FOUNDER’S BLOG: Remembering Morocco – Embracing Daily Creativity

In December, I made a last-minute decision to feed my creativity and join a creative retreat called Dip Into 17 #DIPINTO17, hosted by Eulanda Shead Osagiede and Omo Osagiede  co-founders of HDYTI (Pronounced High-Dee-Tie, an acronym for “Hey, Dip Your Toes In”).  London-based HDYTI is described as a rapidly growing multi-cultural travel & food culture blog run by these two creative partners in both business and love.

The week I spent in Morocco was much needed, and entirely too short.  Just when I got used to the time change (and stopped sleeping), it was time to leave.  Months later, my hair hasn’t even recuperated from my time in Morocco (can someone say dry?  And I have no idea where the curl went.  So-that’s a process).  But the other lasting effect was the boost to my creativity.  Being around a group of like minded creative entrepreneurs had me digging deep into my own creative bones for what’s been missing.   Here’s why:

Our jewlery whisperer. Essouria, Morocco. Photo Credit: Jacob Thomas

As a director for an internal creative agency managing communications for projects between $60 and $120 Million annually, much of my time is spent problem-solving, logistics creating, excecution overseeing, idea-generating, numbers crunching and encouraging others’ creativity in order to best acheive our clients’ business and brand goals. After all that, there’s not much room for one’s own creative endeavors.  What’s funny about that is I fell into the trap.  My day job is so all consuming, that people assumed my “side gig” – e.g. Culturs Magazine, is what makes my schedule so crazy.  Instead – it’s the one thing that preserved my sanity. However, after two years, of constant questions, whispers, and a very, very traumatic spring last year (think death, dibilitation, devestation) – I finally succumed. That in itself is a lesson, because it’s much easier for others – no matter how seemingly well-meaning – to nick your armor when your life force is down.  Think of yourself as the USS Enterprise, and when shields are not at 100%, well it’s easier to attack your core.  You’re vulnerable, succeptable – even to attacks from within.

That in itself is a lesson, because it’s much easier for others – no matter how seemingly well-meaning – to nick your armor when your life force is down.

And I was my final downfall.  I’d succumbed to the attack from within.  I stopped feeding my passion – the passion that fed my soul. The passion that fed others’ souls:  This dream called Culturs.  With guard down – I finally said yes to taking on soul-stealing endeavors I’d been saying no to, because the requests were persistent and my resolve was fading.  I let my guard fall, and in turn, I fell – to my knees. To the floor.  Beneath the ground, it felt.  What’s worse is I didn’t even realize.  Dealing with the affects that came with the “yes” that should have been “no,” and enjoying the day-to-day of my career (because I DO INDEED love my day-job), it was easy to ignore how little creativity I could muster as the days passed.  Until I could no longer ignore.  Enter a last minute (and very expensive, but worth every penny) trip to #DIPINTO17.

I’ll tell you more about the outcomes of this endeavor in the coming days.  One of the best things to come of the trip (besides meeting many amazing creatives) was a “task” to do a video about what we do… and that is below.  But the other amazing outcome is a daily challenge with a fellow retreat-mate to blog every day.  This is great because if you notice – the FOUNDERS  BLOG at Culturs Magazine is virtually non-existant.  In 2.5 years, I’ve mustered a paltry two blog posts – though there are about 40 in draft methinks. Pitiful.

So, here and now – I make a commitment to you: our readers, to my partner-in-crime: Alita Simpson and to myself – I will blog daily for the next 30 days.  The official pact is to do something that moves our blogs forward everyday – and I’ve done that since we discussed it on Friday.  But that’s the easy part for me – I do it all day every day in the boards I’m on, the agency I direct, even my personal endeavors.  It’s a no brainer to work on branding, or promotion, media contacts and design.  I realize what I need to do for myself is write everyday.  WRITE.  Every. day.  *whew, she said it.  *sighs heavily. But I can do this.  And tonight, I made a pact that I would not sleep until it was done.  So, after watching many youtube videos (I see you Rihanna’s “love on the brain” – in every cover possible on the internet), food-eating, Facebook and Instagram twiddling…I finally got down to business.  And at 2:15 a.m. (and with 17 percent battery power left on my laptop)  – ’tis complete.  Blog post 1.

Looking within has its benefits. Essouria, Morocco. Photo Credit: Eulanda Shead Osagiede

So when have you realized a goal that’s huge for others is the one that wouldn’t move you forward?

I look forward to your comments below!


Feature image courtesy of Eulanda Shead Osagiede


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  1. Love this, Doni – keep on exercising you amazing creativity! But I agree, it is frighteningly easy to get stuck in the day-to-day and lose your sense of self.

  2. Dealing with the effects that came with the “yes” that should have been “no”…yes, so many of us have been there. It’s a constant challenge, and we love that you’re sharing your goals with your followers!

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