Day dreaming

One of my favorite things to do in grade school was to day dream. I enjoyed looking out the window, hearing the kids playing outside, while I made up movies in my head. I would usually get interrupted by the teacher before I could make it to the end of the plot.

As an eight year old girl, I was brainstorming screenplays, there was no budget to consider or any other limitations.

One of my favorite directors and filmmakers is Wes Anderson. I know he’s a popular director with a cult following, but for me he has always had this way of capturing how a child would see and understand the world. Each frame is full of color, interesting details, and camera movement to envy. I recently came across Wes Anderson’s book at the bookstore about how he developed and made his films. It’s full of beautiful behind the scene photos and interviews. It’s an expensive book so I keep going back to revisit and read it. His films have always had an effect on me that it’s possible to make a movie in my own style, he makes it look fun, creative and visually interesting. For the first time in years, I day dreamt a movie in my head. I am allowing myself to play movies directed by me in my head again. I thought of one today that I figured, why not write. As we get older the motivation to do anything is money, but when we were kids our motivation was fun.

Creating a story, drawing the thumbnails, day dreaming.. I don’t need a budget to do that, just pen and paper and a really good idea to play out.

My Top favorite books on Creativity

I want to introduce to you my top 3 books on creativity.  Reading about creativity will inspire you to use your talent on a daily basis, and teach you how to develop original ideas.  Here are my top 3 favorite books.
blog_imagine.jpgImagine by Jonah Lehrer talks about how creativity works. Every creative, even the creative geniuses, admit there is a process they go through to bringing their idea to life. “Once we learn how to creativity works we can make it work for us.”
He also has a chapter where he talks about outsider thinking. Sometimes when you’re younger, it’s easier to create because you don’t know enough to be an insider or an expert, due to ignorance there is a creative advantage. As we get more experience, we start to repeat ourself over and over again, “You must constantly try to forget what you already know.” Finding new challenges can help you approach things in a new way. This book was pulled from the shelves when parts of it were found to be fabricated, wish I knew what parts! 
blog_creativemark.jpgMaking your Creative Mark by Eric Maisel is second on the list. I found this book in San Francisco and read it throughout the trip . One thing I was struggling with at the time was how to be creative for myself and not just for someone who pays me.  After reading this book I was inspired to finally do YouTube, and leave a creative mark on the world.
This book acts like a manual for the creative journey, asking questions and giving practical steps. It was also comforting to hear stories from clients the author helped build their confidence when entering the market place. “You want to step out of the shadows and standing up for your work and your future”, “ your best life in the arts is dependent on your confidence level.”
blog_creativeincNext on the list is a book written by Pixar and Disney animation President Ed Catmull Creative inc. It was fun reading about how one of the most creative company’s function in creating animation films. He shares the genius of the company, the struggles of solving story problems and the hard process of making successful films. He gives you an inside look on what it’s like to work for a creative company, how they work hard to make life enjoyable for its employees. Steve Jobs was part of creating their office building, “everything about the place was assigned to encourage people to mingle and communicate to support our filmmaking..” One thing that stood out, Pixar was never afraid to admit what wasn’t working in their films and even in the office, they had open communication to call things out and to talk about it. We are invited to see how Pixar‘s creative culture with Pixar‘s braintrust- it’s a system for straight talk. They gather in a room and have them identify problems and encouraging them to be candid with one another. “As a creative we thrive when we work alone but an important skill to learn is how to work with other creative’s and other people in general how to make your idea come to life.” I read this at a time when I became leader of a department and it really help me create an environment for the team to create.

Preparation is Part of the Process

Sometimes it feels like the efforts we put into our personal work is useless and isn’t worth the time. If we were to calculate the hours we put into each project and see how much it’s costing us, it might cause us to give up. The only thing we know is that we love it and no one has to pay us to do it.

The pace of life can move so fast that we don’t have the time to prepare ourself. We hit record, or show up and rely on our past experience that we will know what to do next. But when is there time to study, read, and build? Be prepared for the opportunity to come is advice I’ve always taken to heart, but never really put it to action because I just didn’t have the time to. When do we have time to ask questions like, “What do you really want to do?” “What do you really want to make?””What impact on others do you want to have?”- let alone get them answered.

