What if I all I want is a small, slow, simple life? What if I am most happy in the space of in between. Where calm lives. What if I am mediocre and choose to be at peace with that?
The world is such a noisy place. Loud, haranguing voices lecturing me to hustle, to improve, build, strive, yearn, acquire, compete, and grasp for more. For bigger and better. Sacrifice sleep for productivity. Strive for excellence. Go big or go home. Have a huge impact in the world. Make your life count.
My friend asked me yesterday for my “Beginning of the Day Workflow”. He was asking for my shortcut in the shortcut app (a technical way to automate a bunch of apps, which fires off and does a bunch of things at once), but I initially took his question as, “How do I start my morning, and what’s my creative process?” That’s how I’ll start today’s journal. Breaking that down.
On a perfect day, I’ll wake up early enough to get to the local cafe, for coffee and pancakes (my best days could be measured by coffee and pancakes. If you’re local, Downtown Jeaux now has an early bird special: get coffee and pancakes for five bucks). On most days, though, I wake up, get dressed, and get to the office to start my day. Either way, wherever I am, I sit down, put the iPad in front of me, and start in these four apps.
This is the first app I start in. Getting to zero. Favoriting whatever needs to be referred back to later that day. This is usually done as a warm-up, a causal browsing, so I don’t jump straight into actual work-mode just yet. This kickstarts my inspiration for the day.
This is my reminders app. I open this up to Today view, seeing what needs to be done that day. If it’s in “Today”, I reflect on what time I’ll be able to do it. I reflect on which ones are most important. I also look at certain ones and see if they’re really important enough for today, or if they could be moved to another day or remove the day entirely. I try to get this list down to just the essentials, freeing me up to focus on what’s truly important.
I start a Journal entry. Open a blank page, and then write the date: “# June 14, 2019”. From here, I write out whatever’s on my mind initially. I’ll clean it up later. But it starts with just brain-dumping. After I do that, I move to the Last Seven Days section of the app. This section shows me everything I’ve been building lately. I get a glimpse of what needs to be worked on, and what I’ve finished up. An aerial view of everything that needs my attention. I’ll use that journal entry as a scratchpad for the day, keeping thoughts out of my head and on this page. Some turn into their own blog posts, some. just live in the journal.
This is opened to my website, looking at the month’s archive, of the most recent blog posts I’ve created. It usually sets the tone for me and where I need to go that day. There’s a story that was told so far that month, which shows me what’s left to be told. A combination of this list, with my Ulysses “Last seven days” helps keep the writing flowing.
This month has been a lot of journaling. Nothing deep. But that was the plan for this month. To take a step back. Everything from the blog posts, to the photos, as you can see, not much is there. I needed a month like this. To take a step back and breathe.
There’s something to be said about cleaning house and freshening things up for the next season. I’m referring to the look of the site. All the same parts are there, they’re just cleaned up and arranged in new and cleaner ways. Let me explain.
What you’ll notice right away is that the Bike gif was moved up towards the top. I also added blue stitch to each side of the gif.
With the gif now being higher on the screen, you have three features constantly moving:
The first thing that I worked on today was switching how to see all of my most recent content. I went back to an outline. It’s how my mind works, and it has very simple look.
The only thing left from the old way that I showed featured content is the guest posts section. I removed all the other categories that were there (since they’re now in the above outline). I then made the guest post feature much bigger. Since it’s the only one shown, it gives it a better spotlight, as it alternates through all 20+ guest posts each time you visit the site.
You’ll notice that my daily thanks is removed from the footer now. If you go to nashp.com/thanks, it’s still there, and it’ll be updated for 10 more days. This decision was made as I prepare for the ending of this daily gratitude list. June 21st makes 100 days that I’ve done this. That’ll be the last day. I’ll then work on turning that into a book.
The hidden feature of my site received an update today as well. It’s the last thing I did before writing out this breakdown. If you press the little blue “create” word under my face, it gives you a drop down of each blog post I’ve created for the current month.
I updated this by removing the blue underlines under the links, and then I put a dark blue background behind it. This creates a different feel for this layer.
