Weekly Roundup

Another week, but the first of November. This year is really flying by.

What I’m reading: Dracula by Bram Stoker. Maybe I should have read this in October, but I didn’t have the idea until I started working on my NaNoWriMo project. I tried once when I was younger, but I couldn’t get very far into it. It reads better for me now, and I hope to have it done this weekend. Plus, since I couldn’t find my paperback I just downloaded a free copy on iBooks.

What I’m listening to: Tim Ferriss Show from October 17 – the Random Show with guest Kevin Rose. So, I used to watch Kevin Rose and Leo Laporte on TechTV (this was quite while ago). Hearing this interview was inspirational in a bunch of ways. For one, I myself am a Japanophile, as are Rose and Ferriss. They discuss Japan, travel, entrepreneurship, and really enjoying life. And I think it all comes down to enjoying life.

What I’m spending time with: I’ve been working on a project with a friend of mine. About a year ago I had the idea for a resource for performers, and we’re putting the finishing touches on it. It hasn’t been all that time consuming, but I’m glad that I get to tick one project off the list.

Other things of interest:

Weekly Rundown

Two weeks in a row. I’m still feeling good about it. Calling it Weekly Rundown, that is.

What I’m Reading: Sometimes the Magic Works: Lessons from a Writing Life by Terry Brooks. Coming out of John McPhee a few weeks ago, I wanted to give this one a try. Concise, fun, and a little “out there”, I’ve enjoyed reading it so far. One thing that did throw me off a bit was the intro by Elizabeth George, who derided some authors who could only produce one book. Whereas I do respect a person’s opinions, I think anyone who has at least sat down to write a book, even if it’s just one, deserves some consideration for their efforts. But that’s a minor thing, at least for me.

What I’m Listening To: The Nothing But Major Gifts Podcast. This episode deals with keeping Major Gift Officers. So I’ve actually worked for two organizations, building a development program from scratch for them. After about ten months at each place, they felt the results weren’t worth the money or effort that they were putting in. Best practices require one-to-two years for that level of relationship building. After my last stint, mired in aggravation and dealing with an unresponsive ED, I decided that I’d never take on a fledgling development department again, unless perhaps a contract was in place for a period no shorter than three years. Anyway, if nonprofit administration is interesting to you, check out the Veritus Group and their podcast.

What I’m spending my time with: Meditation. I’ve been trying a new 3x daily meditation practice (most days… I’m committed to every day for a month. Working my way up to it.) I was recommended this practice from a yoga teacher I practiced with last week. In theory, it’s a way to rest your internal programming – pushing through all of the negative buildup that accumulates. Here’s a link to Elephant Journal for an article I found, but it doesn’t really explain the three times daily practice.

Other things of interest to me this week:

  • Seth Godin’s post on mediocrity, and how corporate policy is about consistency, not necessarily excellence.
  • Society for Psychical Research. A leftover from Mary Roach’s Spook, I was curious to see what kind of activities that they investigated.
  • Dude – a brief history from The Atlantic. “You know… if you’re in to the whole brevity thing.”
  • Trying some new recipes in the kitchen, this time experimenting with Indian cuisine. My first endeavor will be this weekend making Aloo Matar, but here’s a link to some basics.

Creating content

Where does content come from? There is so much being published in the internet. One hour of video is uploaded to YouTube every second. Blogs, podcasts, artwork – all flying around digitally.

How do you sort?

As a consumer, what are the important pieces?

As a creator, are you reaching your audience?

No matter how much you’re creating, or posting, or consuming, it all starts one at a time.

More busy-ness

I’ve been working out a 168-hour timeline for the week, planning out days. Without overlap, it looks something like:

  • 56 hours – Sleep
  • 50 hours – Job
  • 10 hours – Writing
  • 10 hours – Dining/meal prep/shopping
  • 9 hours – Side hustle
  • 7 hours – Reading for pleasure / studying
  • 6 hours – Podcast & video recording/editing
  • 6 hours – Yoga/exercise
  • 4 hours – Music gigs
  • 4 hours – Meditation
  • 3 hours – Radio show
  • 3 hours – Nothing

Now, I rarely sleep 8 hours per night. I haven’t been as faithful in my yoga practice as I should be. And I do write sometimes during gigs when I’m not singing. So there is overlap.

The problems come when other things creep in and I have to decide which items to omit from the daily list. And things will crop up. Date night (which should be every week). The film that I just have to say (a lot coming out this summer). And other activities that require some measure of concentration on my part – I’m thinking of the garage that needs an overhaul right now.

And I look at Benjamin Franklin’s daily schedule in awe, and can’t help but wonder how he managed it. (Of course he didn’t, but it didn’t stop him from trying.)

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Video killed the radio star

I’ve been doing my radio program on musicals and local arts for about a year now. I think it’ll be a year next month. For it, I’m always playing around with different recording techniques, looking at new equipment such as microphones and audio interface. I’m not optimized for recording.

And yet, I get it done. It may not be perfect, but it’s complete. And every week I ship a new episode – because it’s airing on the radio. So it’s likely been one of the most important teaching tools for creating my art that I’ve been a part of recently.

After the video game broadcasts gets off the ground, my next goal is a podcast with another recording friend of mine. But since I usually lay out my laundry on this blog, I’ve not a clue what we’ll be talking about yet.

The technical

With a blog I’ve been working on for about three years (on and off), and other social media accounts I’ve had for longer – as well as the new website, a podcast, a radio show, and a new media showcase about to start production on Sunday, sorting through the technology requirements on a limited schedule is complicated.

Right now I’m working on batching blog posts so that I can have at least five done each day. The last two weeks were pretty well shot with rehearsals, a new office, and advisory council appointment orientation. As everything settles and I work on processing incoming data efficiently, I’ll lay out those inbox sorting techniques here (somewhere.)