Now that I am at home with my daughter I am gifted with these open hours to do whatever I wish with my time while she sleeps. Because these moments can be 30 minutes to an hour, I have to use it wisely. For the first time in my creative life, I am able to work on work for myself. As I am taking the time to relearn a few things, research, read books that interest me, I am discovering new ideas and desires I never knew I had. When my daughter and I hang out at my local book store, I am noticing a pattern of what type of books I am picking up. Or when I work on youtube videos its allowing me for the first time to create for me. When I step back and see what all these things have in common. I can see clearly what it is I am passionate about. There is no job description for what it is I want to do, because it doesn’t exist.

I want to shout to the world all the things I am dreaming, but I know I have to invest time into my work before I can share anything. Every week I am showing up, putting in whatever hours I am able to. We hear these stories of how others are being successful, and I can’t help but wonder what the secret is. As I am pouring hours into my work, I am realizing it’s work. Preparing is part of the process, its what will make the difference between failure and success.

Yes I haven’t made any deposit into my back account, but I am pouring into my daughter, raising her, and when I get the chance pouring my creativity into myself. Building my dreams, hour by hour.

So I encourage you, whatever phase you are in, take sometime to prepare for what it is you really want to do. I’ve learned it doesn’t take hours like we use to do in school, but small breaks. Take the time to build something for yourself, your future self will thank you, and might even pay you.

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Top 5 Favorite Storytelling books

I’ve been a student of storytelling ever since I became an editor. I’ve come across a lot of different books through out the year and there are about five of them that have deeply influenced how I tell story through my videos. I’ve written on my blog quotes from the books and why these books have such an impact on my life and the work I create.

Here are my top 5 favorite books about how to tell a story.

1. Story by Robert McKee

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We all have stories inside us and sometimes sharing them takes courage and honesty. There is no telling the power a story can have on the listener.

2. In the Blink of an Eye by Walter Murch

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“What they finally remember is not the editing, not the camera work, not the performances, not even the story-it’s how they felt.”

3. The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film by Micheal Ondaatje

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“Every shot is a thought or a series of thoughts, expressed visually. When a thought begins to run out of steam, that the point at which you cut.”

4. Imagine How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer

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“There’s no such thing as a creative type. As if creative people can just show up and make stuff up. As if it were that easy. I think people need to be reminded that creativity is a verb, a very time-consuming verb. It’s about taking an idea in your head, and transforming that idea into something real. And that’s always going to be a long and difficult process. If you’re doing it right, it’s going to feel like work.” – Milton Glaser, graphic designer, creator of “I (heart) NY”

5. Writing Television Sitcoms by Evan S. Smith

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Learning how many times a script is re-written before they go in production help me at work prepare to share drafts with other. Feed back is gold! I’ve always been the artist that would say, “Don’t look, its not done!” When I started to ask my co-workers to view my work and tell me what they think I would get very insightful help. Usually they would pin point what wasn’t working.

 

Being Parisian 

Yes, I often pretend I am Parisian. Something about the Paris life style is comfortable and relaxing. After reading such a deep book about man and woman last week, I needed a break. How to be Parisian wherever you are; love, style, and bad habits is full of dreamy photos and small articles on tips of simply being.  

 Photos I can stare at forever and brainstorm how I too can make these Parisian moment happen. 

“The Parisienne never gives too much away. When it comes to revealing herself, she follows one golden rule: less is definitely more.”

 I love how the book is full of random information and still feel like a conversation between friends, or more like a wise aunt who was the beauty in the group in her prime. Here she is sharing her secrets with me, how she effortlessly left a party, put together a dinner for friends and the way she kept her independence in the mist of motherhood. It was comforting to read about how Parisian women face aging, the advise to hold off on cosmetic surgery and to invest in a good eye cream. (Unlike what California aka LA culture says.) Importantly to face the fear of getting old by taking care of what nature gave you. “In Paris, the rules are clear: you anticipate, you prepare for the future, but you can never totally correct.”

I laughed at the end of the book where it said not to talk too much about oneself or dreams.. Oops how American of me. 

It’s expensive to travel to Paris but it doesn’t mean that we can’t embrace pieces of the Parisian culture where ever we are. 

Cheers   

2012 France

 

Book: 7 women 

 We all want to know the secret of greatness, reading 7 Women by Eric Metaxas made it clear the cost of living a life that changes society doesn’t come at an easy price.  We see people on social media with glamorous lives who seem to blend the lines of being influential and fame. We interpret the only way to make a difference in culture is to be famous. In pursuing fame we become deaf to God’s instructions and the endeavor becomes more about self than about others. Chances are, what He wants us to do, is not glamorous at all.