Well this turned into quite the article....— Shawn Blanc (@shawnblanc) June 6, 2019
iPadOS: My Initial Thoughts, Observations, and Ideas on the Future of Working on an iPad – The Sweet Setup https://t.co/dUR9TPftyK
Still one of my favorite ways to watch videos. I’d choose Watch Later over any other streaming service. I currently have over 2,000 videos in it, and it’s always where I go when I want to watch a curated video playlist. Similar to the way I use Twitter, I do the same with YouTube: constantly bookmarking videos in Watch Later. It’s the best way to refer back to something, and if you do it mindlessly like I do, you’ll always have a queue of great videos waiting for you.
I predict Paul gets moved. I’m thinking he’ll finally play with LeBron. This isn’t me being hopeful, because I’ve never been a LeBron fan (respect his game), and I’ve never liked the Lakers. Just seems like the stars have aligned for both players to need each other.
This guy is so inspiring. This song wants me to create a whole new album this weekend. (Or at least add a new song to my album, whichever happens.)
I’m always fascinated by these video essays on Frank Ocean.
I feel some kind of energy in my heart right now. It started last night, after waking up from a long nap. It’s what would happen if anxiety and excitement had a baby. Inspiration mixed with wonder. Not sure what this is, but I’m pressing in on it and seeing where it’ll take me.
One of my new favorite people to follow online is Liam Wong. He has a book about to come out, called TO:KY:OO. I stumbled on his work, and now I’m absolutely in love with it. Here’s some pictures from his most recent tweet.
As soon I write about Liam Wong, Kottke tweets about Jun Yamamoto, linking to his Instagram. Similar style. If you follow the things I’ve been liking on Instagram lately, it’s been photos of Japan. Cyberpunk style photography. I’ll keep searching for more like this, because it’s been so inspiring.
I made a new page on my site: nashp.com/twitter. This shows what I’ve bookmarked throughout the day. Tweetbot is is my control center. It’s where I scan the latest news and inspiration. I rapidly press up on keyboard, then press “F” (for Favorite/Like) if I want to refer back to it. Once I reach the top (zero new tweets remaining), I go back to bookmarks and start writing.
Not really, but in the background. Sums up how I watch movies lately. Never having my full attention. All forms of media is only passive to me nowadays. It’s only background noise as I create and work on projects. I enjoy this process.
Saturday was the first of the month: the day I decided to switch gears and revert back to my little hole and begin to think deeper about things. I figured it was time to close the chapter I was in, and I was ready to start a new one. Saturday, I spent the day building a site with my friend Kristen. Sunday I spent the day at church (writing and then attending 11:00 service.) After lunch at a Japanese restaurant, I spent the rest of the day in bed, watching Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood and then reading a book until sleep. Yesterday was very similar: work, Apple event, then then sleep. Between the nap after work, and the sleep last night, I slept for over 10 hours yesterday. Most I’ve had in years. Today: work, coffee shop, and writing. I’m enjoy the lack of noise around me right now. My mind, heart, and locations I’m in are very subtle and giving me space to breathe and think. Very thankful for this.↩
Making progress in this new book. Very insightful. Looking for a season of growth in many areas. I want to become a better reader. A better believer. And become more selfless. And I want my site reflect all of this even more. I’ve been creating based off of my selfishness and limited knowledge alone…I can only imagine the good I can do for this world if I learn more, believe more, and help more.
Good morning. I’ve been very intentional this morning with communication. Reaching out to people that I care about. Letting them know my heart and what I’m struggling with. These steps will only help the situation. I’m ready for growth.
Currently reading a book my pastor gave me. Taking notes. Eating a snowball. Brain.fm in the background to help me focus.
Just left church. On my way to the gym. I’ll be there for a few hours. Listening to Ross’s album to warm up to. Feeling like something big is about to happen. But I also have to stay still. Don’t act or react out of emotions. That’s what always gets me in trouble. Just be still. Let God work. A lot of new books to read. Vacation coming up. Time to be Let intentional with my time.
Articulate. Words. Fix them and put them together, all the letters are weapons, infiltrate. Rambles are scrambled. I hope they penetrate. Happy Birthday, waiting for them to open up the prison gates. Until then we just sit and wait. My mind constantly gets in the way. If I clear these clouded thoughts then I could do anything.
Kettle, tea, Turtle Beach: Stealth 600, Xbox One X, No Man’s Sky, Kindle Paperwhite. My weapons for the weekend. I didn’t get enough sleep. I’ll spend these off days catching up on that, and relaxing. Excited about all of this. Just had a great conversation with my friend. I believe big things are about to happen for us. Her music is so powerful, and I hope to help her get it out there. More than anything, I feel like we’re both about to grow. It’s a season of changes. I’m ready for it.
