Friday, May 30, 2014

A New Framework For Becoming Prolific

I'm currently working on a new project called Prolific, which is the art and science of collecting, creating and communicating your ideas.

The system I've built will eventually become a book, a curriculum and some kind of software application. Last week, I shared part one of the glossary, in case you missed it. 


This week, I have another collection of terms to help you rewrite your creative vocabulary. Each definition has a link to a related piece that explains it further. Enjoy.



Bacon. A motivational currency that overrides your excuses, activates your natural inclinations and moves you to execution.


Boundary moments. Existential distresses or identity crises in which our motivation for doing something is just to feel normal again.


Buffaloing. Keeping all of our passions in play, investing in multiple containers of meaning, using our strengths to do what we do best and leaving no faculty unharvested.


Burning creative calories. Channeling your jealousy into something productive instead of crafting your envy into something hateful.  


Content detachment. The creator’s obligation to empty himself of any expectations, perceptions, hierarchies and value chains attached to his ideas.


Creative Commitment. A theoretical constraint of treating your art as a daily practice, professionalizing your art and using daily momentum to keep yourself from feeling detached from the process.


Deep democracy. Treat everything we encounter with fundamental affirmation and radical acceptance.


Delayed gratification. Staying the course, risking today’s time for tomorrow’s treasure and believing that it’s only a matter of time before your   


Digging your creative well. Accumulating ongoing reference files for your brain to work on through a passive, unconscious process.


Exhaling. The creative season of content expression, or output, and shipping work out of the factory.


Existential anchor. Portable, purposeful and private sanctuary that brings you back to center to reconnect with the self, the body, the spirit and the heart.


Framework for inspiration. Metacognitive, ritualistic or recreational tactics for finding inspiration where no one else is looking.


Identity based creation. Tapping into your native endowments and limitations of creativity, motivation, inspiration and intelligence and channeling them in the service of making your ideas happen.


Incrementalism. Building a body of work based on a practice of patience, delayed gratification and continuity.


Inhaling. The creative season of content inspiration, or input, and listening for what wants to be written.


Integration. Employing the whole of your personality, talents, gifts and experiences to contribute the highest amount of value and firepower those around you.


Internal revolution. Updating the identity story you tell yourself after spontaneously doing something you didn’t realize you could do.


Making room. Relieving your brain the necessity of remembering, freeing up your working memory to opens your mind to receive new ideas.


Meaning context. Making motivation significantly easier by making an activity existentially painful not to do.


Mini sabbatical. The opposite of ambition, the antitheses of labor, in which you leave the creative land alone for a given period of time.


Momentum device. An elegant excuse just to have ideas and validate the process with a sophisticated piece of office technology, building your confidence, commitment and competence.


Pausing. The creative season of content intermission, or throughput, and managing your ideas as an inventory system.


Preliminary trigger. A simple, easy and incremental ritual that keeps creative production going and grows your executional victory bank.

Principal creation. The primary work unit of your creative process that requires focus and craft, i.e., putting words on paper or clicking the shutter.

Peripheral creation. The secondary activities of your creative process where it’s more about speed and less about skill, i.e., editing, formatting, social media and billing.


Regeneration. The creative product is subordinate to the creative moment, which is subordinate to the creative process, which is subordinate to the holistic creative life.


Safety container. A space without circumference where judgment can’t enter, a free venue where ideas can run free without the scrutiny of readers, critics, editors and yourself.


Seasonality. The three stages of the creative process as modeled after the respiratory functions, i.e., inhaling, pausing and exhaling.


Self Organization. Some form of global order or coordination arises out of the local interactions between the components of an initially disordered system.


Triggers for joy. Something, anything, gives you sustenance from the act itself and puts you back together.


Unfinishing. Approaching the creative process as a fluid experience, viewing each piece of output as a constantly evolving organism, within the ecosystem of my larger body of work.


Why work. Identifying the running imperative that drives your creative behavior, the nobility behind your work and the posture with which you approach your art.