Your Muse likes it RAW

Creativity requires fuel.

The less refined the fuel – the better.

There’s nothing stimulating about sterility. Nothing thought-provoking about safety & consistency.

The muse craves the muck & grime of the world… the pain, sorrow, & all the grossness that we’re so prone to pretending does not exist.

The injustice, inequality, hatred, ugliness etc… it makes you think.

Makes you compare & contrast. Look at things in a new light & dimensionalize your life & everything in it.

7 or so years ago, I was gallivanting around New York City.

It was late – 2am or so – and I needed to catch a train to Brooklyn to the couch I’d been offered to sleep on.

It was me and another young white guy, standing on the subway platform. In my memory he was wearing a suit – though why he would be in a suit at 2am, I couldn’t tell ya.

I had a ukulele (I carried it everywhere & played constantly).

The subway pulled up, screeched to a halt, & my fellow commuter & I stepped through they sliding doors into what looked like an empty car…

Right into a wall of hot putrid stench. The smell of (unhealthy) human feces.

Immediately, we saw the source of the smell at the same time – an old black dude, clearly homeless and clearly not in his right mind.

He rocked back and forth in his seat, eyes wide & staring at nothing, chanting a mantra I’ll never forget…

“F*ck, nig*ah, f*ck…

Sh*t, nig*ah, sh*t…

Sh*t, nig*ah, f*ck…

F*ck, nig*ah, sh*t…”

…on and on and on.

The other white dude instantly changed cars, before the train even started moving.

I took a seat, watching the man. Basking in the smell of his illness & the sound of his incoherent, manic babbling…

& I started to play my ukulele.

Soft and sweet. A stark contrast to the scene I’d walked into… & together, this man and I created something strange & beautiful & terrible & sad & stinky & joyful all at the same time…

something no one else has ever created. Something no one else will ever experience.

Slowly, his babbling quieted. He stopped swaying. His eyes regained some focus… and a little smile formed on his lips.

We rode like that for 10 minutes or so. Me playing. Him listening. Training rattling. Robotic lady voice informing us of each stop. Doors sliding open occasionally to let in fresh air, and no more passengers.

He never spoke a word or acknowledged me. When we reached my stop, I stood and wished him a good night, and went my way.

Perhaps I could find some moral to this story for you… but I honestly don’t know if there is one.

The point is – it’s a story. A bizarre & experience I will always remember & find new nuances of meaning in for years to come…

& that I can now share with you…

Yet, my counterpart in the suit wanted NO part of the experience – thereby robbing himself of the thoughts, the feelings, & the memory that I now cherish.

Life isn’t supposed to smell like air freshener. There’s suffering all around, & it’s ours to share…

& even though it may be scary to face it head on… more often than not, it’s not going to hurt you.

It’ll only make you feel more ALIVE. More HUMAN. More CONNECTED.

It’ll make you think & truly FEEL in a way that no dramatic portrayal or documentary ever will…

& that true depth of FEELING will inspire you more than anything you’ll ever find in the safety of Normality.

Your Muse likes it RAW.

Rules for writing good copy

recently, I came across Jack Kerouac’s rules for writing well.

It inspired me to examine my own rules that I’ve been following consciously and unconsciously for writing sales copy over the past few years – particularly with emails.

So I typed my rules out. & decided to share them.

These are the rules I try and follow in every piece of copy I write, to ensure that it’s not only a compelling piece of sales material, but also a genuinely good piece of writing. 

Folks say you don’t have to be a good writer to be a good copywriter… 

…but you don’t have to not be a good writer either. & I feel it’s a bit of an insult to the intelligence of the reader to not put some time into the craft aspect of writing.

And that’s what these rules are for: the CRAFT.

So here they are. they’re shorthand for the most part, so feel free to ask for more explanation on any of them if you’re interested 🙂

copy poet’s writing rules:

  1. let unconscious flow write forward no deleting (Shitty First Draft)
  2. model what works (don’t reinvent the wheel)
  3. write in the key of C (Connect, Engage, Galvanize)
  4. your, you’re. get it right.
  5. Interbeing. this is because that is. everything’s connected.
  6. no neediness. be a Giver.
  7. grease the slide w/ every word
  8. no persuasion tricks. No turd polishing. If it ain’t valuable, don’t sell it.
  9. educate, revelate, entertain
  10. create golden vision of greater future within reach
  11. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (use 2-3)
  12. 4 Buyer Types (Impulse, Logic, Empathic, Deadline Rider) know who you’re writing to
  13. practice Economy of Words
  14. use 2nd Person WHEREVER Possible
  15. its, it’s. get it right.
  16. no implied fallibility.
  17. know your voice.
  18. dynamic lyrical journey (rhythm, meter, sentence & paragraph length, etc)
  19. write fearless. They asked to read this. No apologies.
  20. no pitching. Make authentic fiduciary invitations.
  21. be a friend. Kind. Respectful. Genuine belief in people.
  22. there, their, they’re. get it right.
  23. ascend, transcend, uplift emotionally & mentally. Write words worth reading no matter what. 