Reading the stories of these seven women made it clear, each of them served others sacrificially. I was fully expecting to read this book to feel inadequate but instead realized I have the ability to serve people where I am at in my life just like these women did. These women never had fame on their minds and never cared about who was following them but focused on being obedient to Christ. Each day they took one step closer towards what they knew God would want them to do.  It’s clear how easy but yet how very hard it is to do just that. Jonah of Arc allowed herself to look crazy to those who did not believe it was God who was speaking to her, Mother Theresa paid attention to society’s outcastes, Corrie ten Boom opened her home to strangers in need and continued to do so during the Holocaust even when her life was at risk. Hannah More used her gifting as an artist to influence culture to reveal how evil the slave trade was.

Reading about these 7 women show me the power of being faithful, faithful to God, to family, to work, and how that alone makes the difference in the lives of those around you. It’s faithfulness and obedience to God that creates a new culture, over flowing to others.

C.S. Lewis Chronicles

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The past few months I’ve been reading, C.S Lewis Chronicles of Narnia. It’s been really exciting to read something so different to what I’m normally use to reading. I’m not one to read fantasy and not even non-fiction but I kept hearing about how great they were, and the deep meaning CS Lewis paints in his book. So I wanted to experience that for myself.

I found the whole Chronicles at a thrift store, and knew that was a sign to read them. As I read the first book, I remember when I was in third grade reading it. I remember wishing there was more to the story when I finished it. As I’m older reading all of them, its like… hearing a good song and wishing there were more songs just like it. I did enjoy that each book was a little bit different. It wasn’t the same characters or same story. What I did enjoy most was going to a land called Narnia, beautiful place with green grass, hills and mountains and it sounds funny, unicorns and talking animal, it really is a child’s dream to escape into a  land like Narnia.

There are times when the descriptive piece would be so, what I’m not use to as an adult to think of. It was good exercise to imagine, and allow to believe these new elements of Narnia. I loved the imagery it plays with good and evil, Jesus and Satan, it helped me as an adult to understand some thoughts, some truths the Christian faith has.

The last book really wrapped it up perfectly. It was really dark, the first few chapters, it seemed like everything was hopeless and the characters weren’t going to win. And it took me somewhere different that I didn’t expect. It took me to a land that was better than Narnia, more real. In fact, it made me want to go to Heaven. The way it describe the crystal waterfalls falling down, running so much that you’re never tired, climbing up waterfalls by swimming up it. Unicorns putting their horn in the water and creating rainbows. It was so relaxing to hear of a land so beautiful, peaceful.

It was fun and I’m actually excited to one day read these books again with my children. I can already foresee they say, “Another chapter or I’ll read on my own mom.” The imagery and pictures that C.S. Lewis paints, I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. There embedded in my memory and in my mind. It was a good read, it took me a while because I kept getting distracted, but I”m glad I finished them all. —-

“..for them it was only the beginning of the real story.” – The Last Battle

The Bonhoeffer Plan 

One of my favorite theologians, who was a martyr for plotting to kill Hilter, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, had this deep spiritual life with God. Last year I read his biography by Eric Metaxes and learned about his devotional lifestyle that he taught his seminary students. 

I often find myself getting bored or distracted when I sit down to read my bible, usually my mind reminds me of everything I gotta do or the movie of my life starts to play in my head. Here are some good habits to study like a Bonhoeffer student.. 

No speaking 45 minutes before meeting at the breakfast table 

Open breakfast with a psalms or hymn 

Read a chapter Old Testament, New Testament per day 

Prayer on what the student was dealing with with, and whatever they needed to ask  of God. 

Meditate on a verse for a week  and 30 minutes each day. To move forward, until you know what is meant for you. 

Concentrate completely on what God is saying to you. No looking at other reference books but deal with the verse as though it was Gods word to them. 

We all struggle to focus and we can learn how people who didn’t have iPhones or Internet mastered the skill.  
One thing I must share to you if you aren’t familiar with Bonhoeffer story, that living as a German Christian during  WWII,  Bonhoeffer needed to live a life hearing from God during this very confusing and dark time. He was able to live a life of courage and truth because of his deep connection with God. He was martyred for being devoted to God and standing up for those who didn’t have a voice.  

As a creative, it’s my job to communicate to the world what’s in my heart and having a healthy spiritual life will help me know what to say and how to say it. 

“I wish I read more.”

