June 11, 2018
We love heroes. We aspire to be like them. We adore what makes them great. And we want to be around them.
Yet, as much as we love heroes, we also have an adoration for anti-heroes too. You know, the lone wolves. The girls who diverge from conventional attitudes; the single-minded warriors. Anti-heroes have as much sway in our culture as the tried and true heroes.
But, why? What makes them attractive? If the anti-hero is not the standard of excellence, then why gravitate towards them?
In this episode, I take a deeper look at why we love both types of heroes. And even how the time of our life can be a big reason for it.
P.S. be sure to check out my Facebook live launch party with Dr. Robert Snyder and his book, Why Did Daddy Have to Leave? This book is a follow up to What Is A Veteran, Anyway? - a children's book detailing what veterans are and what those in the armed services do for the United States.
You can find Dr. Snyder at https://www.robertsnyderbooks.com/.
May 30, 2018
"You complete me" - Jerry Maguire.
It's a famous line from the '90s. One that spawned a great many parodies and memes in its wake. It's a statement of love from one person to another. That without you, I'm not me. Or at the very least, I'm not the me I'm meant to be. You're my soul mate - the one who completes my existence.
Yet - at the risk of sounding like a major Debbie downer - is this concept really true? Be it in the context of a fictional story or our waking lives. Truth can be stranger than fiction, but fiction can communicate truths in indirect ways. So, in this - rather ranty - episode, I dive deeper into what constitutes a "soul mate" in story. What does it look like? Why is it so attractive? And from my own perspective, does such a thing actually exist (fictional or non-fictional). And if you disagree, let me know. As a writer, I'm open to critique.
May 16, 2018
There's an old adage in storytelling: "show, but don't tell". It basically means this - when telling a story, it's better to let your reader decipher the emotions, motivations, and settings rather than telling him what he ought to think or believe is happening. Sounds easy, but in practice, it's harder than you may think.
In this episode, I explore the nature of "show, don't tell" and give some examples of what this looks like. Granted, there are times when "show, don't tell" is appropriate. And there are times when it isn't.
Going deeper - what is it like to show people what they've never seen before, yet still tell them what they already know? What does that mean? And should writers, authors, storytellers be aware of this dynamic? Well, that's another topic worth discussing in this episode.
April 30, 2018
You gotta have thick skin when you're a creative. If there's one thing I lacked early on, it was thick skin. The ability to take criticism - good or bad - and keep moving forward. Taking criticism is paramount to a writer's long-term success. Hearing it; absorbing it; applying it.
But, there was another thing I lacked even more: patience.
I've always possessed a strange anxiety about my writing. I've often thought that if I didn't write my book fast enough - or publish it quick enough - then some other author might steal my idea. And therefore take my place in whatever niche I was trying to fill. Ultimately, this kind of worry is unnecessary. And highly toxic to a creative's craft.
And in hindsight, as much as I needed to learn the value of criticism, I also needed to learn the value of taking time with my ideas. Not just the good ideas, but my best idea.
April 16, 2018
Inside every creative is an entrepreneurial spirit. Why? Because there's an innate desire to make something new. Something original. And when you have that kind of gumption, the stakes tend to rise. There is more at risk; more knowledge needed; and more confidence required to make your dream a reality.
Enter the fear of failure. For even if we do share our gift with others, we still face the fear of being mocked or laughed at. It's an experience that's relative to every creative, and as a writer, I know how that can paralyze a person - no matter how gifted or talented he is.
In this episode, I talk through that process of making my own leap into writing - only to realize how crowded the creative / entrepreneurial space really is. And even if we make it through the woods and back up the mountain to finish what we started, there's a whole other plane of challenges waiting there for us too. And plenty more people trying to make it there too!
So, as I said in the beginning, the stakes are high. And not everyone gets to the finish line first.
P.S. if you enjoy this episode, be sure to like it or follow (however which way you choose to do so, i.e. iTunes, YouTube, Podbean, etc.). I can be found almost anywhere. Well, almost.
April 3, 2018
We will go to great lengths to reach our dreams. We'll throw caution to the wind. We'll forget what it means to 'play it safe.' We will do more than the usual to get there.
