What does it take to be positively present? What can we learn from colorful insights and messages that have been developed and procured in a prolific manner over the years? Dani DiPirro of Positively Present is a writer, artist, and optimist who has created content in the form of image posts, articles, prints, books, calendars, and more. Her material is “dedicated to helping others live positively in the present moment by providing readers with fresh ideas and innovative advice for making the most of each and every day”, and it is easy to see the impact and engagement she receives on public platforms.
She is the author of many books including Grow Through It, the impactful The Positively Present Guide to Life, as well as a variety of workbooks and e-books, and has been featured on sites such as The Happiness Project, Forbes, Glamour, The Huffington Post, and The Washington Post Express. I have known of her content for many years, and she represents a content creator that continued forward to build up something substantial. When I see her content, it reminds me of what creativity can be when there is effort put behind talent over a long-term timeline.
Here is my interview with Dani (the images along the way are from Positively Present postings~, and some quotes are showcased from Dani’s responses):
Armen: As I have known of Positively Present since 2009, at first glance I saw it with a positive undertone because the name has alliteration and your full name has alliteration. Did you always see it heading in the direction it has, and did people of your past sense your content-creation nature?
Dani: I love that you noticed the alliteration! I’ve always been a fan of it (probably because of my name), but the concept of Positively Present came from choosing two words from a list. In 2009, I wrote a list of words I wanted to feel, and then chose the two most important ones from the list. The things I most wanted to feel were “positive” and “present,” which I combined into “Positively Present” when I created my blog.
Though Positively Present has grown and changed a lot since 2009, the underlying purpose remains the same: to share what I learn as I try to live more positively in the present (something that, even after all this time, doesn’t always come easily!).
Because I’ve always been focused on creativity (especially writing, which is what I studied in school), it’s probably no surprise to the people of my past that I’m doing what I’m doing now.
the underlying purpose remains the same: to share what I learn as I try to live more positively in the present (something that, even after all this time, doesn’t always come easily!)
Armen: When I guest posted on your site in 2010 with the article “Stay As Wacky As You Want”, I was partially speaking of myself as a somewhat wacky character as compared with the general public. Do you have any wacky/atypical qualities that are important to you?
Dani: It’s hard to think of just one quality, but, as an introvert, I place an incredibly high value on alone time. I prefer to live alone, work alone, and do most things on my own, which I know a lot of people find to be a bit odd.
Armen: Your book Grow Through It (one of many you have put together) is “about how to stay positive in an increasingly negative world”. What does it take to grow from an experience, as opposed to going through an experience and anguish associated with it without picking up any tidbits to take into the future?
Dani: Life is filled with metaphorical seasons — periods of growth and times of loss — and we all go through these highs and lows. Prior to Positively Present, I didn’t focus on growth when I went through difficulties, but as I spent more and more time trying to be positive in the present, I discovered how important it was to look for the lessons in life’s challenges. Looking back, I began to see the patterns of life’s seasons and the ways we can use them to be more at peace with what’s happening — good or bad — in our lives, and I decided to compile these insights into Grow Through It.
I began to see the patterns of life’s seasons and the ways we can use them to be more at peace with what’s happening
Armen: I have noticed how your content has been put forward and you are more behind the scenes. Did you find this to be the sweet spot early on?
Dani: I generally prefer to have my work take center stage, as I want it to be unencumbered by assumptions and open for interpretation. Doing this has probably hindered the success of Positively Present in some ways — audiences love connecting directly with a person — but I hope it gives people an opportunity to more directly apply my words and art to their own lives.
Armen: Your plethora of content is full of color and the imagery is very smooth and pleasing to the eye. I’m pretty sure a person would feel accomplished having made one of your images. How much do you see your large collection of imagery and enclosed messages as your personalized timeline of being, somewhat like how philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein made Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus for people to read far into the future?
Dani: Thank you! I’m very proud of the work I’ve done. Though I’ve never thought of it in relation to Wittgenstein’s work, now that you mentioned it, I can see how, if someone were to read through my work chronologically in the future, it would showcase my personal timeline of being, particularly related to lessons I’ve learned about being positive and present. I’ve grown and changed a lot — and I plan to continue doing so — so it’s my hope that the timeline of my work will live on long after I do and positively impact people in the future.
so it’s my hope that the timeline of my work will live on long after I do and positively impact people in the future
Armen: Are there any people that you saw early on or mid-way through the past decade that have altered the way you do things to a large extent, or have external influences not changed much of what you do?
Dani: I’m always inspired by other writers, artists, and creators, but the people who have probably had the most impact my work are the people behind the changes in the digital landscape. In 2009, blogs were one of the best ways to share content. Social media existed, but it wasn’t anything like it is now. The rise in popularity of visual and video content (and the decrease in attention spans — including my own) led me to shift my work in a more visual direction. Obviously my words, and the inspiring words of others, are still essential to what I do, but the ways I share them now are very different.
The rise in popularity of visual and video content (and the decrease in attention spans — including my own) led me to shift my work in a more visual direction
Armen: I see your postings as such a good example of how to make great use of social media and its various updates. What is one or more of the unexpected elements or opportunities that have come to you in recent years due to your prolific creative content?
Dani: Thank you! Social media can be a negative place, and I do my best to create a positive space for people to visit online. Almost every opportunity that’s come my way — from book deals to new friendships to magazine features — has been a result of sharing my content online. Because I try my best not to set expectations and to let my work take me where I’m meant to go, almost all of these opportunities have been unexpected surprises!
Armen: You make these great clips on TikTok showcasing how you make your imagery – seeing those got me to try out a bit on a drawing app to make some cool colorful content like Dani. For your audience, how much do you seek to inspire, as compared with informing, putting at peace, or entertaining?
Dani: My focus has always been to inspire people by sharing what’s resonating with me or helping me at a particular moment. As I make my way down my a path towards being more positive and present, it’s great if I’m able to inform, encourage peace, and maybe even entertain, but my main goal is inspire people to think about the world from a different (hopefully more positive!) perspective, and to remind them that they’re not alone if they too struggle to stay positively present at times.
and to remind them that they’re not alone if they too struggle to stay positively present at times
Armen: Lastly, on average, how many hours a day are you positively present, such that you are in a flow state and making the great items the world can then check in on?
Dani: Every day is different but, on average, I probably spend about three hours or so actually writing and/or creating. However, I’d say I spend the majority of my days working on Positively Present in some way. Whether it’s engaging with my audience on social media, searching for inspiration online, or striving to be more positive and present in my daily life, I’m pretty much always focused on Positively Present in some way!
Thanks goes out to Dani for participating in this interview. All the pictures in this interview are credit to Dani and her many works. You can find her content on her website PositivelyPresent.com, her Instagram page @positivelypresent, Twitter @positivepresent, or her Amazon books/author page.