 The past year I’ve gotten into the habit of reading and finishing books. It use to take me 6 months to complete a book. The problem; I couldn’t stay still long enough to focus. The moment I would sit to enjoy a book, my mind would wonder leaving me frustrated I didn’t understand what I was reading and then asking myself, “What did I just read?”
As I’ve been reading more often these days, I’ve been having lots of people comment, “Ugh, I wish I read more.” I remember being in that same spot; wanting to read but failing every time I tried. The books I’ve read and share with you have dramatically changed my life in one accept or another. The only way I can describe it, I feel like my brain works better now.
I finally can understand anything I want, as long as I take the time to understand things deeply.
There are so many benefits to reading and you are selling your mind short by not developing the skill. “I’m not smart.” is an excuses to be lazy.  If I didn’t start reading I’d probably still be making a few bucks an hour, still be single trying to figure out whats my problem, and be very stressed out that life isn’t working.

Sounds extreme but that where I was five years ago. Reading challenges me to keep on growing as a person. My boyfriend, Gus, still tells me, that a quality he first saw in me that really caught his attention.

Some benefits to reading:
1. Learning and understanding concepts faster by reading about them.
2. The more you learn about different subjects, the more the mind creates connections between subjects, helping to discover new ideas and finding solutions.
3. Reading about or from successful people and about their life lessons help you work better with people and give you a path to follow and try for yourself.

So my secret:

Buy a non fiction book that catches your current interest. You have to want to read it. For me, a physical book helps me focus on the pages, reading on my iPad is too tempting to switch to another app…Like Netflix.

Sign up to audible to download a new book every month. This will help you read the books maybe you aren’t SUPER passionate about but still want to hear what it has to say. Create a morning habit of listening to your audiobook instead of morning news.

Focus is a skill you must strengthen. Set a timer on your phone for 20 minutes. Get comfortable and read. Reward yourself after you complete the time with some downtime watching something on Netflix or TV. Your mind deserve to zone out.

Make it a goal to read everyday and try to finish the book in that month. Shop for your new book near the time you are about to finish your current one. This will motivate you to complete the book even if you’ve grown bored w the subject.

Highlight text that speaks to you.

Do a recap when your done. I blog about it as my way of saying I understand what I read enough to share about it. I often tell Gus about my book, waiting for his questions to see if I understood the book. Having these conversations are always super fun. I love having deep conversations and hearing feedback on the subject I’ve currently grown passionate about.

Display your books as your trophy case. Completing your book will give you a scence of accomplishment.

Make it into an event. Go out, find a cute coffee shop and read. Soon it will become the reward you look forward to.

Now go find a book to fall in love with.

Book: Every Idea is a Good Idea

I look at books as mentors. Its my way of having a cup of coffee with an expert on any given subject I’d like to learn more about. Seems like there is a new wave of books are being written – sharing information.

I discovered, Every Idea is a Good Idea by Tom Sturges while at the book store with my nephews. As they were checking out the toys, I was drawn to this book because of the cover. I loved the simple design idea. It had a retro look to it. When I opened it, I read a small part about how to create new ideas. Since I am collector of ideas, and depend on my found research to create new work, I got the book.

The first few chapters is more about how successful song writers found their ideas. Though, I’ve only day dreamt of writing a song, it was interesting to hear how iconic songs were written or tv sitcoms came together by discovering and collaborating ideas. How one find’s an idea and makes it into something

Here are some take aways that will encourage you to be prepared to do something with your ideas.

–  You sit and focus completely on your creative goal, almost meditating on it and then with a burst of energy give into the entire first draft of your idea, letting it explode out of your intellect.

– Look for a chance to change what you do and how you do it. Think reinvention, not only of yourself and your creativity but of your process, too.

– Show up every day… sooner or later your talent will emerge.

– See what you are not great at and find someone who is as great as your weak links as you are at your strongest.

– Only you can complete your thoughts. What ever it is before you get up and walk away make sure it has a beginning and an ending. Do not let your idea just sit there unfinished.

– Mark that spot with the big X and move on; just keep creating. Do not interrupt the flow of your ideas, the pace of you’re thinking, the tempo of your thoughts…Trust your mind to find the right word or phrase later when you’re not under pressure and in the middle of transcribing a new idea from your mind to paper or computer.

– …if it is something big and long and complicated, a table of contents will be a blueprint from which you can more easily and readily access and evaluate the quality of your efforts… keeps the focus of the peace in view.

