Daily Creation For People Making It Up As They Go Along

Snippets of All-Day Breakfast, my daily art journal on creativity and the human condition

One day I opened Medium and James Altucher came out and smacked me right in the face.

I was working on a presentation called The Working Dead, but felt sick of my own thoughts. So I procrastinated by mainlining the internet. My current drugs of choice are Medium, Quartz, and Flipboard. I stumbled onto a messy list of 49 rules for how to change into something else.

This was no simple regurgitation of old secrets or reverse-engineering successes—this was raw momentum channelling. This was stream-of-consciousness, thoughts bumping into one another, then getting in line. And it spoke directly to my desperate self, the part of me that wanted to create something of lasting value, the part of me that wanted to connect with a tribe of creators, the part of me that wanted to turn my ideas into something.

Here are a few quotes that spoke to me:

• Every day you reinvent yourself. You’re always in motion.
• Don’t try and find the end of the road. You can’t see it in the fog.
• Gratitude is the bridge between your world and the parallel universe where all creative ideas live.
• Don’t be stuck inside of yourself. Look at everything. See what it has to offer.

The article was called The Ultimate Guide To Reinventing Yourself. The date was October 16, 2015—the same day I started All-Day Breakfast.

My first reaction was, “I’m going to come up with 10 ideas before breakfast, just like James Altucher!”

I broke out my iPad, opened Paper by 53, and was excited to redeploy my old 10 Ideas in 10 Minutes technique from 2005:

  • Prepare 1 question or creative problem you would like to solve.
  • Set a 10 minute timer.
  • Write down 10 ideas before the buzzer—preferably an idea every minute—be it good, bad, or ugly.

I scribbled the date—151016—in a corner and highlighted it. Then I wrote the title: 10 Ideas Before Breakfast. I even drew an egg, sunny-side up, to go along with the theme. But before I was half finished, life got in the way. Interruptions and obligations pushed my list well into the afternoon, despite my best intentions.

Instead of giving up, I changed the rules. Why did I have to finish before breakfast? What if breakfast was served all day?

This was my original post:

ADB-151016 Uncertain

First issue of All-Day Breakfast
  • Just a title (Uncertain) with the acronym (ADB) and date (151016) squeezed in front of it to f*ck up SEO (search engine optimization hates this practice)
  • an image
  • 3 tags (Ideas, Creativity, All Day Breakfast)

That was it. To this day, it has recieved less than fifty views, fewer than twenty reads, and exactly zero recommendations. I’m not even going to link to it here, because that’s not the point.

The point is that I made something raw and shared it. And then I did it again the next day. And the next.

The point is that it continued (and continues) to evolve. What started as an amorphous list is developing. I added photography, I wrote more about my feelings and struggles, about creativity. It became a life journal, and it’s own journey. (I even built a manifesto around it.)

It has become a reflection of my inner self, which not only allows me to see it, but it allows me to share it. This vulnerability is terrifying and awesome in equal measure.

The foggy road that James Altucher mentions, is freeing. Why do I need to know where this is going? Why do I need to have a plan? Why does this project have to earn? The value is in the doing.

Giving yourself the permission to create freely is one of the most liberating exercises you can attempt. It’s scary to go running into the fog. But it’s breathtaking. There is mystery out there—reflection, self-awareness, perspective, pain, beauty.

Creation is what makes us human. Creating is what makes us ourselves.

I don’t need to be famous, just to brush up against it once in a while.
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PSST! My personal mission is to unlock the world’s creative potential. Every time you recommend or share an article, more people get to see it (and I feel happy). ❤=😀