3 awesome benefits to expanding the scope of a creative project

I was 16 when Donald Glover, under the stage name “Childish Gambino”, released his Grammy-nominated album Because the Internet. Almost a decade later, that album still stands out in my mind as the gold standard of how to package and release a work of art. Big statement, I know. But here’s why:

It was never just about the music.

Glover said so himself in a 2013 interview on Tim WestwoodTV:

“I don’t wanna make albums anymore…I feel it’s just kinda silly to make albums… just albums. You gotta make worlds and lives.”

What did he mean by “worlds and lives”…

Tapping into our vivid inner worlds can elevate the impact of our writing

Paracosm is a term that most people have never heard of — in fact, I couldn’t even find it in the Webster dictionary — yet it is perhaps my favorite word of all. It perfectly captures that oh-so-human yearning to merge reality with the creative sketches of our imaginations.

Simply put, a paracosm is a detailed, imaginary world, typically dreamt up in childhood, that lives and grows across time inside the mind of its creator. …

Which is at least once a week, frankly

I’m a master at cranking out fun ideas for creative projects, and I’m equally masterful at fully depleting my optimism for those projects in a matter of weeks, sometimes days. 😅

Most of the time, I could have saved the projects — and that rare, precious optimism — by checking in with myself for a quick couple of minutes, instead of being needlessly frustrated, abandoning ship, and blaming the wreckage on writer’s block or burnout.

In reflecting on the times I’ve successfully dug myself out of the rut, I’ve realized there are a handful of key questions that enable me…

👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 I love this philosophy. Whenever I have aimed toward a dream and then fulfilled it, I'm only satisfied for a little while. Then it's on to chasing the next one. The journey is the reward.

Hidden gold with under 300k subscribers each

At times I am overwhelmed by waves of inspiration, and at other times my mind is a drought. During the dry times it’s compelling to just quit and wait for the creative juices to get flowing again, but that can end up being a huge mistake down the line. An indefinite pause is hard to resume.

This difficulty highlights a major benefit of attending college or working at a corporation: In these environments, you’re surrounded by peers working toward the same or similar goals as yourself.

The creativity (and productivity) can be contagious, so long as you aren’t weakened by…

Lessons from lucid dreaming applied to waking life

A few nights ago I chased my dream, in a most literal fashion. While traversing the fantasy land of my mind’s design, I suddenly became aware that I was not awake in the usual sense. Everything around me was fuzzy, quirky, and transient. This was certainly not reality. And the instant my new awareness struck, I was overcome with a sense of urgency to explore this foreign world before it all suddenly dissipated.

So I ran.

I remember feeling a surge of elation as I bolted around a surreal landscape —indoors, outdoors, night and day all at once — searching…

A cure for routine-induced boredom

A life lived in the cocoon of thoughtful routine is both rhythmic and fulfilling. I’ve come to appreciate such benefits lately in my own efforts to adopt more of a “planner” approach to life. It’s mostly great, but there’s one issue:

Routines are so predictable.

Yeah, I know that’s kind of the point. Still, it’s the reason why I quit the majority of the routines I impose upon myself. If I have to do everything at the same time everyday, am I a human or a machine? OK, maybe that’s dramatic. Let’s take a step back.

Personal schedules and routines…

A concept for saving the art of conversation

It’s Friday afternoon. The work day is winding down, and you’re contemplating how effectively you can negate a whole week of stress in one night.

Assuming COVID lockdowns are a thing of the past, you’ve got options... Loud music and alcohol in the nightclub district. A concert or a movie. Getting stoned at a friend’s house. Or just potato-ing on your couch watching Tik Toks until you fall asleep. Analysis paralysis ensues.

Luckily your friend saves you with a short text, “lets try Talkspot tn?”

Talkspot? you laugh aloud, Nightclub names are getting more and more ironic these days. Nonetheless…

How it went & the rules I’m keeping

At the end of January, I pledged to do Cal Newport’s “digital declutter”, a month-long reset of smartphone & internet habits — marking the beginning of my intentional foray into Digital Minimalism (I wrote about it here). Well, February’s long over, and the verdict’s in:

I loved it.

Never before have I felt so clear-headed about my goals and unbothered by negative or time-sucking stimuli. With my phone reduced to the bare-necessities and restrictions in place to stop mindless web-browsing, any time wasted was consciously of my own doing.

As it turns out, it is very hard for me to…

Seeking intention, solitude, and meaningful connection via Cal Newport’s “Digital Declutter”

Two (ish?) years ago, I began my journey into minimalism, after reading Goodbye, things by Fumio Sasaki. I’d just graduated college and moved across the country with only the essentials, so the philosophy of living with less stuff was not hard to adopt.

Since then, I’ve held the tenets of minimalism —quality over quantity, thoughtful consumption, simple pleasures — near and dear. They drive my everyday decisions without causing me distress, because I’ve spent years of reflection and practice letting them sink in. And it’s still a journey in-progress.

But there’s a major flaw in my practice:

I reserve most…

David Smart

I used to build code, now I build fictional worlds ✍🏾. | My favorite word is ‘paracosm’.

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