entrenched in policies that hinder their success and make them face these fraught realities. They are living the American Nightmare.

  • Conflict Avoiders

    I’m trying to be more wary of people who can’t handle any form of conflict.

    Differences in opinions/perspectives are inevitable. When living or working closely with people there’s bound to be disagreements. So we all have to practice the skill of facing conflict.

    Facing conflict requires an internal strength that I’m realizing some people just don’t have. You have to have at least an iota of self-worth. Although finding people who are fighting against the same injustices is important, at the end of the day you have to have some confidence to stand up for yourself and your own personal values.

    A healthy dose of self-worth is crucial in constructive learning. In order to open ourselves up and be vulnerable to all the things we’ve yet to understand, we have to believe we’re worth improving. And I’m starting to see that some people don’t yet have that basic confidence and therefore can’t face conflict without running from it.

    Confronting someone with a tiny platform of self-worth will further ignite their own shame. They will reverse blame, justify, minimize, and invalidate your reality. If you are going to speak your truth to someone who’s done serious harm to you, you do it to hear yourself.

    Even though some people simply can’t hear or acknowledge the pain they’re causing because they’re filled with shame, often you are the one who needs to hear your voice. And trust me: there will be others out there who will love hearing it too.

  • What Do We Need to Understand?

    Maybe I’m experiencing some sort of creative block, but there’s really only one thing on my mind lately and only one thing I want to talk about. It is what I believe to be the crucial first step in all the challenging conversations we have to be having right now.

    What can I learn? How can I listen better? What is the work I should be doing to teach myself, instead of depending on those already so emotionally burdened?

    The title of this post means two things: what are the ideologies that we need to confront and dismantle, but also what do we require in order to be better listeners? What do we need to give ourselves in order to improve how we’re approaching this historical moment? And when I say “we”, I mean us non-black folks.

    Adding these to my reading list: Ibram X. Kendi’s article “The American Nightmare” and his book How to Be an Antiracist.

    And, if you have any sort of connection to New Brunswick, or if you’re a Canadian thinking “It’s not as bad here”, I’d like to direct your attention to Tyler Cline’s article “A Clarion Call To Real Patriots The World Over”: The Curious Case of the Ku Klux Klan of Kanada in New Brunswick during the 1920s and 1930s.

  • Leaning into Discomfort

    Now is the time to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Systems need to be broken in order to allow room for all of us. And the breaking of systems will make people who benefit from them uneasy. That’s part of the process. What that looks like, for me, is asking myself hard questions, and not assuming I have all the answers. Empathy, in its truest sense, requires vulnerability. It’s safe to live in our own heads and give in to our biases. It’s comfortable in there. To try to understand others’ experiences can be destabilizing. But is necessary for a more just world.

  • Out of Sight

    In the process of being vulnerable (and creative), there will always be information and ideas that remain hidden.

    Directing a play, for example, requires one to be on high alert for that which is unseen. An actor may suddenly say a line in a way that completely unhinges the entire scene, and if you pay attention to that new delivery, it could allow you to see what you’ve been rehearsing in an entirely new light. There is always potential to learn something and reshape your approach.

    Same goes for community-building. There may be information being passed around that makes you feel a certain way about a person or loved one. But what’s the missing information? What are the facts hidden from view that would allow you to see things differently or more holistically?

    I feel we too often close ourselves off and ignore the fact we can’t know everything.

    I’ve been thinking about this during the protests happening in the US and around the world. I’ve seen white people get riled up because they assume they have all their facts straight. To them, Black people might be “overreacting”. But do they know the history? Do they know what the Black community has actually been facing, and how more “peaceful” protests have failed them in the past? Do they have all the information, or are they acting on something partial and biased?

    We have to face the difficult truth that we often don’t know everything. Whether that’s in a rehearsal room, in our circle of friends, on Twitter, or out on the streets. We have to practise listening, and effective listening happens when we accept that we have things to learn. Communities have been silenced for too long and it is time for white people, who are supported by our current systems and policies, to take up less space. So, fellow white people: leave real estate in your minds for what you do not yet know. Listen.

    Another book I’m adding to my list: How to Argue With a Racist by Adam Rutherford.

  • A Time For Burning

    That’s the title of Barbara Connell and Bill Jersey’s 1966 documentary about a pastor’s attempt to integrate a white congregation with a black church.

    Click here to watch it.

    The rebellion happening now in the United States and around the world deserves our focused attention. It also requires a burning of what white people like me have learned. I need to confront the reality of my privilege and question what I’ve been taught. I need to decentre that which benefits me and oppresses others. I need to get uncomfortable with new, better understandings of how the world works. I need to learn more about the uprising that isn’t just happening now but has been happening for centuries.

    I implore all white people to educate yourselves. Do not ask your black friends to teach you. Don’t burden them with your emotions. Google. Read.

    Here are some suggestions:

    Policing Black Lives by Robyn Maynard
    Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Renni Eddo-Lodge

    And here are two organizations I donated to today. If you are able I encourage you to do the same:

    Campaign Zero
    Black Visions Collective

  • Look Inward
  • Lucky Encounters

    Oftentimes someone’s success in a creative field has a lot to do with chance: being in the right place at the right time or knowing the right people.

    But a professor I had once said something that sticks with me: if an opportunity presents itself, then you can choose to take advantage of it. Sometimes we encounter a door opening and we decide not to go through, then we complain that we never get the chances that are presented to others. Doors are open for you, but you have to do the work to actually step through it.