Them’s the rules (so far). Now that I read them, I think I’ll probably be breaking each one out into its own post in the coming days & weeks.

In the meantime… go forth & write things worth reading.

You’re Right.

How many seconds, minutes, hours, and days of your life do you spend doubting the validity of your beliefs & decisions?

How much time do you spend feeling frustrated or angry at people whose beliefs & decsions you judge to be “wrong,” while yours are “right?”

& how much emotional upset & suffering would you eliminate from your life if you ceased doubting your decisions & quit judging other people’s beliefs?

It’s human nature to divide ourselves into groups… somebody’s always right and somebody’s always wrong, right?

…WRONG. 😉

Truth is… there is no “Right” or “Wrong.”

There just… IS.

There’s no one “right” way of being in the world… because each and every one of us has our own one-of-a-kind way of being… each is changing and shifting from one moment to the next…

& each and every way of being is inherently RIGHT. Because they are the Truth of the moment. They are Reality.

And there’s no disputing Truth.

The beliefs of the people you disagree with did not arise within those people alone.

They were caused by conditions in the past and inherited in the here and now.

Right now there’s a prisoner on death row. You may look at him and call him “Bad” or “Wrong” for what he did years in the past…

But right now he’s just a dude sitting in a cold concrete room, longing for human contact. 

Forget the story, put yourself in his shoes in the here & now… Lonely & shivering… and it’s a lot harder to condemn.

Practice Compassion, Empathy, and living in the present moment and it becomes impossible to torture yourself with anger at people.

we are all just a product of the conditions that led to our existence.

We can’t help who our parents were, how our brains work, & how the experiences we’ve had shaped the paradigms through which we see the world.

Every single one of us is completely “Right” in the moment, because it’s the only way we can be.

So instead of doubting or judging yourself for past actions, or even the current conditions of your life…

& instead of looking at people that represent ways of being in the world that you don’t agree with…

Take stock of WHO you are & WHAT conditions are present in your life right now… what is TRUE…

and look to how you can direct the flow of that Truth toward the Truth that you desire for yourself in the future.

Vulnerability = Power

Seems like most people alive in the world today are afraid of being vulnerable. And it’s understandable…

We’ve got the fear of rejection coded into our genes…

& what is being Vulnerable besides actively exposing the most tender aspects of your self to the judgments & possible rejection of others?

What most people don’t realize though… is that Vulnerability gives you Power.

Because when you expose your truth like an open clam, one of two things will happen:

You’ll either A) feel truly seen and understood as you’re appreciated for the things that make you YOU… and at the same time, inspire others to also be vulnerable…

Or you’ll B) get rejected just like you were afraid of.

Thing is, there’s tremendous opportunity in actually experiencing this thing you’ve been protecting yourself from all your life… 

Because it’s only through experiencing Rejection that you truly come to realize…

That Rejection is nothing to be afraid of.

& the more you open yourself up & come face-to-face with Rejection… the more resistant your Vulnerable self becomes to it.

Until, eventually…

Rejection ceases to be a concern and you’re free to be You to the MAX.

24/7/365, no shites given about what anyone else thinks.

& as someone who’s made a practice of regularly exposing the soft gooey innards of my heart to this big, trol-infested world of ours…

Lemme tell ya: the initial discomfort is well-worth the feeling of being the Truest Version of Yourself.

Become the Work

I’ve been writing a lot lately. 3+ hours a day of output. For months now.

Hundreds of emails and sundry other copy for a myriad of clients… the first 20,000 words of my Sci-Fi/Fantasy epic… & more recently, blog posts.

I haven’t taken a word count of what I’ve produced this quarter, but I’d estimate a half a million words of legible, understanding, and (hopefully) compelling content.

I don’t say this to brag. I honestly have no idea how accurate that estimate is, or how it compares to the output of other people who write for a living.

The thing is, I never experienced writer’s block. & I never experienced frustration. Regardless of deadlines, frustrating client feedback, or anything else.

The reason why?

I’ve removed my ego from my creative process.

Instead staring at a screen, trying to force my brain to produce something I deem as “good” and casting judgment on the results of my efforts the entire time…

I am an instrument being manipulated by my muse.

& whether my results are pure shite or pure gold… I remain as equanimous as a guitar does, whether being played by a virtuoso or a complete beginner.

When you’re able to seperate yourself from ego and your judgments about the results of your work…

You BECOME the work itself. Nothing feels better than that.

Because you have the drive to create.

It feels like a PURPOSE for your time and energy… for your Life.

Every moment you can spend completely rooted in the activities that define you will be a truly fulfilling one.

The Process of creating is what matters more than anything. The results of your process are just a side effect.

Whether writing copy, fiction, or music.

Dwell in the bliss of chanelling your Muse without focusing on what the outcome might mean for your future.

Become the Work. Perform your function as a creator.

Without judgment. Every second you spend analyzing and critiquing your creations turns your mind into a bottleneck, limiting the amount that you can put out.

