This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara (new website!)
Before our call I always give her a headsup.
I have so much news, I don’t know where to begin!
(and I give everybody reading this blogpost, including Sara, permission to stop at any point, including now!)
I already sent you a private in-between email about me finding a way to work under the same terms professionally, as I have found as my relationship style.
How freedom needs to be the basis of anything in my life that is worth holding on to.
But I didn’t know why.
Why was I so allergic to people claiming my time, and more specifically my future?
The good news is:
Now I know why.
The bad news is:
This is indeed a precarious situation, where I cannot afford to take my eyes off the ball.
And it doesn’t even matter, technically, how many or how little hours I have for my own freedom-based business model;
What matters is that I spend every minute I have exactly on the right thing.
What I learned since the last email I wrote you, is what a serious attempt and dedication to this free professional lifestyle looks like.
One where I do not have to look back on my deathbed and say “I wish I”.
So results are not guaranteed, but making an attempt is.
Do or die trying.
The picture I see before be, contains two parts which are not related, or perhaps loosely related.
I ve totally fallen in love with the work of Warhol and its meaning. It’s such a coming home, and for the first time ever, I feel I have found an artist with whom I can relate.
His topics, his work, its meaning, his themes, but most of all his desire to let creation happen through processes he did not control. And share it without clearing it up;
By studying Warhol I now know how I want to publish my books, making use of the multiplicity and the prolific nature of my work.
And that vision of the artist that I am is so strong, unique and expansive, that it’s as if I can almost touch everything I thought I had to sell my soul for, and cut myself off, until I fit into some tight little prefab container.
This is a vision that is FULLY expansive, into everything I was, am, and will be.
After seeing and understanding Warhol, I feel I can create without the motherfucking handbrake on.
For the first time EVER!
2 My Daily Who Does What
Two weeks ago I wrote the blogpost about who I am;
Including an A4 drawing with circles, who my different creative personalities are and where they are “located”.
That schedule already contained the different creative expressions for every character/ side of me. But it didn’t yet have a strategy of how to manage them, or how to go about my days.
And I made that schedule today.
I have to warn you, it is messier, and asks way more effort to understand it (so feel free not to!).
But I will do my best to describe it/ guide you through it.
Here is the new drawing I made today:
2021 08 15 activity categories and priorities
It has one non-negotiable (taking a shower) at the top left corner,
and from there it starts to indicate which daily activity should or will get done.
category I – all (social +work) interaction, commitments and agreements
This category also includes my entire work + social life.
But also things that have to get done.
It’s a very mixed category, but what they have in common is that they’re somehow promised to someone, or that I have to do them in order to live my life (f.e. your finances).
The general gist is:
When I have promised I will do something or to be somewhere, I will do it.
On such a day, I will not first do my own work or something: I will always do this.
I m pretty reactive here – I really need a clear agenda with no ending time to an activity, to do my own work.
Maybe I will be able to be more flexible, but I m not the one who hustles five minutes at a time.
The shower + category 1 are the top of the schedule and the only two things that will always get done.
The Three Hijack Arrows
Three parts of my personality, the baby koala, Lauren Harteveld and Rock Star Suzy, all have the capacity to hijack my life, when they are absolutely mesmerized by something.
The Baby Koala is seduced by crafting and archiving;
Lauren Harteveld by sexual adventures (which she processes by writing, but writing comes second here)
Rock Star Suzy by music, entertainment and (pop)art.
The schedule gives an indication of how to keep these sides satisfied, and somewhat under control, by feeding them regularly;
But ultimately I cannot control them, and these parts could hijack my life.
The upside to these personalities is that they have superpowers;
The Baby Koala, Lauren Harteveld and Rock Star Suzy can all concentrate for hours or days on end, hardly need sleep, are naturally thin and good natured.
They have no ailments, they are completely in flow with Life.
If the Baby Koala would start publishing my books, it would be done with so much joy!
Just that absolutely nothing else would get done.
When Bon Jovi came to the Netherlands and I forgot to pay the rent of my yoga studio, twice;
That’s Rock Star Suzy studying and being creative in the weeks leading up to the concert, and needing weeks to come down.
These three personalities in flow are both a gift, and a liability.
That’s why they are The Three Hijacking Arrows;
Once they have left the bow, the rest of the schedule will not get done.
category II – House & Body
There’s three activities here:
Clean house, do yoga and cycle.
Cycle is last, because I will always do that, unless category 1 got out of hand.
So even if I would write all day, there is a chance I ll still cycle at 6 or 7 PM
And cleaning my house is first, because I detest doing yoga in a dirty house.
It’s as if yoga just doesn’t “work” if the house is dirty.
I also see my physical exercise as my work (because I m picking up my yoga career),
and physical exercise is the only thing you can’t redo if you’ve missed a day.
So providing the day is not full with category 1 and/or time for the three arrows whether planned or unplanned, category 2 will get done
category III – (Online) business hours 7-10 PM
This is the category that anyone wanting to create what Warhol called “Business Art”, the art of building a business from your art, MUST do.
It’s about connection, messaging, posting to social media, showing up for the conversation.
It’s about paying your bills, selling, adding calls to action, to what you put out.
This is hustling.
And this is what is the difference between hustling/III and what I called “Dead Writer Hours”,
which is the fourth category.
category IV – Art | Content| Curating| Legacy
(Dead Writer Hours)
Now WHY is it called Dead Writer Hours?
Because what you create here, is what is left of you after you’re dead.
Which illustrates both its importance as well as its utter unimportance.
Ideally the activities here, go straight to one of the Hijacking Arrows!
Publishing books to the baby koala.
Making videos to Rock Star Suzy.
Writing to Lauren Harteveld.
But with this fourth category, being designated in the time window left open
between 1 (commitments, social life) and 2 (house and body)
and then 7 PM when the business hustle begins;
I finally understand why there always seem too few hours in the day for anything.
After category 1, worst case scenario the day is already gone.
Or if I have a day without obligations, then I focus on 2, which could still not get done if the day is hijacked by one of the three arrows.
Baby Koala crafting.
Lauren Harteveld, writing.
Or Rock Star Suzy studying art, Bon Jovi or yoga.
And today that IS what happened!
I ONLY had Category 1 activities!
But they were fully in flow:
-7 hours making the drawing/schedule (Baby Koala) and writing this email (Lauren Harteveld)
-6 hours a date with a friend, call with another friend and grocery shopping (all Rock Star Suzy)
And I cycled (category 1) because I had to get to the cinema.
So I had a fantastic, fulfilling day.
And I think I now know what my definition of success is.
Which is a question I think you asked me in 2018 already…. I don’t know what I answered.
My definition of success is:
When ALL the categories, but IN PARTICULAR category 1,
Are done by the three hijack personalities Lauren Harteveld, Rock Star Suzy or the Baby Koala.
That’s when I am truly free.
Like today. .
An unexamined life is not worth living
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