No excuse: Just do it

If you take a look at all the devices we have these days, over-connected and filled with apps and what-have-you’s, the excuse of not ‘getting around’ to producing content just is pathetic. Right now I’m on my phone, using a lull between two meetings. When my battery indicator prompts me to plug in my charger, I disconnect only to pick up this text file again on my desktop since I’ve magically synced it using the cloud. You see, the problem with being creative is not the convenience or even the lack of time, it’s the lack of focus.

Over the last couple of months I’ve been inundated with work. A ton of projects coming my way, demanding my attention and taking focus away from all the other things. Regardless of where I was or how much time I had to spare, there was always something that yanked at my attention, keeping me away from doing something useful with a blinking cursor on an empty screen.

I thought for a long time that connectivity is the enemy of creativity. The ability to get distracted by hundreds of pings and doo-dah’s coming from a myriad of applications and sources is indeed horrible if you are trying to write something. When you are just about to start off on writing the next Hamlet your time and focus gets stolen by watching cute cat video’s instead.

time break, I’ve been away for 4 minutes and 38 seconds watching a random cat video

But in the end it is me who is responsible for procrastinating and not creating my next podcast episode, my next blogpost, my next creative outlet. Instead, whenever I’m not buried in work, I procrastinate by doing other things. Tinkering with apps and computers to get things ‘setup just right’ is one of them. My delusional self has somehow been convinced that I need “the perfect setup” of hardware/software in order to get things done. Mucking around for hours with applications, operating systems, network and storage setups seems to have become a quest worthy of a couple of Hobbits a Dwarf and an Elf lately. And for what? To reach that one holy point where everything is “just right” to start doing something creative?

Well, guess what? It never will be. The starting point of your creativity is not on the horizon of some hardware or software project you are working on. Creativity is not going to “start to flow” when you buy “that new machine” or master this new app. It just… won’t.

The point is creativity (and productivity) starts now. Even if you have a hand-me-down five year old netbook with a wonky screen and strange stains of you-don’t-want-to-know-what on the touchpad you can start writing the next bestseller today. No extra hardware (or software) required. You only need to stop procrastinating, focus and start doing whatever you want to get done now.

For me that means that I need to stop chasing the ultimate hardware/software Walhalla, and cease to wait for that one perfect moment where ‘I will have the time’ to do whatever I want to do. Instead I’ll just hold that one video from Shia Labeouf in my mind that says… “Just DO IT”.

So what about you? What has been holding back your creativity? What has been stopping you from creating the next blogpost/podcast/screencast/digital-masterpiece? Is it the gear? Is it the time? Or is it… you? Tell us in the comments 🙂

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KW1106 PodSafe Tunnels

Podsafe tunnels

What happens when Knightwise and KD get to chatting during an early morning commute? Episode KW1106: PodSafe Tunnels.

Links

Music

Credits

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Back to Basics

Reset button

1 > 0

It’s the title of a very impressive YouTube video made by Gary Vaynerchuk in which he presents you with a verbal weapon of mass destruction against any form of procrastination whatsoever. In short it breaks down to “whatever you do, it’s better then doing nothing;” and “only by doing small things do you get to the big thing.”

It has been kind of my mantra in the last couple of months. In a time of my life where I’m trying to make heads or tails of the many simultaneous “program threads” that I seem to have running in my mind. Running my own company has drastically changed my life over the last two years. It has been both a successful outlet for my creativity (I give talks about IT to entrepreneurs, which are basically stand-up versions of podcasts with slides) and work full-time as a consultant with my main client. Aside from that there are various “side projects” running around with smaller clients that require my attention. The overall result? My creative energy has been scattered across many channels and the knightwise.com website has been pushed to the wayside a little.

But aside from you guys not getting your daily dose of geekery, I have also started to loose touch with the most important part of Knightwise.com: its community. That crazy bunch of geeks across the world that I can call my friends. And for that I am truly truly sorry. Because your friendships and your support are the one thing that make Knightwise.com worth doing. So this week (after some soul searching and a long talk with both kdmurray and our resident photog Konrad) I think it is time to pick up the geek gauntlet and get cracking.

Reset!

