Time Trappers

We are all able to be trappers of time.

Time trapping is as old as time itself. What started as storytelling in ancient times, led to language that was translated into the written word. Humanity then brought the past to life with audio recording, photography, and video. Now, emerging technologies are allowing telepathic thoughts to mark our memories.

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Proof? Here’s a Nueralink Show & Tell.

Time trappers wield an ability to more actively revisit life experiences. To test your trapping skills, grab a device and open your favorite place to store creative content. Whether it’s writing, audio recordings, photos, video, or other types of art, go back to see what you captured yesterday and one week ago. Now travel back in time even more. Revisit this day last year, two years ago, five and ten years ago! As you enjoy your own nostalgia, consider the quantity, quality, and different types of content you’ve created.

Avoid distractions and stay in the moment, but if you’d like to enhance your time trapping capability, think of fun ways to create more content. This might be a day dedicated to taking an exorbitant amount of photos. Perhaps it’s trying a new app? Maybe it’s finally downloading the video from a memory card and trying your hand at editing it together? What if it’s taking the time to share time you’ve trapped with others? Whatever the exercise is, see if you can form a habit doing it for a few months. Set a milestone, then enjoy looking back at the results.

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What’s our first memory together?

Think about it. Many idea machines prefer to physically write into ideabooks. Music lovers often choose vinyl over endless streaming and how great is a live theater performance compared to any TV show? The time, skill, and passion from those generous enough to create art, makes thoughtful time trapping more strenuous, but more fulfilling in a way.

We are already cyborgs and biotech will further augment the way we seamlessly capture, organize, and share our realities. Until we autonomously enhance our bandwidth, telling a story, writing, recording audio, taking photos, or shooting video will still take manual effort. Let’s mitigate the risk of AI and optimized efficiency, but might the elbow grease required to set each time trap make our personal creations more memorable? Yes, but that will soon be an excuse. In the future, creativity may be the essential currency to add heartfelt context to our trapped time.

I’m without a thesis, but I’ve arrived at an appreciation for long-term, creative devotion. Caring enough to habitually go beyond what’s expected. When ambitious initiative is a fundamental part of your creative system, you’ll be a timeless time trapper who stays in focus, strategically organized, and inspired with lasting purpose.

Ship It

We are all artists. No matter what you create, there’s a distinction between creating art and shipping it.

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Here’s a useful definition of art. How does (re)defining art this way change the way you think about your own contributions? What is your art?

My favorite author, Seth Godin, often writes about going beyond the status quo by creating remarkable art. As we explore and expand our creative practice, Godin also suggests that if we don’t ship our art (i.e. send it out into the world), that it is all for naught. He leans on how art is all is about connection, and if nothing is shipped, there cannot be connection.

Entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, side hustlers, students, and community builders willing to ship, fuel positive change with their art. Unfortunately, the ego often fears external evaluation. This fear is compounded when a lack of success may occur, which is always possible. As apprehension calcifies over time, it becomes tough to resit the temptation of hiding our thoughts, emotions, and activities within the safety of solitude.

Creating art to enjoy by yourself can build skills and provides internal layers of sentimental value, but to go beyond the status quo, push past the fear of feedback.

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Failure is an illusion. We either succeed or learn.

The world is loud, so avoid wasting time shouting just to make noise, but know that we need you to ship your art. This encouragement is not an excuse to rush into bad ideas, ship something that hasn’t received proper attention, or not deliver on a promise. It is however, a friendly reminder that pursuing perfection can devolve into an enemy of progress.

We’ve all heard inspiration like that before, but listen to those you admire. Perfection is rarely required when all you need is enough success to continue creating art. Let such liberation fuel confidence. Translate expanding confidence into fresh curiosity. Augment this curiosity with creative action. Rinse and repeat.

As belief in oneself grows, one interesting hesitation is disguised by good intention. We tell ourselves it’s not wise to be too self-serving. This is virtuous, but sometimes endless humility makes silence feel safe. As we protect ourselves by staying quiet, a self-limiting restraint develops. For example, many people find writing into journal to be therapeutic, but are quick to dismiss the idea of sharing these beautifully raw writings with others. Of course it’s good to internalize some things, but as you learn more about yourself through writing, know your art can make an expanded impact when it ships.

Ready to ship your art? Think about your own super powers and the people you care about. How might connecting these two things provide value? Experiment with small actions and as this develops into a practice, expand the connected nature of your creativity. As your art connects with those who care, find a cadence that allows you to be consistent. Seth Godin suggests that we all ship something daily, but one size does not fit all and the right tempo depends on the art you’re planning to ship. To find your own signal, consider your personal bandwidth and the audience you seek to serve. Talk with others and experiment, then tweak your timing to find the right rhythm.

If you’re shipping art, I’d love to hear what makes it remarkable and how you stay consistent. If you’re looking for new ways to make a ruckus, the Roasted Reflections library and my curated Resources page will help spark fresh movement.

No matter your current state of now, thank you for continuing to create art. More important, thank you for being courageous enough to ship it.

Content Creation: Writing

Marketing requires an ability to translate stories into written word. Creative writing impacts all aspects of marketing and is a skill that’s easy to enhance. The most effective way to improve your writing is to write. Whether it’s for business or for pleasure, the more you write, the better you’ll get.

The highest hurdle for building this content creation skill is that writing takes time. Writing is also difficult when you think of yourself as a poor writer. One way to tackle both barriers at once, is to sharpen your message everywhere you write. Make being a wordsmith a healthy obsession. Written articles, emails, social media posts, and even text messages can all receive thoughtful attention. When quality writing becomes part of your daily life, it’s more natural when you need it. Another exercise to build confidence is to write without the pressure of sharing it. This creates space to flex more creative freedom. As you fearlessly chronicle personal thoughts, you’ll get more comfortable with writing. Stories will eventually take less time to craft and you’ll be able to optimize anything for any audience.

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Speaking of optimizing content, You Don’t Need This (AUDIO)Book will be available October 15th! Audiobook pre-orders are now available and I’m hosting a party to celebrate the release at Beaverdale Books that Friday evening. Here are event details.

As you practice writing for business, consider the type of content you like to read. For most, less is more. Complex topics may need thicker encounters, but there’s value in being concise. As Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” The modern attention span is never far from the next distraction. Put heart into your words, but don’t massacre the message with convoluted content. Clear, aligned, and concise content catered to the right audience is easier to hear and also to share.

When it comes to writing, those who care make attention to detail a part of their daily practice. Take pride in sharing words with the universe. Being a wordsmith ensures everyone receives your best every time. This results in well-written art that stands out with a consistent, more recognizable tone.

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Seth Godin suggests writing every single day. This daily cadence was considered as I built this website and blog, but a weekly reflection has been the right rhythm for me. Months later, I’ve remained consistent and I’m really thankful to have this growing treasure trove of published thoughts. If you’re exploring ways to write more, hit me up for encouragement, because the best day to start was yesterday, but the next best day is today.

UP NEXT: Skill #2 – Photography