Creating vs. Consuming

Symbiosis in Jedediah Smith State Park.

Symbiosis in Jedediah Smith State Park.

I spend my days consuming a lot of information. In the work zone, it’s emails and phone calls. In my business, creativity is often rewarded with frustrated clients, so I have a ton of systems to keep things the same for every person. Which works well, and keeps everyone happy since there are few surprises. But a life without surprises becomes monotonous and suddenly fresh and new is only waking you up when your forehead smacks the table as you nod off!

Books are important for me. Blogs, books, magazines – I take in a lot of writing from people I respect whose work inspires me to be a better person, or to push myself in directions I hadn’t considered. For example, I just finished Malcolm Gladwell’s latest booked entitled “David and Goliath”, with insights on how an underdog wins. Mr. Money Mustache helped refine my skills for dialing in finances, which  helped make this trip happen. Tim Ferriss of “The Four Hour Work Week” first helped spur me into being self-employed, and then to apply the Pareto Principle to my business practices to cut activities that weren’t producing results or enjoyment for me. Small tweaks in mentality that collectively allowed me to restructure compared to seven years ago when I was a fresh-eyed engineer sitting in a cubicle pondering my life, eyes crossed with spreadsheets and energy modeling software.

Sunset, redwoods style.

Sunset, redwoods style.

These days, I’m shifting. It’s time for me to start creating via writing and photography, both latent passions of mine I am rekindling. Time to unleash the accumulated knowledge inside me and share from a wellspring of coiled information. I’m unsure where it will lead, but my primary goal is to dissociate it from financial gain and focus on content that speaks to me. The time is right. We’re on this trip, which frees up energy otherwise spent elsewhere. Also, my business – finally dialed in enough to work remotely – is in a good place and I don’t wake up worried about work every day as I did in the past. Now it’s just worrying every few days – working for oneself surrrrre is fun!

This one's for Ryan and Hilary!

This one’s for Ryan and Hilary!

I’m flexing a muscle I haven’t used in a long time. Writing is like any other activity, physical or intellectual – use it or lose it – and my writing strength is currently the little twerp in weight lifting class benching only the bar. I suspect it will take some time to develop my voice, to refine my thoughts and not feel like, as Kurt Vonnegut said, “an armless, legless man with a crayon in my mouth every time I try to write.”

One hang up is the courage to truly speak my mind via the written word. It’s hard to write (or speak) that way, and doing so not knowing who will read it will take some time. Or perhaps knowing who will read it is tougher? Brene Brown calls this the “vulnerability hangover,” that feeling after you share something personal and then think, “Wow, what are people thinking about me now?” James Altucher is amazing inspiration for this – that guy puts his heart and soul into every post with more honesty than anyone else I read.

Blue sky far above in Jedediah Smith State park.

Blue sky far above in Jedediah Smith State park.

All to say that I’m looking forward to sharing our travels, and that this blog isn’t just about Traipsing About the earth. I’m looking forward to sharing the journey within the context of  our lives, wrapping in the past, goals for the future, and any fun or interesting ideas that bubble up along the way.

After two amazing days in Jedediah Smith State Park hiking among redwoods, I’m writing this from Gold Bluff Campground with the waves crashing in the background and a clear, star-studded sky. We sure are lucky with this weather for late November! Tomorrow, it’s Fern Canyon and Prairie Creek’s sampling of the redwoods.

Chelsea lounging in the upper deck.

Chelsea lounging in the upper deck while I type.

Cheerio from Northern CA,


Watching the sunset over the Coastal Trail just south of Crescent City, CA.

Watching the sunset over the Coastal Trail just south of Crescent City, CA.

5 replies
  1. Christian
    Christian says:

    Enjoy the journey my friend. I’ll help hold down the fort while you explore. I’m travelling vicariously with you as I work.

  2. Johnny B.
    Johnny B. says:

    The Redwoods are so great that even the “touristy” things are fantastic. LBJ grove is a PAVED trail, for christsakes, and it’s one of the places I tell people not to miss. We will certainly be visiting the Redwoods again in the future.

  3. Jules
    Jules says:

    “…my writing strength is currently the little twerp in weight lifting class benching only the bar.”

    Ahhh, the irony of a fantastically-written line like that! Methinks you had little to fear in flexing that muscle.

    -Your New Blog Stalker

  4. Wayne W Walls
    Wayne W Walls says:

    The redwoods are so awesome! They are so wide and so tall!

    I agree with you that we need to create. We need to do the work that inspires us in the moment. It is important to have an overall goal and a long-term focus to our life, but we mustn’t spend each and every moment letting go of what we want to do what we think needs to be done. I think documenting your life through this blog is a great way to satisfy that creative need!


    Wayne Walls
    Wayne W Walls recently posted…Google Chrome Touchpad Scroll Not Working SOLUTIONMy Profile


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