    Luck, or chance, does exist, because randomness exists. Life is always going throw curve balls and take us on surprising twists. We have to remain open to those strange encounters, recognize when they occur, then pursue them to see where they lead.

  • Chiquita Mére and Buddies!

    My friend Xavier presented their piece “BALD” as a livestream on Buddies in Bad Times’ Instagram. They are rollerblading, in drag, down the streets of Moncton, talking about their experiences being queer on the East Coast.

    It feels so good to have queerness from New Brunswick represented in such a celebrated queer centre.

    It’s truly spectacular. I have no idea how to link you to it here on WordPress. But I encourage you to check out Buddies’ Instagram @buddiesto.

  • First Drafts

    One thing writing every day is teaching me is the importance of simply getting those initial ideas down on paper (screen). Writing can be daunting: I can get intimidated by a blank canvas. The act of jotting down thoughts is a success in itself.

    Same goes, I would say, for acting. Often we have to follow our instincts and do what feels most natural. It’s hard not to get in our heads when we know we’re going to be watched: “What will this action look like to the audience? How will I be perceived?” But what’s most powerful is those moments that are seemingly authentic. Making choices in a rehearsal that feel right, taking risks and trying something that could very well fail, can lead to an ostensibly raw performance. “Ostensibly”, of course, because if there’s decent direction happening in the rehearsal process, those moments of authenticity will be spotted and repeated until they’re ingrained in your muscle memory. The purpose of rehearsal is to try new things and then zero in on the things that work, practicing them until they can be repeated perfectly in a performance that seems as though it’s done on the fly.

    Crappy first drafts can contain kernels of interesting truth. I like collecting these random thoughts on creativity then looking back on them to see if there’s anything worthwhile. Often there isn’t. But if I didn’t write these, then I wouldn’t have anything search through.

    Take that messy first step and do the thing!

  • Fail

    And fail hard.

    If we’re carving new paths and taking creative risks then we’re going to fall flat on our face. We can’t prevent it. Organizing and making plans is important, yes. But holding off on making decisions because you’re afraid of failure is useless. Even the most organized paths are met with obstacles and mistakes. Failure is inevitable. If you choose the meticulous path, and plan plan plan before you actually do anything, then you’re just going to fail slower, and those who took risks are going to be failing, learning, and growing.

    Creativity and failure go hand in hand. Learn to embrace it. Understand that a failure with a creative choice is a not a failure with you as a human. Don’t take it personally. It just didn’t work out. Brush yourself off, take the core elements that still ring true to you, and move on.

  • Read, Read, Read

    It sounds simple enough, but if you want to be a theatre artist, you have to read plays. A lot of plays.

    I have a bad habit of not reading plays. I often don’t enjoy them. Stage directions can bug me. “The table is set DSR. Christopher Xs left, holding the vase. A chair is USC. Curtain falls.” Blah blah blah I don’t understand where everything is, and I don’t really want to. Give me some tension between characters and then I’m interested.

    But despite not wanting to, I know I have to keep reading them. For better or worse. Because the more we read, the more we learn, and the more we decide for ourselves what works and what doesn’t.

  • People-Focused

    It is the focus on people—their work habits, their talents, their values—that is absolutely central to any creative venture.

    Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.

    I had a tense conversation with a collaborator once where I was (rather desperately) trying to understand their perspective, and they were adamant that they didn’t have to help me understand. In their view, I believe, we were simply islands. We were always going to be different from each other and that was that. No point trying to see eye-to-eye.

    But any creative project or collaborative environment requires good chemistry among people. People have the great ideas and put in the work to get things done. Productivity doesn’t happen in a vacuum: people need to feel challenged and engaged in what they’re doing. And in order to feel involved, others have to involve them.

    Yes, there are always going to be different personalities. But in a working environment you have to find ways to empathize: to understand, to some degree, where the other person is coming from. That can absolutely get uncomfortable if you’re two people with different outlooks on how to approach issues. But that discomfort is necessary if it means that ultimately both parties will feel like their ideas and their personalities matter.

    Successful creative projects are not the result of everyone working in their own pods and refusing to have difficult conversations. Everyone needs to feel included. And inclusion is active, not passive.

  • Clash!

    I’m in the process of learning something pretty major.

    Some people… just don’t like… other people!


    You would think this would be pretty straightforward, but I have a hard time wrapping my head around it. If someone is being kind, generous, and full of love and empathy, what right does a person have to dislike them? Why deny that positive energy in your life, even when at times there may be a clash of perspectives? Differences in opinion make things more exciting, in my opinion.

    I’m still thinking this through and trying to figure out why that happens. It may be a lifelong journey. But there’s something to be said about being attentive to which relationships are working and which aren’t. If you feel you’re being your true, authentic self with someone and there’s still a sense of hesitation, then it’s not worth putting energy into making that connection stronger. If people don’t enthusiastically love you for you, then they are not your people.

    We do a disservice to ourselves when we try to push through relationships we instinctively know are imbalanced. If you care about the other person, try to make amends or see eye-to-eye, and they still aren’t prioritizing that connection in any way, then there needs to be a release. It’s hard, but in a way it’s nice to weed out those relationships that ultimately harm you. There’s a psychological harm that comes with trying to please people who simply won’t be pleased. If you have dug deep and are brave enough to show the true you, then only those who want to embrace that are deserving.

    [Add something about the creative process here]. I’m sure there’s some sort of connection.

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