My goal is to keep my Kindle out, reading, throughout the whole weekend. Even if it’s just small passages every few minutes. I want to build better reading habits. I have a lot of books waiting for me to read, so now’s the time to start. Fridays have become my planning days. As I map out the weekend, and the week ahead, I’ll be focused on actionable tasks that move a lot of projects along. Barely slept last night. Was conscious most of the night, with podcasts playing in the background. It’s 4 am, fixing coffee, and playing No Man’s Sky.
Just wrote 785 words about all these things going on in my mind, in a new blog post. My longest in awhile. I feel like weight has been lifted. Something so simple, a post, and gathering thoughts, bringing clarity, makes a world of difference. Just finished running the bridge nearby. Exhausted. Now time to shower and relax.
The potential is there. I see what I need to do. I see what’s holding me back. I’m clinging on to deadweight. That deadweight doesn’t define me, but its attachment to my identity causes me to forget that. We lose ourselves in all of these things. Forgetting what makes us, us. I feel myself rising again. I feel my purpose and energy resurfacing. These things won’t keep me down. I have too much to live for. This is bigger than me. I’m ready for it.
Brain.fm is a life changer for me. Currently listening to Relax/Destress. This app is worth every penny. It’s already Thursday. A week away from vacation.
Home from work. Big night ahead of me. Doubt I’ll get much sleep tonight. Hot tea. A good lunch. Yoga tonight. Spent my lunch hour in No Man’s Sky. The rain was so relaxing, I didn’t want to leave. Just shared something vary transparent and vulnerable. Bringing it to the light is important to me. It’s my way of working through it. Paperwork everywhere. Busy day at work. Scheduling appointments. Staying busy. The update to No Man’s Sky is here. This will keep me busy for the week. A lot of moving parts right now. I hope to go sit at the cafe and journal and clear my mind. I need to process everything that’s happening.
Good morning. The canvas is now live. Look above. “Share your thoughts here.” That’s a box for you to always write to me, and if you have a blog post or something you want to live on my site, that’s your space to create. This is something me and Jay have been working on for almost a year now, brainstorming on. To make the site a place for everyone to share something. It’s a contact form/idea box/or whatever else you want it to be. Let’s go.
Basketball. Studio sessions. Big meeting in the morning. Lots of things happening.
Just had an hour long conversation with someone who plays the flute. She’s REALLY good. Hoping to get her on the new album.
Hoping this area will become a scratchpad, a journal, and what I’m up to now. It’ll be the one place to scribble thoughts down and figure things out as I go through my day.
Let me tell you a story. This is a story about where I see myself a year from now. These are my short-term goals and dreams. I’ll be living in a shipping container, almost directly in between the two places I’ll be at every day (three places if you count the container). The land that this container will be on is my childhood property where I grew up on a trailer. That’s where I’ll live. In one direction, 15 minutes away is the basketball gym (Wellness Center) that I’ll spend my afternoons at. The other direction has my office where I work during the day. I’ll travel to each one of these by bike, a Honda Grom to be specific. Church would count as the fourth place I’ll travel to, which is very close to where the container will be. This will be my life a year from now. I’m currently taking every step I need to make this a reality.
A lot has changed in the last few weeks. Changes aren’t always easy, they test you and shake up your foundation. Consider them setbacks. Your stability starts to change a bit, and you have to rethink what’s concrete and what’s meant to not be there anymore. Yesterday, I had a lot of conversations with people about certain things that I’m dealing with. I was able to receive so much help and comfort. I received books to read, advice on what to do next. The amount of people that had my back was refreshing.
Been spending the last few days recording and building out ideas for a new album. Working on understanding the concept of where I want to take this next one. I want it to have a bigger sound than usual.
Coffee, honey bun, office work. It’s gonna be a good week.
At the park. Getting a workout. Filling the activity rings on the Watch. Sweat every day. Lost 10 pounds in a week by doing this. Trying to stay sharp with my mind and my body. It’s keeping me focused on the big picture.
Currently in a studio session. It’s getting good.
Today, I took leaps of faith and spoke out on things that were holding me back. Bringing it to light changes things. Words have power. Community has power. So much power today. Thank you.
Church service. Coffee serving. Done in the cafe. Time to pray. Processing thoughts. Communicating. Process of elimination. Removing the toxins.