– “Even half a good idea could inspire someone else’s even better idea.” Ken Levine, television writer

This paragraph describes creativity beautifully.

 – Creativity is the freedom that comes with believing that there is no perimeter, that there is no stopping, that the possibilities of thought are endless. It is the power to believe that there is no shoreline. Creativity is having faith in the sanctity and perfection of the unlimited imagination and the joy of the knowing that ideas are infinitely available, always being refreshed by some deep underground stream feeding into the pristine lake.

Don’t underestimate your ideas. Be ready to do something with them.

I create new ideas from asking questions, being inspired by a phrase I think of. Usually its my opening sentence. An element that attracts me from another’s design, art work or music. Something insightful said by my pastors, boyfriend, or family member. Books, books and books. Podcast, tweets, and past memories. Movies, commercials, and a comment someone says. Anything that makes me say, “Huh.”

Thanks Tom Sturges, I enjoyed the cup of coffee with you exchanging ideas and talking about creativity.

Summer Bookshelf

I’ve been obsess with reading books and listening to audio books. This summer if you hung out with me, you would have heard, “There’s this book I’m reading about..”  My friend who just passed the bar said with great concern, “Wow, you’re reading a lot of books.” I laughed because yes, I was becoming that Portlandia skit of, “Have you read…” Look it up if you haven’t seen it, super funny. Well, here is my summer reading list. I found every book life changing and insightful!

41k9x2bg6RL._AA160_ The 5 elements of Effective Thinking

was mentioned by a rich successful guy during an interview that I heard on the radio. He mentioned it super fast, and once I got home I downloaded it. I loved the simple principle it gave. Over all, “Understanding things deeply.” Which lead me on this race to read every book I hear a successful person mention. I liked when the author said, “Be Honest with what you don’t know and on the missing parts.” So many times I allow unknown knowledge become a handicap, but the key is to improve understanding.

51KEubrpFkL._AA160_Linchpin was yet again mention on a podcast.

I am on my second listen. I enjoyed the encouragement it gave to become the linchpin at everything you do. To hold things together and become an artist in the office or where you find yourself working. It’s a choice to put my humanity, and heart into my work to make it in to a price of art. Sounds crazy? Yeah, as a creative, I’ve put what I’ve been learning to discover this is what my job ask of me. I am grateful I work as a place that embraces making a difference. “You have an opportunity to enjoy what you do, make a difference and to unlock the genius inside you.”

51mA7IoWUIL._AA160_ I discovered Jesus, -A pilgrimage at a bookstore in Santa Cruz.

The book was so thick, I thought to myself, “There has to be some more information about Jesus that I don’t know about.” I was right – and fall in love with this book. Father James Martin walks us through his journey into the holy land while asking questions and seeing sights where the gospel took place. I read about Jesus home town, what it looked like and what type of people Jesus grew up with. His community, his culture, – learning the context He was living in brought the text in the bible to life. This book brought Jesus to life for me. “As I stood under the broiling sun, I was gobsmacked to see rocks, thorns, and fertile ground. No one planted the thorn bushes, carted in topsoil, or arranged the stones to make the locale look as it did in Jesus’ time, as if we were in the theme park called Jesus Land. They where just there. It dawned on me that when Jesus used objects from nature to convey his message – seeds, rocks, birds, clouds, water – he may not have been talking in generalities, but about these things right here.” 

51Ml+jD9l3L._AA160_The Power of Habits was to understand the science behind the habits.

Not only to create new healthy habits but to understand our currently ones. We have cue’s that make us do task that give us rewards. “How WILL power becomes a habit, by choosing a certain behavior and following that routine when inflection points happens.” Basically this book showed me how to trick my brain into going to the gym, “When a person goes to the gym, they receive a reward that will make them feel better about themselves, causing them to make better decisions about their spend, the food they eat, causing them to achieving their goals.” [paraphrase]

41zz9A8RF8L._AA160_My So-Called Freelance Life was very wordy and chatty.

I tested out my speed reading on this book. The largest take away, to start a job when you received all the information for it instead of creating something with vague descriptions. Gather the content. Over communicate professionally and limit emails- emails take time to write and read, use it when necessary. For me, if I know the person is in the office, I stop by their office to ask them my short questions. To create your freelance price – do you research. What would it cost if you where going to hire yourself, google it and then work from there. “People are not necessarily going to remember how much something cost but they’re going to remember your attitude and how they felt when they went through the process with you.”

