The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Applying the "Diamond Hour"

I love letters.  I don't have to think of the subject for today, which might be "cheating."  I'd rather just take a look at what people would like me to look at, look at it, and allow you guys to tell me if my perception is awake today.  I'm applying the "Diamond Hour" concept more precisely, and asking for areas of interest:

Hi Steve,

One thing that often occurs to me as I think about the structures that you present is that sometimes I would like to hear what you have to say about balancing between creative, but not financially rewarding, work and  the work that supports us -- which may in itself be satisfying but not fulfill some self-expression needs.   I wonder what advice you have to people in that situation.

I would suggest that two different basic approaches can help such a person.  

1)  My general pattern is to use Vin diagrams.   In “A” are the projects I’d like to write.  In “B” are the projects I believe can sell. Where the circles overlap, that’s where I write.  So...I don’t write the things that won’t sell (generally) and I don’t write the things that could sell, but I have no interest in writing.   In terms of the “Ancient Child” meditation, this is lining up the interests of the “Child” and the “Adult” personalities, harnessing the “Child’s” creative energy while still respecting her emotions.

2) But there is another approach. And that is that you spend some time creating something sheerly for the love, contribution, practice, or self-expression of it.  With no thought or consideration for financial reward.  This means that the Adult or “responsible/productive/financial” part of your personality might have to work just for working, with less “fun” or intrinsic satisfaction involved--you are getting your “fun” separately.  Balance.  Play HERE, work THERE.   In terms of the Ancient Child, this is letting the “kid” run off and play, while the “Adult” goes to work later or earlier in the day.
In terms of the Diamond Hour, you could easily dedicate ½ hour a day to pure self-expression artistic form, going deeply into flow for thirty minutes of painting, composing, writing, sculpting, drawing or whatever.    It may not seem like much, but over the course of a year, that’s over 150 solid hours of pure pleasure invested in something moving your life forward, or deepening your sense of self expression.

Now...if you also spend 15 minutes a day researching marketing, making connections,  sending brainstorming emails to other artists and so forth, you can make serious progress, over time.   The last 15 minutes should be your physical time: the Five Tibetans, FlowFit, etc.   15 minutes of “planning” time, and 30 minutes of “Flow” make for a great way to edge your way further toward your dream life: where body, mind, and emotions….or “child” and “adult” aspects of yourself are aligned together.   

More questions, please!


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