Episode 45 – Lassoing Intention

The secret power behind harnessing your creativity

Episode Notes:

If you ever find yourself wandering the foggy moors of creative practice with nary a flickering lantern to guide you, it may be time to set some intentions, intentionally working with all the intent you can muster. Sound confusing? It is! But only when you look at the concept inside Jonathan's brain. In this episode we talk intention and how it can help guide you even in your darkest creative hour.

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Episode 44 – Focus On The Good Stuff

Finding power in everyday wins to keep your creative practice properly fueled

Episode Notes:

In this episode we talk about focusing on the little victories to keep us going and keep the fires of begeisterung stoked. Too often we focus on the barriers to creating what we want, whether it be lack of time, immature craft, jealousy or a rug that needs a good vacuuming. Dump the negativity and seek out those little wins. This includes anything from trying or learning something new, completing a thing, reading something that inspires and so much more. Ginger talks about how liberating not showing her current work to anyone for seven months, which is unheard of. While Jonathan explores moving beyond intuition in character development in favor of employing new tools. This episodes got a lot packed into a short time, so listen closely and maybe you'll find something to help you find a treasure trove of things to cheer about.

Links: The Art of Character, by David Corbett Terra Ignota Series, by Ada Palmer Writing Excuses podcast

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Episode 43 – Creative Weekend Recap

Consider making your own creative workshop by changing the scenery

Episode Notes:

This past weekend we left our home for a modest cabin in the woods for a couple of days dedicated to creativity. It's not about productivity so much as it's about having the permission to ignore everything else and dig into those things that fill the soul, such as reading, playing music, journaling or just staring at the fire with a mug of hot coffee in your hand. Oh, and s'mores. Lots of s'mores. Clearly we think this is a good idea. And we hope you consider it for yourself, if you don't already.

Links:

  1. Draft No. 4, piece by John McPhee in the New Yorker
  2. Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process, by John McPhee
  3. Pity the Reader: How Kurt Vonnegut Made Me A Better Writer, Michelle Boring, Chatham University Blog
  4. A Review of Kurt Vonnegut and Suzanne McConnell’s “Pity the Reader”, Zachary Houle, Medium

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Episode 42 – I Wish That I Knew What I Know Now

Received wisdom versus first-hand experience

Episode Notes:

Most of us look back at one point or another and wish we'd had the benefit of the hard won wisdom we now possess, but would our younger selves have been receptive? And even if they had, would they have put that wisdom to use? In this episode we discuss some of the things we think might have been useful knowing full well it may fall on unreceptive ears. We also harmonize badly and talk about conventional wisdom. Pull up a stool and grab some snacks and join us for another episode of the Creative DoubleShot.

Links: Pity The Reader, On Writing With Style by Kurt Vonnegut and Suzanne McConnell Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott (New York Times: Book Review)

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Episode 41 – Craft or Crap: What's In A Name?

Craft as a tool in your creative toolbox

Episode Notes:

Craft is something that forms and evolves over time. It's also one tool of several you apply to your creative practice, albeit more akin to a multi-plier than a flathead screwdriver. Okay, that's probably enough of the tool metaphor. In this episode we talk about craft, ways to hone it, pitfalls to look out for and how being a lifelong student is a pretty solid approach enjoying its evolution.

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Episode 40 – Cultivating Ideas

First impressions can be misleading

Episode Notes:

Sometimes the idea you think you have is not the one you ultimately wind up with. We talk about ideas, not so much where they come from, but what to do with them once they drop into your skull like a quarter in a gumball machine. Because many initial ideas are born from things we've seen or heard, they may manifest at first as cliché, but give them time to percolate or work them over from many different angles, and you may just find the sweet spot that inspires you to keep going.

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Episode 39 – Got A Story In You? Work It Out.

Rod Stewart VH1 Storytellers all the way down...

Episode Notes:

Hang on to your bagpipes because in this episode we talk about storytelling, the forms it can take, how to indulge in your inner minstrel or gleeman or busker by dragging the story(ies) inside you out into the world, bit by bit, or, as Anne Lamott would say, bird by bird. We reference a few of our favorite storytellers and in the process mention Sir Rod Stewart two times too many. If that has scared you away, you are in for a laughter filled treat recorded after a long day of day jobbery.

Links:

  1. 7 Lessons Learned About Writing From Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott, post at tunerstories.com.
  2. Every Picture Tells A Story, Rod Stewart
  3. What's He Building, Tom Waits
  4. The Greek Chorus Explained, video from the Millennial Classicist

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Episode 38 – Using Limits To Expand Creativity

To think outside the box, sometimes you need to be in the box

Episode Notes:

Sometimes too many choices can paralyze us in life and in our creative practice. In these instances it can be useful to set some limits whether it be in your choice of media, your time, your palette or your tools. And those limitations over which you have no control? You may just want to embrace the hell out of them and see what happens.

Links:

  1. Phil Hansen, Embrace The Shake TED Talk
  2. Tim Ferriss (4 Hour Work Week) Interviews Writer and Creative Legend Margaret Atwood
  3. The Psychology of Limitations: How and Why Constraints Can Make You More Creative, Buffer Blog

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Episode 37 – Protecting Your Creative Life

How to avoid losing a game you never wanted to play

Episode Notes:

Join us on a meandering, um, Journey (you'll see) of exploration on those features of our modern world that chip away at our creative practice. We don't have any tips about how to beat Father Time, but we do offer up some tips on how to make the most of our time while we're here. From the demands of the modern work life and the silicon valley inspired side hustle/gig economy to the way we choose to fill our days, you're sure to find a treasure amid the conversation hoard we lay before you.

Links:

  1. 4000 Weeks, Time Management For Mortals by Oliver Burkeman. Sincerest apologies to Oliver Burkeman, who I referred to as Oliver Burke throughout the episode. The fact remains, his book is a must-read.
  2. A Soft Manifesto. Artist and writer Cortney Cassidy on the anti-capitalist values that helped her launch Mail Blog, and a set of principles you can apply to your own values-driven art making.
  3. Also, apologies to Journey, the song we were groping for was Faithfully.

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Episode 36 – Creating While The World Burns

The importance of creativity to our basic humanity

Episode Notes:

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine dominating headlines, we dig into creating while the world seems to be crumbling around us. What's the point? Why bother? Turns out there are many reasons to keep the faith and keep creating. Creativity in uncertain times may seem frivolous or a guilty pleasure but it's fundamental to our humanity and holds great value both on the personal level and in our communities.

Links:

  1. Why Make Art When The World Is Burning? Blog post by Brad Blackman
  2. We Learn Nothing, by Tim Kreider