51YUixmUSXL._AA160_ I bought, Boys Should Be Boys for my sister but couldn’t help to read it first.

Reading this book help me discover so much about the men in my life. Their development or lack of. The importance of nature of a boy’s father and mother. How each are equally important into a boy’s life into becoming a man. I loved reading the hope God can give to a man who might have had a troubling childhood with their father or mother. “They know that they have a place in the universe despite every failure. They know that God cares and can understand their thoughts and fears when no one else can. Restoring a boy’s fallen spirit is a monumental task and everybody knows it. Giving a boy the security of God, the God that will always see him and always love him is the defense parents can offer up their child.”

Over all – take time to pay attention to your current interest. As you see, my reading list was random, but in a strange way – all connect.

Book: You are Not Special

I came across a YouTube commencement speech titled, You’re Not Special given by english teacher, David McCullough, Jr. To my surprise it was an extremely insightful speech. He gave the point that there are millions and billions of us on earth and we think we are the center of the universe, but when we recognize that we aren’t special, we can finally see everyone is special. Our life isn’t just for our own satisfaction but for the good we can bring others.

Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you. 

Don’t wait for inspiration or passion to find you. Get up, get out. explore, find it yourself and grab hold with both hands. 

I urge you to do whatever you do for no reason other than you love it and believe in its importance. Don’t bother with work you don’t believe in anymore than you would a spouse you’re not crazy about. 

I came across the book when I was on vacation and knew it would teach me something new. One aspect of the book I didn’t realize and I should have because after all the book is written by a high school english teacher; it was full of new vocabulary words. I had to look up new words to understand the sentence. Each word was a new discovery. I knew I could use some of these words in my writing and speech. They would make cliché sound fresh!

The chapters took me forever to complete but with each page I was learning something new. I was learning about what its like to be a teacher, a parent, an encourager, and a mentor.

Day after day being a kid, being a person, is an exercise in trail and error. This is learning, which is growing, which is incremental evolution into a new person..

..enthusiasm matters most of all – for your students, for your subject, for the day ahead. 

The teachers I remember most, are the ones who I felt cared for me and who were passionate about the subject they taught. I enjoyed sitting there listening to them talk about their passion. I started to visit the school library during lunch after I saw my 10th grade teacher get excited over Catcher in the Rye.

Fulfillment will come only when you’ve achieved your own definition of success. 

You have to persevere through setbacks, through your own discriminations, trepidations and self-doubt, trying your best not just a matter of principle but as a leap of faith. Process matters wholly, and there are no shortcuts. When you encounter a limitation, work to push through it. When things don’t go your way, try again. In this way you prove yourself worthy- you prove it to yourself.

And so many more encouraging passages to quote from. I’ve been out of high school for 12 years and still an english teacher is teaching me something new. What a fresh perspective to read from. Thanks Mr. McCullough

Lead like The Experts – Book: EntreLeadership

Its funny how a random conversation can lead to a life time of change. When I was new to the video department at my church, I had a conversation with a co-worker in the break room about my current challenges. I had no idea how to lead and I was now overlooking a new editor. She told me to read John Maxwell’s Learning the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. After completing the book, it dramatically changed the way I understood leadership and I made it a life time habit to read about leading.

I look at reading books is another way of being mentored by the successful and wealthy. This week, I completed Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership audio book. I was encouraged to impart leadership skills in my team mates. It was interesting to learn how Dave, a very successful entrepreneur, leads his company. The book taught how to delicate successfully, trusting your team mates and handing off responsibilities with strategic planning and training. As soon as I completed the book, I met up with my team and applied the new principles. The outcome was amazing, it was as if I knew what I was doing.. and thanks to all the books I’ve read, I now do!

Leading like an expert requires willingness to never stop learning and putting to practice what you learned.

Getting Things Done

IMG_2178Getting Things Done by David Allen has been on my reading list for years. From the moment I heard about it, I knew it was a book I needed to read but never got around to it. Now as a director of a department, I owed it to my team to learn how to get things done and to remain stress free.

“You need to set up systems and tricks that get you to think about your projects and situation more frequently, more easily, and in more depth.”

Within just a few weeks of reading the book, I’ve been able to reach some pretty big goals of mine. There were so many times when I was about to give up on a step to a big project but knew if I kept going, I’d have the joy of marking it off my list. Getting Things Done helped break down the to-do list into simple questions: Can I do this in less than two minutes? What’s the next action?

