Everyone Needs a Place to be Creative

The reason I keep this blog is so I have a place to write freely and creatively without having an outcome attached to it.

Having a blank page to express myself on is very important. Not just for me, but for everyone.

Butcher and Photography

I was texting back and forth with Josh yesterday. Josh is one of my best friends. He lives in Ohio.

Josh loves donuts. I mean he really loves them. A few years ago he told me that he was going to open up a donut shop in Ohio and I was not surprised at all. Dragon Donuts is now one of the most successful donut chains in the city of Columbus.

Yesterday he showed me his photography rig he created to take pictures of his product. My guess is that he is updating his website where people can order take out. When I saw it, it made me smile because Josh has always loved photography.

Josh has been practicing his photography and videography skills for some time. He’s getting really good and I know it makes him happy.

Over the years, he’s been able to find a space where he can be creative and and share his creativity with the world. In addition, he has a YouTube channel where he documents his Overlanding Adventures.

He has found a way to be creative. He takes amazing drone footage of the campgrounds he stays at, edits the videos perfectly to show the crazy trails they drive through, and narrates through the videos to keep the audience informed of the story.

I love it.

I have my blog. He has his YouTube channel.

What Do You Have?

I think a lot about how obsessed our culture is with work and success. I certainly play a role in this mindset. I believe whole heartedly in the importance of generating wealth for yourself and the importance of adopting individual responsibility in your life.

I’m perfectly content with working as much as I do.

But there is still something missing from that lifestyle, isn’t there?

We all need a place to freely express ourselves. This could manifest itself in lots of ways.

For instance…

  • My Muay Thai trainer expresses herself through Muay Thai. That is her art.

  • My annoyingly perfect neighbor expresses himself by cutting his grass every weekend and making my yard look terrible.

  • My dad expresses himself by tinkering and working on his Jeep.

Everyone needs something to focus on that isn’t directly related to success in life or in the workplace.

What is your outlet? What is your form of self expression?

Audience First

One of the things I realized over the last week is how much time I spend thinking about myself. I was thinking back to when I was writing every day for Sober Nation and for Stodzy and it felt so effortless. What was I doing back then that enabled the words to flow with such ease?

I think I know…

I was more mindful of writing for my audience back then. I approached every blank page with the intention of service. My goal was to help my readers. What do I know that I can share with other people that will help them?

That’s the secret to great writing.

When I talk to my students on Copyblogger Pro, one of the first things I teach is to always be of service to your audience. No one cares about you, everyone cares about themselves.

“Audience first” as Brian Clark likes to remind me.

It’s time I start taking my own advice.

How to Post on Instagram from Your Computer

I like posting pics on Instagram.

I dislike having the app on my phone because it’s addicting and a huge waste of time. I’ve always wanted to find a way to post pictures from my computer so I could still be a part of the platform while not needing to have the app on my phone.

This morning I figured it out. Check this. This is for Google Chrome. I have no idea if this will work on other web browsers.

Step 1 - Open Instagram on your PC. (Not your Mac because they’re over priced)

Step 2 - Go the the Chrome Dropdown, select “more tools” then “developer tools.”

Step 3 - Click this little mobile icon. That will switch your layout to mobile

Step 4 - Click on the plus button, find the picture on your computer files, and click publish!

That’s it!

This is very exciting. Now I don’t have to keep playing this ridiculous game where I download Instagram and then delete it every other day because I notice I’m spending too much time on my phone.

Let me know if you need any help figuring this out. It’s very simple.

Never Doing This Again

A few months ago, Jules told me that she wanted to go to Boston for a week to spend time with her family and allow our son to meet all his aunts, uncles and cousins. When deciding if wanted to go up with her for the entire trip, I decided that it would be best to stay in Nashville for the week and then fly up for the weekend to spend time with her family.

It was a terrible decision. I thought the right thing to do was to stay home so we could save money on a dog watcher for Alice, and allow me to keep working.

It’s only been a couple days and I absolutely can’t wait to see my wife and my little dude. I don’t know what to do with myself. There’s no one here to laugh at my amazing jokes. I’m missing all the great moments where Jules stands little man up on his feet and he smiles his big toothless smile and laughs.

Jules keeps sending me all these pictures of them with her family, passing the baby around and having a great time. I’m jealous I’m not there.

It’s so funny how things change in life. There was a time in my life when I would see droolly gross babies at an airport or something and would cringe.

Like “ewwww that baby is slobbering everywhere get control of your kid.”

These days, my free time is spend chuckling as my son sticks his entire hand in his mouth while he looks me dead in the eyes and then screams at the top of his lungs. It’s hysterical.

The truth is, it’s a good thing I didn’t go because it gave me the chance to make a quick trip to Philly tomorrow to look at some houses. I’ll be in Philly till Friday, then it’s a straight shot up to Boston to see my wife, my son, and my in-laws.

Everything worked out the way it should have.

But damn… I really miss my wife and son. I can’t wait to see them.

Here I Am

Hi there. It’s Tim. Yes, I’m alive and well.

I’m purposefully not writing every morning like I usually do. I wrote about why a few weeks ago. The short of it is I’m enjoying the mornings with my family. Coffee, reading and laughter. It’s nice.

When I created this blog, I made it separate from timstodz.com because I want this to be more of a journal. I place where I can be relaxed and write without needing it to be about business or have some kind of benchmark attached to it.

I want to create something that my son look back on. He can read it and see the pictures and try to have an understanding of this part of his life. It’s a time that means so much to Jules and I but that he won’t remember at all.

It’s time for me to get back into my daily writing. No pressure. Not for me, but for him.

Here’s my life right now.

My Parents

My wife found this kick ass picture of my mom and dad and me when I was a baby. My mom looks like Julia Roberts, My Father is doing Blue Steel and I am looking away like a gangster in a great sweater.

This picture makes me smile.

This picture was taken in Fairmount Park. It’s a big park on the northwest side of Philly around where I grew up. So much of my childhood and my best memories were spent in the park with my parents and my little sister.

I really love it there. Which brings me to my next update.

Moving to Philly

Yep, I think I’m going back.

I told my wife that the only way I could move back to Philly is if we made a commitment to stay for 2 years while she finishes her degree. Then we go live abroad and travel before Julian gets too old and needs to make friends at school.

I fly up on Wednesday to look at some possible houses. We will keep our house in Nashville and rent it out.

The houses in Mt. Airy are different because they are so old. It’s been a challenge to find a place.

Here are the two front runners.

1. 405 E Mt. Airy Ave - This one is my favorite, mostly because it is smack dab in the absolute coolest neighborhood on earth. But the house needs $45,000 in roofing, heater and AC from the rip. That’s not even accounting for the fact that it’s outdated and needs remodeling. I don’t think it will happen.

2. 229 Delmar St - I really love the layout of this house. It fits our lifestyle perfectly. It’s a bit outside of the neighborhood I want to live in, but it’s not bad and there is plenty to do in Roxboro. I think this could be a good time living here.

We’ll see what happens.

Julian

Let me tell you that he is the coolest most handsome little dude in the world. I feel like when I talk about him I sound so fucking conceded because I brag about him but I don’t care. He is the coolest and he is doing so well.

We took this course from from Taking Cara Babies to learn how to train him to sleep through the night and it was the absolute best money we spent. He sleeps 12 hours a night and he goes right to sleep.

If you have a baby I would highly recommend the course. It was so helpful.

So that’s it.

I think I will get back to my morning blog now. I think I am ready.

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