Judgment and creativity don’t mix… because judgment is a reflection of your ego and your concern over what others think about you.

Simply CREATE… Without it being about you.

You’ll feel energized by it.

You’ll remove the internal (emotional) barriers that clog up your genius.

You’ll flow. Words and ideas will sizzle through you like lightning.

Perhaps in some small corner of your brain, you’ll marvel at what you’re doing… but you won’t be attached.

Because attachment to the results will only inhibit your ability to produce the results you’ll be happy with.

So go crazy. Flow. Pretend to be the creative lyrical genius you wish you were…

Then look back on what you channeled while you were, and realize that you weren’t pretending after all.

starving, spamming, or selling

where do you fall on the spectrum?

many creatives have a strong aversion to asking for attention…

let alone MONEY.

perhaps they feel that attaching a price to their art cheapens it…

that it CORRUPTS the SANCTITY of their creativity…

so they fall on the “STARVING” end of the spectrum — where they have to constantly compromise between having the TIME & RESOURCES to create…

or having the Quality of Life they truly desire.

I would give you an example, except all you have to do is look around the internet @ all the unknown artists who refuse to put out anything besides the art itself.

on the other hand, there are those artists who really subscribe to the “Hustle” mentality…

their ambition outweighs their artist’s guilt so they try their damndest to promote themselves and make their dreams a reality…

only they don’t know HOW to promote themselves.

so they end up on the “SPAMMING” end of the spectrum (bless their ambitious little hearts <3 )

you see a LOT of this on social media…

people who shamelessly (& unintelligibly) plug their stuff in the comments under posts without any attempt @ being relevant or starting a dialogue…

“COOL POST CHCK OUT MY NEW MIXTAPE”

ugh. total SPAM.

total turn off. makes anyone who reads it a little bit dumber.

Hustling is good.

Plugging your stuff is GREAT… but you have to find the happy medium between STARVING & SPAMMING.

see there’s a “sweet spot”, right on the middle of the spectrum that very few creatives arrive at naturally…

SELLING.

see, SELLING – in it’s highest form – is the Act of Awakening Someone To The Potential Of A New & Upgraded Reality That They Could Be Experiencing.

SELLING is Connecting The Dots.

SELLING is Empowering Someone to TAKE INTENTIONAL ACTION — which is one of the most Rewarding, Self-Affirming Experiences a Human Being can have.

& when you’re SELLING your music (or any type of art or creation for that matter) you are literally ALLOWING other human beings to become PARTICIPANTS in your Divine Process of Creativity.

SELLING is where it’s at, my friend.

the trick is to combine your STARVING artist’s Humility with your SPAMMING artist’s Hustle.

HUSTLE + HUMILITY
= ARTISTIC, AUTHENTIC SELLING.

boom.

remember: Your Art is PRICELESS & You Are Only A CHANNEL For It.

you’re pedaling GOD’S Goods, baby.

so how would you sell an album, if it was GOD’S album/book/painting?

you wouldn’t hide it away & feel guilty about asking for people to pay some attention to it…

you wouldn’t cheapen it by shoving it in people’s faces & hoping that someone pays attention (without caring whether people hate you for it)…

so the question is: what WOULD you do?

…got it?

good.

now go make it happen.

“Impressive”

People often act or speak with the intention to be “impressive.”

We make decisions about what to do and how we talk about what we’ve done based on this desire to impress.

Sometimes it even decides what we share or don’t share.

“This won’t impress anyone, so it’s not worth sharing. Maybe it wasn’t even worth creating in the first place. Why do I even bother.”

Thing is, no matter WHAT you do or don’t do… no matter what part of yourself you share with others…

An impression is made.

And despite your best efforts, that impression is 99% a result of the paradigms and beliefs through which the people you’re “impressing” experience your words, actions, and art.

So attempting to curate your actions and the things you put out into the world according to the impression you want to make is a waste of effort.

Create for Creation’s sake. The more you make, the merrier.

No matter what you do or don’t do, you’re going to make an impression.

What that impression is, is mostly up to the people who you share it with.

How To Become The Conscious Creator Of Your Reality

Every idea you will ever have… already exists.

They exist on a plane of reality that transcends time.

The Ether… The Collective Consciousness of All Beings… The CLOUD…

Where all thoughts, feelings, & experiences that have ever been & all that ever will be… meld together in one big storm of Totality.

Ideas are little bite-sized data-bytes.

As a creator, you’re downloading direct from The Cloud.

Your Mind is your Operating System.

It needs regular updates — constant expansion of your consciousness — in order to be the best “channel” it can.

Your Muse is the router through which you can access It. Your internet connection.

And you gotta pay your cable bill to keep that broadband open, my friend.

Only instead of money… you pay in the currency of FOCUS.

Your Conscious Effort in Improving Your Skills & Broadening Your Perception & Understanding of LIFE.

Consciously make the effort to upgrade your skills & broaden your perception of Life…

Consciously devote yourself to receiving the Inspiration your Muse delivers…

& watch as you Create Your Own Reality, exactly as you envision it.