“No matter how big and tough a problem may be, get rid of confusion by taking one little step towards the solution. Do something.” George F. Nordenholt

It also allowed me to share what I learned with my team. When David Allen recommended creating physical file folders, at first I thought it was old-fashion but as I put his advice to practice, I noticed how ready I was to answer questions, give information, and easily switch gears from project to project. The goal is to free up your mind to do more proactive and creative thinking, to think less about what you need to do and to think more about the things you need to do.

A vision without a task is but a dream, a task without a vision is drudgery, a vision and a task is the hope of the world.” From a church in Sussex, England 1730

Discovering when my energy level was at its highest and lowest has helped me tattle the projects more affectedly. Mornings for me is when my brain is the most active, so that’s when its best to learn something new, work with numbers, or brainstorm. Using every minute of the day to keep getting things done, whether its reaching a goal, making your deadlines at work or making time to spend with the people you love, it all can be done by taking the time to learn how to plan and prepare.

“People are always blaming their circumstance for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them” George Bernard Shaw

Stop worrying about what you need to do, and create a to-do list – everyday. 🙂

 

Self Help Junkie

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I’m on the verge of becoming a self help junkie. But fear not. I promised myself the next book I read will either be about production or a biography.
During the Christmas holidays I found myself lazy, fat and exhausted from the previous months of work, life and goals setting. I came across this book, You are a Badass by Jen Sincero. Such a shocking title for this little Christian girl, but this slap to the face title caught my attention.
This is one of those books that I’m not sure if I should share, because it can be a little new-agey, but Jen Sincero shared some amazing concepts on moving pass self doubt and walking in faith. I enjoyed the challandge of finding scriptures to go along with some principles. This book taught me how to put faith into action, and not just saying, “God is in control” but to see that God wants me to playing a role in creating my destiny, seeing things hope for, the evidences of things not see. (Heb 11:1)

Every chapter help me realize my thoughts where effecting my reality and letting go of false beliefs. Things I grew up believing that weren’t true, where still haunting me, I can never live in a house like that. I saw myself still as a child, I’m just a little Mexican girl, was effecting my work and confidence. The chapter on meditation reminded me of the scriptures,

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer. (Psalms 19:14)

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is nodal, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praise worthy think about such things. (Philippians 4:8 4:8)

It also brought to light one of my largest fear, it encouraged me to thank my fears for trying to product me and to speak truth to it and encourage myself.

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Quotes – Jen Sincero

Our greatest fears are the greatest waste of time

…it’s much scarier in your mind than it is in reality.

We’ve made fear being a habit.

It touched on making decisions, which for me I would wait things out.

Being so afraid that if they pick one thing, they’ll miss out on another, so they either choose to do nothing or try to do everything, which are both excellent ways to miss out on all of it. They basically decide to never decide because they don’t want to make the wrong decision…

Deciding is freedom. Indecision is torture.

Indecision is one of the most popular tricks for staying stuck within the boundaries of what’s safe and familiar.

I was encouraged to create a vision board, searching for what I really want in life was a bit exciting. As I was putting my board together everything seem possible.

Your beliefs hold the key to your financial success

Most of the time its not a lack of experience that holds us back but rather the lack of determination…

What you choose to focus on becomes your reality.

Yeah.. I’m done self doubting.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

Everything you do along your journey contributes to where you’re going.  Jen Sincero

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Dear Social Media

Dear Social Media,

I want my life back. My moments, my relationships and privacy. I no longer want the pressure to brag and show off where I am at, what I am eating and who I am with. I know you mean well, but when I instantly give these precious life moments to share, I lose them as I try to upload, tag, and write a caption.

Thanks for what you do, connecting me with people but I also need to connect with the people in front of me. I’m putting my phone down and forgetting about it when I don’t need it. When I snap a photo, I’ll look at it later. The world can wait and so can I.

Wednesday morning before work I heard an interview with the creators of Instagram. I was pulled in by their witty personalities and big dreams. I listened with closeness as I heard their heart behind Instagram. They spoke about capturing those special moments; children learning how to walk, a mom spending time with their child, graduations, weddings, birthdays and how people can share images as they happen.

I began to think about all the big events in my life to my everyday routine. I thought to myself, “Those are mine, I don’t want to give them away by snapping a photo, writing a caption and uploading it.” I’ve learned through the years about the sacrifice a photo can cost. Live life or take a photo of it? I have to make a decision between enjoy what is taking place or pulling out my camera and capturing it. And now because of instant publishing more time is lost to experience life.

