The Power Of Brevity: how giving myself grace as a writer liberated my creativity

Every article I write doesn’t need to be over 1,000 words. It doesn’t need to talk about the nuances of some of my most traumatic experiences, deliver graduate level statistical analysis, or teach people how to cure cancer. Every piece of content that I create and share with the world doesn’t have to be something that I spent years formulating, revising, and losing sleep over.

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"What Do You Do?" - embracing my greatest talents without sacrificing my versatility

Being able to categorize my work in ways that are easily palatable to potential clients, partners, and investors is financially beneficial, because it allows them to more easily see how I can be of value to them.  At the same time, I don’t like offering up labels and titles that serve as weak substitutes for a conversation that actually reveals elements of who I am as a person. 

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A Toronto Story: "I ate this lunch sitting 1,000 feet in the air."

I rubbed my eyes and rolled out of bed. I opened the blinds, but I didn’t see the modestly sized suburban backyard that I'm used to seeing at home. Instead, I was greeted with a 39th floor view of downtown Toronto. The city's architecture is sleek, distinct, and beautiful. Buildings curve gently, angle sharply, and make their own mark.

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A Creative's Internal Struggle: embracing the process in a numbers-focused world

Being selective about which articles or social media posts you publish is important. If you’re not ensuring that you release quality content, your voice holds less weight. On the other hand, letting fear stop you from writing, or from releasing, is just as dangerous of a thought process to embrace if you are looking to use your words for a purpose.

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I Didn't Want To Be An Influencer: how traumatic experiences pushed me towards my purpose

I’m not big on claiming titles for myself. I’d rather do the work first, and let the chips fall where they may. The process of growing into a career as a social media influencer has felt foreign to me at times. The term feels very presumptuous. Toward the end of October 2016, found myself in a situation where I was legally required to put that word in my social media biographies. I had to recognize it as a real thing.

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Started Tweeting Less and Going Out More: the awkward, worthwhile process of diversifying my social media strategy

I love Twitter, but as I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that I can’t rely on it, or expect it to last forever. It’s no secret that Twitter has been struggling to turn a profit since its existence. The more I viewed my social media platform as the opportunity to create a career, the more I became nervous about putting all of my eggs in one basket. 

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I Finally Stopped Waiting To Prioritize My Healthiness & Happiness.

 I was an ordinary person who was past the infatuation phase. I was working over 40 hours for my day job, working on my side hustle in my free time, and attempting to have a social life on weekends. That didn't change the fact that it kept getting harder for me to get out of bed every morning. I felt lethargic and unenthused about my days.

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“I let people steal my creative work without consequence. Now I’m fighting to regain control.”

I am a creative. I am unreasonably passionate about the results of my creative process, and that’s never going to change. I couldn’t change that if I wanted to. I try to temper that passion with a business-minded approach to life, a thorough daily task list, and a disciplined schedule. It helps me to work fairly consistently as a full time entrepreneur and freelancer. It allows me to channel my creative energy into creating sustainable working habits. It will never temper the intense emotions I associate with the ideas that I choose to bring to life.

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Nigel D speaks on his globe-trotting lifestyle, career plot twists, and black travel blogger life

Nigel Degraff has visited a grand total of 33 countries, but he grew up in the notorious Brooklyn neighborhood of Brownsville, Brooklyn. He spends the majority of his time creating content around his experiences with cultural festivals and exotic destinations around the world, but his first foray into content creation was through the creation of a hip-hop blog called RealTalkNY. Clearly, his life is all about plot twists.I spoke to Nigel about how he transitioned between very different creative hustles, obstacles he had to overcome in the process, and some of the coolest experiences he’s had as a world traveler.

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I quit my job to chase my dreams. I almost gave up on myself in the process.

Delving into the details of your lowest points is difficult, but extremely cathartic. It's a level of vulnerability that I've been afraid to embrace for my entire life. Facades can be temporarily comforting. I instinctively hide behind them, even as I attempt to use my experiences to help others as a coach. With this story, I'm starting to fully embrace every detail of my journey - even the things that I was afraid to admit, before. I'm still a bit afraid, but am deciding to push through that. 

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Olympic bronze medalist Ashley Spencer talks about the exceptional mentality that she uses to conquer life's hurdles

Ashley Spencer displayed remarkable perseverance and mental toughness en route to winning the bronze medal in the Women's 400m hurdles at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. She employed a similar level of perseverance to overcome the many obstacles that she faced along her journey as a collegiate and professional athlete. Her story is amazing, and the conversation I had with Ashley about her mentality, experiences, and plans for the future is very inspirational for those of us seeking to achieve exceptional results, even if our goals don't involve an Olympic podium.

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