Whenever you think you are lost, just backtrack to the last waypoint that looks familiar. It’s a handy trick for not losing your way in the woods or in the 340th level of some Dungeons & Dragons game. I kinda got “lost” as a geek. Not really knowing what to do with my geeky energy any more. The blog has gone by the wayside and so have many of my geeky projects. Instead I have degenerated (yes !) into scrolling Facebook, watching TV shows and scrolling 9gag! My God, I’m almost mainstream!

One of the things that I have been listening to in the car (I do long drives to work again) have been episodes of the Daily Source Code. The ORIGINAL show that got me into podcasting way back in 2004. For those kids who are oblivious: It was a show hosted by former MTV VJ Adam Curry and marks the very beginning of what we call podcasting today. What it perfectly communicates is the raw energy that ensues when you give a geek a mic and let him talk to the world without any rules or regulations.

One of my favorite episodes (and the very first where the name “Knightwise” is mentioned in a podcast) is where Adam pops on a lapel mike and leisurely takes us on a drive to the local mall to have a coffee and check his emails. Back in the day this was called ‘a sound-seeing tour’. Today’s podcasts are mostly scripted, have a steady ‘form factor’ and sound more like satellite radio than satellite radio, but back in those days it was different.

The most important lesson that I learned from re-listening to those old shows is that the most boring, dull and mundane things might be the most fascinating to share. One of the reasons I haven’t blogged for a while is because I thought I had nothing to share. Turns out there are things that i’m working on (as small as they may seem) that might be of some importance to the listeners. Hopping back to 1>0: ANY content is better then NO content at all.

Blog Reset.

So I’m gonna turn back the clock a little to 2004 (and before) and try to share simple geeky things with you that happen in my life. The fact I got a new monitor, a little app I found to listen to audiobooks in the car, a link to a nice Star Trek fan series on YouTube and so forth. Some of it might be utterly uninteresting to you, so you can just skip it. At least its better then total radio silence. But hey… one IS greater then zero.

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Apple says OK to podcaster for use of the term "podcast"

Can you own a word.

Well, according to the american patent office, you can. Its the most bizarro system I have ever seen , but it does exist. The original idea of patenting was to protect inventors from having their ideas stolen by others. But it has , thanks to a lowlife breed of patent layers, degraded into a parody of that original concept. Where once it was a proud institution to protect those who shone the light of progress into the future, it now is rapidly becoming a stuck hand-brake on the chariot of progress, with evil layers sucking up the fumes of the burning asbestos.

Because patenting is no longer about original idea's, its about going to court, getting a patent approved for the most ridicules thing and then suing everybody in a 300 mile radius if only they dare to THINK about your patent. And why ? As a source of income of course. Now if all of this was just to keep legal departments occupied, we would just give both parties sticks with pointy nails and tell them to get it over with. But patenting (in its sick and twisted form) is slowing down progress. Cause not only can you patent products, you can also patent idea's, concepts, even WORDS.

Apple tried to sue several company's a few months ago for the use of POD in their company name. Podcastready.com felt the burn, Ipodder had to switch its name and suddenly PODcasters where getting nervous. What if apple started sending around cease and desist letters to all of us too. Some thought to duck the bullet by changing the term Podcast to Netcast ( I think thats a lame word btw ) but they had good reason. Cause in the whole system you don"t HAVE to be right. Its just a matter who has the most layers, the most money, and the time and balls to fight it out in court. Who cares if the judge rules in your favor after you've sold your house to pay your legal fees.

So the question remained : Can you own a word ? Dave Gray decided not to wait for an answer. With the "pod-patent" in limbo he took some balsy action and wrote to Steve Jobs, sending him a letter in which he explained he would like to continue to use the word "podcast" and included a cheque of one dollar to cover those expenses. Now writing to Apple is like writing to santa. Sure he gets your mail .. but he never writes back… Or does he ?

 

 

 

letter

 

The kid that got the letter back from Santa.
Surprise surprise when yesterday a letter popped into the mailbox from Apple where they sent him back his money and stated IN WRITING that they would not sue over the term PODCASTING. A ripple of rumor vaulted through cyberspace as the news was noted. This might have big repercussions for future court-cases and to the shows of many pod-casters who feature the word "podcast". Can we rest easy now ? I do not now, there are always legal loopholes in loopholes in loopholes, but the core of the story is : No matter who you are, where you live or what you do . It are those with the guts to be bold that get the rewards of the few.

 Read the original post HERE ,  and related articles HERE.

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