The question is how do I solve this dilemma? If I’m not careful, I can end up experiencing life though a screen, missing out on the beauty that no camera can capture.

This 4th of July weekend I did an experiment. Take a photo and look at it later. I was anxious to share immediately but instead told myself to enjoy my time with the people I love most.

Looking back on the photos, I can appreciate them even more because I got to live them.

Blog: Coffee and Great Company

One of my favorite things to do is drink coffee and have a great conversation. Sometimes I have one that is so inspiring I wish I would have recorded it for all to hear. We began to talk about the church and creativity. I shared that it was the Puritan church that shut down the theaters in London in the 16th century, stopping all future play writers and the possibility of more geniuses to develop. When I read this in the current book I am reading, I was disappointed, “It is the church that should be birthing the most creative art, music, movies and books.” I started to share how far along we have come.  Creativity has allowed people like me, who aren’t pastors to have a voice. How powerful that is and how much God wants to use that. As we got deeper in to the conversation I knew this is what Imagine, How Creativity Works was talking about. People meeting in coffee shops and talking about ideas, ideas that will lead to insight which can lead to solutions. Maybe it was the relaxing atmosphere or the great company that allowed this conversation to take place. Either way, it got me thinking about my place on the earth.

VBlog: When Film School Isn’t an Option

I received an email today with a few questions about what to do when you wanna go to film school but can’t afford it. Yes, I know this question too well since I asked myself it a few times. I’m on the journey as well so I answer this question from my personal experience.

Resources:

Hillsong Youtube Channel

Hillsong College – media program

Blink of an Eye & The Art of Editing Film by Walter Murch

Imagine How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer

Also check out: Rebel without a Crew by Robert Rodriguez

“What They Don’t Teach You at Film School” Notes

For some reason I found it hard to get in to this book but I knew it was valuable information that I needed to learn. Its full of great advice about how things work in the film making world. It’s an introduction to what it takes to make a film.

“…it’s not Hollywood’s approval that will determine if you die feeling like a successful filmmaker. It’s your own.”

“Your film is nothing more or less than a conduit for an audience’s own emotional experience.”

“Your work may not be “better” than that of others before you, but it can be unique. Originality is a virtue.”

It talked about film debt, budgeting, being a good director to the cast and crew, keeping things simple during filming, dealing with locations, issues with the script, basically what the author leaned by doing, they put it in the book.

I tend to learn better by mistakes. This is why I found this book useful.

“Your short is, at best, a prompt for them to ask to see more of your work-the kind they can make money on. They want a script. That’s all they want, all they ever wanted, and all they will ever want.

“Think like the buyer, not the seller.”

“No one wants you to experiment with their money, When someone reads your script and gives you money for it, it’s because they’ve seen the movie-in their minds.”

“The good news is that if you’re paying, you won’t need to protect anybody else’s vision but your own. If someone disagrees with you about how something suppose to look, you can listen, but you don’t have to negotiate.”

So much goes in to film making and when money gets involved it can get complicated. Reading about what to do when these situations are reached made me no longer fear them.

The chapters about picking the right cast and crew was full of great advice from other film makers. A few things that stand out is not to beg people to work with you, loyalty, treating your actors with care, don’t lead people on when hiring if they aren’t what you are looking for, making sure the coffee is good, food is always available, confronting issues.

[Directing] “By signing on, cast and crew are agreeing to be led. They’re giving you the power to lead them. Your job is to accept and assume it. With all the side effects and responsibilities.”

“Your crew is giving you more of their attention, creativity, and patience than your main squeese..don’t two-time them by bringing your romantic interest onto your set.”

And finally, pay attention to sound. I learned this important rule since I’ve been the shooter & editor.

“Without good sound you’re sacrificing your film’s potential or even your film, period.”

“You don’t want to fix it in the mix. Not only because you can’t, but also because you need to keep your sound editors’ time focused on the creative possibilities, not the technical harassment, of your film.”

I’m pretty sure what I read in this book will indeed help me from making mistakes.. and for that I am thankful I read it.

Now on to my next book… “The Conversations” 🙂

New Editing Book

Good news – My new editing book came in..

The bad news – I am having a hard time finishing up the current book I am reading, “What They Don’t Teach You at Film School.” This book is good but dry. It more about preparation for working as film maker.

Today when I got home I found this on my table. I can’t wait to highlight the pages and share quotes with you.