An hour long conversation with a friend just changed my entire weekend. It’s amazing how that works. Find people that can speak life into you. I needed that. I needed that reminder. I’m excited about the rest of this weekend and where this friendship will lead us. So thankful.
It’s a changing of the seasons. I’m looking around me and creating new outlets for my energy. Running daily. Yoga yesterday. New cafes to write. An Xbox One X to play games again. Recording a new album with auto-tune this weekend. Things just feel fresh around me. Heartbreak combined with seasons changing. I’ll be getting my street bike soon. Life is just transforming constantly. I’m ready for it. Listening to Bon Iver album. Been waiting awhile for this one. It’s been a roller coaster week. So many ups and downs. At least it’s Friday. Lots to do this weekend.
I’ll be doing yoga tonight. This should be interesting. Keep switching things up and trying new things in life. Hope it goes well.
One of my biggest challenges this month is to consistently run every day. We’re on day 8 and I haven’t missed a day yet. This streak is really exciting.
There’s a couple books I’m currently reading. One is how to be more selfless. I create so many things, but a lot of the times, they’re created by me, for me. I want to change that, and use my talents to help others more. And in my personal life, I want to be there for others more. I have work to do.
I ran home for lunch. 15 minutes there. 15 minutes back. It’s my little life hack to fill my activity rings on the Apple Watch. That way when I leave work for the day, I’m done. Plus it changes things up and breaks my day into another layer. I get back from lunch feeling exhausted from the run, but refreshed with energy to finish the day off strong.
Good morning. Thursday already. Currently watching No Man’s Sky trailer and drinking coffee. Planning day out, and organizing all of my notes from yesterday. One more day until the weekend. Much needed. New music is on the way. New podcast. More Xbox gaming. A have a lot of catching up to do.
I have plans soon, to expand the shop section of my site. It’s been in the works for awhile now, but is finally about to happen. Real, leather, physical products. A family business. Stay tuned for that, and so much more. So many plans are finally falling into place. It’s exiting to see.
A journal of thoughts. These are the words from my heart. Working the cursor, it blinks back, inertia through dark. Immersive with wordplay, as I’m hurting, converting urgency into what I purposely want. How’s that working? Off and on. I prefer when it’s off. Uphill climbing. The incline, it hurts when I walk. I’ll figure it out.
Today was full of layers. It’s complicated. Things happened that I’ve been waiting for for a long time. I’m excited about what it’ll do for my future. I’m excited about what was seen. All I want is an opportunity to succeed, and today helps with that. I have a chance to truly make an impact now. One day at a time. Stay focused. Be myself. Stay hungry. Do the best that I can do. I have a book I need to read. It’s important for my future. I have a new album I need to make. I don’t have a single word for it yet. But I have the perspective for it. I know which direction I want to take. And that’s all I need. Give me the direction, the rest happens instantly.
Big day. Hoping for many changes to happen after this morning’s meeting. A lot of traveling coming up. Good morning. One thing ends, another one begins. Life is in cycles. Feeling much better. I’ve been productive all day, and my mood is back positive. I think it all changed when I decided to run home for lunch instead of drive. Tomorrow will be a big day. But tonight, No Man’s Sky.
These last two days have been a test for me. With patience and my anxiety. I failed that test. But today is a new day. Monday blues. A lot on my mind today. A lot to process. A lot of planning. Big week for work and creative projects. Last night, there was a lot of changes made that’ll set me up for the future. Excited and nervous about those changes. My heart is big. And sometimes that gets me in trouble. Because I overcommit and care about things way more than I should. That’s the gift and curse of being an artist. I’m pressing into those emotions and expecting big things out of it.
Church. Gym. Basketball.
Got an Xbox One X last night. Let it download games overnight. Now I’ll spend the day playing. I’ll still have to go run sometime today, to continue my streak of August: fill all three rings on Apple Watch.
Good morning. Building journal into the site so it’s always updated here. Plan on doing a quick journal every morning. Running on fumes from lack of sleep last night. Too much coffee and watching Big Little Lies. TGIF. Listening to Freddie Gibbs - Bandana. Almost time for lunch. Productive weekend ahead. Keep evolving. Spent the last two months trying to not create and just relax. This month though, I’ll be focused on building as much as possible. Explore. Observe. Obsess. Create.
It’s August already. I have a lot planned for this month. I have a feeling this could be a big month for me if I put all my skills and habits into practice.