My New Gardening Website

Blue Flax 01If you’ve been following me for a long time–like a really really long time, you’ll know I love gardening.¬†Well, with our recent move to a bigger property, I’m excited to document my gardening excursions–but it’s not going to be a simple garden. It’ll be a full on food forest.

Of course, it will take decades to get it to that point, but I’m really pumped about this, so if you’re interested in following my efforts, and (please please please) offer any tips you might have, come visit my enchanted forest garden website, WildTater.com.

It’s brand new now, but I promise, there’s more to come…

Howard Taylor on the Power of Practice

Howard Taylor gave a masterful presentation on the power of practice, and I’ve been learning from it ever since I first heard it. He references the article, How Not to Talk to Your Kids, which I also recommend.

He also references this graph:

Three phases of development toward adult expertise

Listen, then tell me your thoughts!

And remember, YOU WORKED HARD ON THIS!

LTUE Keynote Speech: James A. Owen

At LTUE writing conference, James A. Owen gave a masterful speech that I found exceptionally inspiring and encouraging. Gratefully, I had my little podcast recorder, so I captured this awesome story. My only regret is that I didn’t catch a photo of the drawing of the dragon given at the end of the speech. It was the kind of picture that would have been discouraging to see (as in, ‘I’ll never be that good’¬†king of thing) if it hadn’t been for the deeply moving message he gave about simply drawing lines and choosing where they go–and never giving up. It was an incredible work of art, drawn in two minutes.

And by the way, you’ve GOT to check out his book on this subject, Drawing Out the Dragons. I’m reading it now. If you like the speech (and of course you will), you’ll love the book.

The Creative Power of Limitation

I think one of the greatest ways to promote creativity is to have limitations that seem to hamper the progress you are able to make. Think about it. If material is lacking, you learn to be creative with what you’ve got. If money is an issue, you get creative with the money and resources you already have. If you don’t have much space, you either turn a bedroom into a studio or find a way to do your work outdoors, where the atmosphere is better anyway. Limitations and roadblocks promote greater creativity.

If you think your limitation is hampering your creativity, maybe you just need to think more creatively about your creativity.

It rarely does any good to put off an aspiration until you have the money or means to do something about it. Whatever it is that you want to do, start doing it, with whatever time, money, and resources you DO have.

For example, let’s say you want to take up sculpture, but have no clay, and no money. That is an issue – but not enough of an issue to justify waiting until you have money or clay before moving forward. Start with home-made playdough. Does that sound too cheap?

Have you ever heard of Don Marco? He’s a crayola crayon artist, and he’s AMAZING. It’s not the fact that he uses crayons for art that’s amazing – your kids do that, (though yes, they are amazing in their own way, but you know what I mean). It’s the fact that he makes incredible art with crayons.

Use what you have to do what you want to do. Then when the resources are available, you can move up – and still have a unique portfolio.

What if time is your limitation? Become a five strokes a day artist, or perhaps “The Five Minute Painting” artist, or whatever. You don’t have to base your career on your limitation, but turn your limitation into an asset by trying something creative with your creativity.

Creativity is spawned where limitations prevail.

I’ve been publishing CD’s for years, and though it would be awesome and ideal to record with a real grand piano in a real studio, that’s never been an option to me, because it’s so dang expensive. But instead of complaining or waiting until I had the funds, I record with a professional program that allows me to fix minor mistakes that would be untouchable in a studio recording. That made my first CD better than it would have been if I’d had a studio to record in. Limitations aren’t roadblocks, limitations promote synergy.

If something goes wrong and you suddenly find yourself lacking what you once had, turn your disability into a superpower. Only you can figure out how to do it. That’s the beauty of creativity.

Progress never comes from maintaining the status quo, but from running into problems and coming up with solutions that were better than the initial plan.