But, with that in mind, we must be careful of what that pursuit looks like to other people. Because if we are so willing to chase our dreams so blindly, then we must be cognizant of how others might take advantage of us. And our dreams.
Yes, it'd be nice to live in a world where everyone has our best interests in mind. It would be less stressful, for sure. But, we don't. And we can't fool ourselves into thinking otherwise. As a creative - one who is writing books - I've had to learn this hard truth of entrepreneurship. My ideas are special to me. I want them to succeed. Yet, I can't be someone who throws money at the next person willing to extend a helping hand. I have to be smarter than that. And so does anyone else trying to make his / her dream a reality.
In this episode, I talk through a recent experience I had involving a potential scammer. With so many aspiring authors out there, the number of 'reputable marketing agencies' has also increased. And as I detailed above, this should not come as a surprise to anyone in the creative, entrepreneurial sphere of things.
March 26, 2018
Regret is a tough business. It keeps us fixed on the past - a place we can't change, but wish we could.
That is if we still live with regret.
As a self-published author, I'm one of the many (emphasis on many) who decided to forego traditional publishing. And although at the time it sounded like the right choice, I can't help but look back and see some regretful decisions I've made.
But, that's not the end of the story. Not yet anyway. Regret can only hold onto us as long as we let it. For we must find a way to turn regret into valuable lessons. So that's what this episode is all about: learning and moving rather than sitting and regretting.
All through the lens of a writer, of course. Enjoy.
March 12, 2018
Is daydreaming a bad thing? Is it good? Even if you're not of the creative mindset, the label of 'daydreamer' can be a derogatory one. Such identifiers might include lazy, unfocused, undisciplined, immature, has "head in the clouds", to name a few. So, in short, nothing good.
This episode was partially birthed from an interview I heard years ago on self-publishing. A self-published author was discussing her desire for a partner, aka husband, that understood how "staring off into space" didn't equate to disinterest. It merely meant that she could be working. She was sorting things out in her head. She was putting together ideas and scenarios. She was running through character arcs and settings. As a writer, I really resonated with that sentiment. Growing up, I had a tendency to drift off into my own little world. And honestly, I still do. We all do, to some extent. But, to put it bluntly: is that a good thing?
Remembering that interview, I decided to take a stab at this concept and look at why someone - like myself - might be inclined to daydream. Does it foster more imagination? Does it eventually turn you into a doer and not just a thinker? Could it be considered work?
In episode 27, I analyze my own life and see if there's been any growth (and truth) with regards to this idea.
February 26, 2018
"Find your lane" - Colleen Ward
My latest interview is with Cleveland native, Colleen Ward, who is the owner / operator of Colleen Ward Studio, www.colleenwardstudio.com.
Colleen has several talents - photography, art, digital editing, to name a few - and has found a way to direct her passions into a business endeavor. For this interview, Colleen discusses her path to starting her own business, but also how imperative it is to "find your lane" - discover what you do well, what your style is, and then cultivate your strengths. But, also the importance of surrounding yourself with those who differ from you creatively. In this way, you can expand yourself artistically.
This balance, I can attest to, is imperative for writing stories. If I am stuck in a vacuum, then I am unable to find what works and ultimately, what doesn't. What simply interests me and what I'd like to emulate. Yet at the end of the day, we must find time to rest from our creative pursuits. All hustle and no rest drains us quickly so we have to find that healthy balance if we are going to properly utilize our gifts.
A big thanks to Colleen for letting me talk to her about her creative endeavors!
Again, you can check her work out at www.colleenwardstudio.com and you can follow her on Instagram @colleenwardstudio
February 22, 2018
Should we always seek to make money off of our creative endeavors? And is it 'okay' to say no to people who want our help with their own creative pursuits?
In my last interview, I talked about these questions with Immanuel Mullen, co-founder of The Story Is. Though we had a great conversation, I felt the need to unpack some of what we discussed and give my own feedback on these topics.
As a self-published author, the landscape of creatives and other authors is immense; navigating this arena is no small feat. Especially when everyone is trying to get ahead.
In this episode, I share some of my thoughts on what that can look like. And how I've learned to become better at saying 'no'.
Video portion can be found on YouTube here.