Ok it's a real book now

So the prototype from my last post got enough attention that I decided to try and make it a real book. It took me less than 24 hours thanks to Amazon. 

Here it is.

Also one more thing, at the time of writing this it's currently ranked #23 on Amazon's best selling parody books list. Can we get it to #1?

 

Kanye's Book

Kanye started tweeting again and he is writing a book in real time so I decided to help start designing it. 

Time Control

In this downtime I’m doing some planning. How do you structure your week? How do I do work, contribute to society, and still have time to wild out with my friends? Go see family? Go on dates? Eat? Workout? It's a problem that everyone seems to have a different answer for. So I thought it was time to review where I'm at and where I want to be.

I feel like I am often chasing time because my days are too open but I would like to have more control and consistency. I have a budget for money, why not time? I could probably just cut out a lot of things but then I have a big blob of time and my focus is still easily scattered. 

It takes me a lot of mental power to decide if a work opportunity is good or not and I'm hoping this will help me filter things more clearly.

And when I do have free time to socialize, how long can I afford to go out for? I'm past the age where I can stay out until 3am and it doesn't matter.  And I don't have enough money for it to not matter. I'm in the middle. 

So what do I do? Aside from planning my next year using OKRs I thought about what I could do at the daily/weekly level. 

Here's what I came up with. I started on paper because it's still the best. I asked myself, "What's an ideal workday?" Then I needed to understand what is work. I think planning to the minute will make me go insane so I created bundles for morning, work, and evening. I left gaps to keep it flexible and account for commutes or random events.

Saturday is completely free so that I can go to smack city with my friends on Friday night and/or that evening if I so choose to. And I have all morning Saturday and Sunday to recover. Because life after all is about balance. 

Here are what the bundles include:

  • Morning Routine: Write, pushups, stretch, get ready, breakfast, check socials
  • Evening Routine: Dinner, review day, catch up with a friend, read etc (aside from dinner these interchangeable, not a checklist)
  • Work: Writing, shooting, editing, publishing (I realized all the small things associated with these tasks are the things I forget which is why I should double how long things take me)
  • Break: Walking, photos, dance, getting a bite, etc

I'll track how this works for the new year and post any iterations. Let me know if you have any thoughts, tips, or feedback. 

Just Incredible Drone Footage

I came across this video on Facebook thanks to Musa (Vimeo linked above since SS doesn't play nice with FB). Some of the shots I could figure out but a few seemed impossible so I did some more digging. Summarizing it in a few bullet points here feels like it doesn't give it justice but oh well.

How'd they do it?

  • Custom rig with a deconstructed GoPro and very small drone build - 95g
  • ReelSteady AE plugin $399
  • Flying forward (then they reversed it) 

Read more about it in detail here.

Trust the Process

Thanks for being patient. If anyone was actually out there waiting for my next blog post.

I listened to Kanye West - Last Call on repeat this week. It helped me refocus, so naturally I tweeted about it. Surprisingly it resonated with a lot of people. It's not viral status but those are some good numbers. So I thought maybe I'd elaborate more on this and how I've resolved some internal conflict. Hope it helps or at least gets you listening to some Kanye.

There are many exceptional lines in this song but my favorite part right now is this

Last year shoppin my demo, I was tryin' to shine
Every motherfucker told me that I couldn't rhyme
Now I could let these dream killers kill my self-esteem
Or use my arrogance as the steam to power my dreams
I use it as my gas, so they say that I'm gassed
But without it I'd be last, so I ought to laugh

I've never been outwardly confident or shown the bravado and conviction like Kanye. I tend to stay quiet which funny enough has been mistaken for confidence a few times. Another outcome is I waffle to avoid awkward disagreement which sucks because I lie to two people, myself and the other person.

So part 1 of this piece is me understanding that some level of confidence and conviction in yourself is valuable. The next part is I've questioned myself several times this week. 

What am I doing? Can I be more than one thing? Do I have a right to do this? Will society accept that? I haven't touched my cameras all week am I still a photographer? Was I ever one? My script bombed, am I writer? Am I even funny? I've made zero films, am I a filmmaker? Can I be a performer too?

I came across 2 videos that helped me understand how to approach this sudden internal attack much more productively. 

Halfway in Keegan shares an anecdote from grad school. 

I said to my professor, "Oh I want to be in Hamlet really bad and I want to play Horatio." 

My professor says to me, "Why Horatio?"

I'm like, "Well he's his best friend, I feel like that's who I am. I'm the best friend guy, I'm the good time guy that everybody likes"

And he goes but, "Why couldn't you play Hamlet?"

And I go "I don't know".

"But why? Why are you? Why are you not? You're getting the same training all these other actors are. You're handsome."

"What? No I'm the funny guy shut up."

"No no you're handsome and you're vibrant and you could play the lead in a play especially the most important play in Western civilization, you could play Hamlet."

I wanted to punch him. Stop fucking with my mythos. I want to know. I don't want to push beyond my comfort zone. I want to stay here. I'm Horatio. I'm the fifth lead in the play.

"I don't think you're the fifth lead in the play. I think you can play Hamlet."

He wouldn't shut up kept on talking about, "Why can't you play Hamlet? Why can't you play Hamlet?"

And you know that's another story I had just made up in my mind I'm never gonna be as good as these other people and so that it's okay that I don't get the lead and now it's fine it's fine if I don't get the lead.

This resonated deeply with me. Maybe its because I was also raised Catholic and indoctrinated with the idea that I should think badly of myself to stay humble. The meek shall inherit the earth and all that.

YouTube's algorithm then delivered another video which just took things to another level. I think Vince and Keegan would have an interesting conversation. Honestly the whole thing is worth watching but here are a few of my favorite lines below.

I think that's a great thing for anyone out there, you know allowing yourself to say, I'm curious about this and then you have to kind of give yourself permission and figure it out. 

To me even it's less about the results, although we all like results. It's more you know having the courage to listen to that whisper why am I curious to explore this. I'm looking all around for someone to give me permission to explore something and then you say no I'm just gonna start building it and doing it and you always come on the other side of that realizing you had so much more control or power or value then you felt at the time.

So any sort of getting out there and storytelling or putting something together I think is valuable you know you're you're learning and experimenting and playing around and more time spent on that I think ultimately leads to you know, more say in your existence and more confidence in resolving your existence.

I've been throwing this phrase around a lot but it sounds like Vince is essentially saying "trust the process". I've got to accept where I am now so I can work towards where I want to be. And funny enough the act of writing this blog post feels like I've freed myself from this creative paralysis slump. 

EDIT: Came across this in my timeline a few minutes after sharing and honestly could not be better timing.

The End of An Era

I've wondered what my first blog post should be. I think its appropriate to start off with a summary of the last 4.5 professional years.

When I applied to Everlane in 2013 I didn't know much about the company except for what I'd seen on tumblr and the site, but I knew that I did need to stand out amongst a potential sea of candidates. 

I actually documented the experience of applying on my now defunct blog: rnwn.wordpress.com

For my very last day I thought it would only make sense to update the page. Here's what I made in 2013 and then updated in 2017.