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Musings of a Restless Mind: Exploring Passion, Creativity, and Consistency
My first Substack post
It was around 50 minutes past midnight. I was laying in bed. Staring at the ceiling that was dimly lit by my desk lamp. I closed my eyes. My thoughts wandered. I thought about what I was doing that whole day, and the days before. What did I want to do? Where did I want to be? Why wasn’t I there yet? Do I even know what I want?
Well, sort of. I knew that I wanted to do more than just work my regular day job, I wanted something I could call my own. Something I created, and nourished, until it became something bigger than myself. Something I could share to the world and be proud of. Perhaps more than that, it was the innate desire to express myself and be recognized, to be known for something great, to leave a legacy behind.
Because somehow, I feel uneasy or unsatisfied by “just” going to work, finishing the job (hopefully well) and simply enjoying the day off without some grand project to work on. (I suspect this feeling of “guilt” has roots deeper than this post has space for, so let’s dive into that another time.)
But here’s the thing: I do know what to work on. At least so I thought. I set five goals for myself, for the new life I was going to live in Barcelona. While most are related to my personal being, one is about the said “project”, or in other words “my creation” - whatever that may be.
This creation - it could be “passion” or “life’s work” for some, “side hustle” for others - is usually derived from your interests. And well, I have many interests. Possibly more than is good for me. For instance, the things I enjoy, do or consume range from photography, filmmaking, programming, running, traveling, reading, curating music, productivity, personal development to anime, video games, startup ecosystems and stories of successful businesses. I could theoretically deep dive into any of those to establish my “niche” and thus target audience.
As if this wasn’t enough, there is also the question of medium or channel. Do I create online content through blog/newsletter articles, Instagram, YouTube videos or podcast?
It feels like I’m everywhere and nowhere at the same time. I recently met a music producer (by the name of kamo., tell him I sent you!) at a (Powfu) concert. He is an awesome guy, and I was impressed by what he’s done so far even though he has a different full-time job, just like me. But I also couldn’t help but think to myself, having one single-minded pursuit or passion to focus on sure seems nice. There is no need to think about what to do. The formula is simple. Make music in your room and publish it on the different channels once ready to launch. Of course, that’s an oversimplification.
More than anything, it begs the question “What is wrong with my own formula?”. Why is it that I struggle to be consistent in my online creation?
Well, there are many factors. For one, I don’t have that one passion and it shows. I started my journey of putting myself out there by creating my own personal website in 2020, showcasing my different projects and interests, like my programming projects, the books I was reading and the prominent “Impossible List” people tell me about when they visit my website. I also started a newsletter which didn’t last long - actually, chances are, you reading this are one of the old subscribers - hi, friend!).
Then I started my YouTube channel which could be called my biggest creation, and yet it hasn’t realized its potential to the fullest because of few and very inconsistent video uploads. Next to that I also created a second Instagram account for my photography which also is plagued by inconsistency.
So yes, I’m all over the place. Secondly, there is no one theme in all of this. It’s kind of just whatever falls on my head. For example, the videos are not about me teaching you on a specific topic or making entertaining content as one kind of endeavor or identity, like a music artist or a philosopher or physicist.
Sure, you could argue that making videos on whatever you are thinking about or is happening in your life is still a simple enough formula that one could pull through and repeatedly act on.
But I suppose it just ain’t for me or I am not ready for it yet. The problem might be that video production, especially the sort of music video/vlog style I make, is just so multi-faceted. Unlike music or podcasts where only one sense is engaged, a music video/vlog does not only necessitate good video footage in terms of quality, composition, movement and what & when is captured with the camera beforehand (i.e. capturing in the moment, and also filming myself without help) but also choosing the ones you want to use out of all that footage you possess, and then of course also good editing with the sound design, music choice, transitions, color grading, possible narration, storytelling/flow, messaging, and finally launching it…wait no, also you should have a thumbnail and video description and all that setup to then also promoting it.
Okay, it feels like I am just ranting at this point. But there is some truth to it. All these different things I listed are skills and time investments in themselves. And to the non-professional who wants it to be “good”, it can be paralyzing. Welp, there, I said it. I want things to be “good”, when clearly, “perfectionism” (or in this case “goodism” lol) is the enemy of progress.
This is a vicious cycle because when I don’t allow myself to make “crappy” stuff I take much longer time, and when I take much longer, I not only feel like I am not doing enough or am too lazy and incompetent, but I also don’t feel particularly energized to do it again or continue working on it since it’s not that fun anyway. And so I distract myself with diving into something different that could be more fun.
In truth, video editing can be fun when I am in the flow, but there are many things in the process that can be a real drag.
“But Patrick, can’t you just stop whining and let go of perfection like you already noticed yourself?”
Uhm, well, yes, I suppose I can. Buuuut, I’m still gonna be an idiot and do something different, like writing this article right now :)
But in all seriousness, like I was saying in the beginning, I was laying in bed and thought about what could be done against my uneasy feeling. I believe that, just as my friend is focused on producing music, I too can focus on writing pieces where the need to juggle different separate “activities” (like in video production) is minimized. I just need to sit on my ass in front of the laptop and write. I am not saying that music production or writing is easy, not at all. But you get the point.
It’s about making things as simple as possible to start. For me, writing makes my creative journey of expressing myself easier to start and get the ball rolling.
What about you? Do you have something that you like to do or create and share, but somehow find difficult pulling through? How could you make it simpler to start?
And with that, I thank you for joining me on this introspective journey. I hope this piece has sparked some resonance within you and prompted you to reflect on your own creative pursuits.
Moving forward, I am committed to sharing my thoughts (on topics such as personal development, content creation, productivity, entrepreneurship and creativity) with you every week, delving into the progress of my goals and sharing insights and wisdom that you can apply in your own life.
Stay tuned for more! And remember, never settle for anything less than what ignites your passion and creativity.
"It's 2:05 AM. I've poured my thoughts onto these pages for a little over an hour... Time to rest and recharge."
"Night two. It's 11:45 PM. I've spent over 3 hours weaving my thoughts together... Crafting one's ideas does require time and dedication. Now, my work here is complete. Tomorrow holds new possibilities. Good night."
P.S.: The title was generated by AI and the last few closing sentences were overhauled by AI. Oh it’s good…scarily good.
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