I am an author, musician, and photographer, and I have been sharing my story here since 2004. My writing helps people simplify their lives, heal their relationship to technology, and find the time to do quality work and more deeply enjoy the presence of their loved ones. My work is all focused on simplicity, self-compassion, and self-understanding. I believe that by sharing our creative journey we can become kinder and live more fruitful lives.
At the risk of providing “way too much information” here’s an excessively detailed biography for those of you that crave more detail.
In my teens I dropped out of university to work as a professional musician. In my mid twenties I returned to full time study graduating with a degree from the Australian College of Theology, majoring in Philosophical Theology and Biblical Studies. I went on to PhD programmme at King’s College London, reading in Ethics and Hermeneutics, where I was for 4 years, working with the Dean’s office, and researching at the Centre for Theology, Religion, and Culture.
When my family relocated to India I decided to quit the PhD. After a break and then a bout of illness, I returned to music, joining Berklee College of Music’s nascent online programme, BerkleeMusic. Eventually I completed a Master Certificate in Guitar, a Master Certificate in Arranging, and a Specialist Certificate in Music for Film, TV, and Games.
I also started this blog while in India. It was originally called Fernando’s Desk, a tribute to the mess of papers I tried to sort through every day as I switched from academia back to creative work, while adapting to life as a stay-at-home parent and trying to overcome cultural shock.
I’m interested in how we integrate information with lived experience and turn that into wisdom we can use to live well.
Since 2004 I have shared the highs and lows on this site, including all the relocations, from London to Delhi, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, back to London and on to Melbourne. I have written about starting businesses, working as a freelance writer, photographer, and musician, being a parent, dealing with mental health issues, and addressing the impact of technology on our lives.
Some of my work over these years has included writing a column for the South China Morning Post, traveling to photograph towns and villages in Ladakh and Rajasthan and religious festivals in Malaysia and Mexico, hosting tech and music industry events in Hong Kong and Singapore, exhibiting calligraphy in Tokyo, and self-publishing a book about creativity called No Missing Tools.
I am passionate about helping people unlock their creativity. I believe we can bring more kindness and mindfulness to personal productivity conversation. I’m interested in healing our relationship to technology. And I feel that by embracing simplicity we can have a better quality of life and deeper relationships.
The writing you will find here reflects my reading in a wide range of fields, cognitive science, cultural studies, economics, history, philosophy, and social studies. But also the experiences and challenges that I have faced, the journeys that I have taken, and the lessons that I have learned in my own creative practice.
So make a cup of your favourite brew and take a moment to look through the archives. There are more than 2000 articles here for you to explore.
My most popular short articles are The Worst Question You Can Ask, The Noguchi Filing System, and Does Coffee Make You More Creative?
If you want to read some long-form essays, I recommend Working From Home,Making A Blogging Template in Scrivener 3.0, and Why I Went Back To Paper Planning.
If you’d like to dive a little deeper, you could take a look at a series I wrote on creativity and mental health, or my experiments in minimalism, called ‘This Week I Quit.’