Art by Davey Villalobos

Finding authenticity through Writing, Podcasting and Animation

My name is Denis. I started writing in my early twenties when I graduated from university.

I started coding in 2014.

I started podcasting in 2017.

I published my first book last year.

Art by Davey Villalobos

Navigating your way as a creative person.

Dogma was the bain of my life and I didn’t even know it.

You can’t do this. You can’t do that.

You must behave like this and you must never do that.

Writing is this and it’s not that.

This is what culture looks like but don’t start thinking about where it came from or how it infiltrated your belief systems while you were distracted into looking the other way.

Culture just is and that’s that.

All of these things were opinions of course but the authoritative bias in my brain made them appear like unshakable truths about life.


Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

An antidote to writing in a world where the rules forever change.

Sometimes I get the feeling that this platform is all about writing for money.

That it’s all about writing to please publications and curators.

That it’s very serious stuff. YOU MUST SPEAK ABOUT FACTS AND ONLY FACTS!

You must cite experiments and back up every word you’re saying because you need to make me happy, that is your sole purpose as a writer. To make me happy!

Sound familiar? I bet you had a teacher like this who sucked the joy out of writing for you. …

Photo by Mr TT on Unsplash

Is it possible to do without money?

As I recently started writing my second book, this time around creativity, I have been reflecting on what The Happy Mindset is 3 years from when I started it.

When I first started The Happy Mindset I had no idea what I was creating. Most people looked at me like I had two heads when they heard about this thing I was working on called The Happy Mindset.

I knew it came from the deep frustrations I felt about the world. It came from my mental health struggles and the anger and resentment I felt for systems.

Systems that were…

Art by Davey Villalobos

Seek to express what’s in your heart instead.

As much as I enjoy the process, it’s difficult.

The process is where you grow as an artist. It is the path of individuation from a group and it’s the path where you forge community.

Because it’s difficult I often find myself trying to rush the process. Wishing that I had already made it safely to the end. Wishing I was no longer on the battlefield of life.

That my ideas have been accepted and I can actually see the change in my environment I so desperately longed for.

Not the change I wish to see in my head. Not…

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Advice on changing the culture from someone who has done it.

It’s a big question. Like any big question, this question has been on my mind for a long time.

I dare say it was on my mind when I got interested in French at the age of 14.

Back then I didn’t understand what culture was. If someone asked me I would meet them with a blank stare before reciting off something along the lines of culture is about tradition and music.

But culture is so much more than this.

As Seth Godin would say culture — is the answer to what people like us do around here.

Then how…

Art by Davey Villalobos

Instead, work through your feelings when the wrong people show up at your door.

It might sound cliche to say that if you try and speak to everybody you end up speaking to nobody but there is a lot of truth in it.

In reality, this idea that I should speak to everyone and take an active interest in them was something I struggled with long before I became a writer.

Deep down I felt guilty for belonging to different cliques in school.

I carried this clique way of looking at the world well into adulthood and it’s something I am working through to this day.

Today whenever I meet someone I recognise from…

Photo by Adrian Swancar on Unsplash

Have the courage to create a meaningful life instead.

I thought there was something wrong with me for wanting more from life. I was sick to death of people who only ever engaged in small talk or idle gossip.

I wasn’t OK with feeling angry about this. I thought I was the issue. When I thought of the alternatives to small-minded people I thought of the other extreme. The person who forced conversations into something they weren’t and made other people feel uncomfortable.

I didn’t want to be this pretentious idiot. But I also didn’t want to be around people who talked a lot of words without any real…

The reality behind the utopian image of your carefree university years.

Photo by Matty Adame on Unsplash

In my mind my university years were supposed to be about drinking, making friends and going to parties.

I went to university to get a degree that I thought would help me get a better-paid job. That’s about the amount of thought I put into my decision of going to university.

That’s the only line of thinking the adults in my world followed so I went along with it.

I don’t regret ever going to university, I think I would still go there even if I put some more thought into it upfront.

Overall your university years are a great…

Photo by Raghav Modi on Unsplash

And some liberating implications for you as a writer.

What if there were no rules to writing?

What if writing became your therapy instead?

What if you focused solely on your inner world?

You’ve been writing for some time now. Yet you don’t have the readership and type of following you imagined having.

You have read the articles and followed the advice of successful writers but nothing seems to work.

You start to think that maybe you’re not smart enough or talented enough or that you just don’t have what it takes.

That you’re simply fooling yourself that you’re a writer.

Those other writers dishing out the advice always…

Denis Murphy

I speak about self-education, art, creativity, language & culture.

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