Austin Gohn is the author of the (now available) book "A Restless Age: How St. Augustine Helps You Make Sense Of Your Twenties".

My interview with Austin focuses on his path to publishing as well as his individual story - what inspired him to write a book for young adults and why the words of St. Augustine find relevance even in the 21st century.

For more on Austin, you can visit www.austingohn.com or go to his Twitter account @austingohn

You may have heard of the seven deadly sins. There's Greed, Gluttony, Lust, Pride, Wrath, Sloth, and...Envy. Of those seven, I find Envy to be the least talked about. Or rather, it's the least recognized of the seven. In this solo episode, I talk about why I think Envy can be a major hindrance on our writing pursuits. 

Website: www.jclfaltot.com

Facebook: JCL Faltot 

Podcast: The Writer's Lens

"A Mistaken Identity"

That's the name of Eric "EG" Graves' upcoming play, which will be featured at the Breen Performing Arts Center in Cleveland, OH on Saturday, March 23, 2019. I was fortunate to chat with Mr. Graves prior to the release and get his thoughts on playwriting and how he came to become one. 

My interview with EG expands upon the story of the man behind the play and what inspired him to come up with the name "Mistaken Identity". And as I discovered while interviewing Mr. Graves, one does not require a degree in performing arts, creativity or even writing to do something like this. Yet what one does require is a vision, a purpose, and some persistence.

Tickets for "A Mistaken Identity" can be found on their website

"Your Digital Voice Matters"

With so many voices out in the Internet space, it makes for a confusing and LOUD environment. The casual podcast surfer or YouTube searcher could be overwhelmed in mere moments. Who is worth listening to? Who is not? And if I feel I have a voice of my own, should I consider sharing that message with the world? Considering how many voices that are already out there?

In my round 2 discussion with fellow creative voice, Brian Del Turco, we delve into the dynamics of the "Digital Voice" age. And what that can mean for emerging voices who are considering putting their unique message out there.

Brian is the voice of Jesus Smart: The Podcast as well as being one-half the voice of SubstanceTV.

You can also find the full video interview over at YouTube

As a writer, I tend to handle criticism and feedback quite well. Nothing ever gets to me. There's no negative press I can't manage; no scathing review I can't brush off as nothing more than white noise.... 

...or I could just be lying to myself. 

If you've ever written a story - especially something you feel strongly about - and had someone give you a negative reaction, you've probably felt like me: crushed. You may consider never writing again. You think it'd be best if the world never heard your voice. Your message. Ever. 

That's a tough place to find one's self, but hey, you're not alone. Even the most seasoned of artists feel some pressure to appeal to their audiences. Yet putting our creative selves "out there" is only one part of the process; standing strong in the wave of responses is another. So, with this episode, I talk through some of the filters I've developed for dealing with the good, the bad, the ugly, and frankly, the apathetic.

And though you don't have to use any of my tactics or filters, what I do hope is that you find this particular episode to be encouraging in your own creative journey. 

David Ramos has been writing for years. He's published nearly two dozen books (thus far) and for his efforts, has built a small community of readers around him. He even has a new book on the way, Magnetic Faith, due out in March of 2019. 

But, David didn't just "fall into" publication. He sat down and made it happen. He learned what worked; he learned what didn't work. And let's be honest, he's still learning as he goes. 

And that's the theme of my next interview with David Ramos on The Writer's Lens - staying persistent and being disciplined about your goals. David and I discuss what it's like to face rejection and how we, as writers, grow and develop as we continue to put ourselves out there. It's a valuable life lesson and one that can't be ignored if one is to cultivate a life's work of writing and publishing. 

For more on David, you can check out the links below: 

Website - Ramos, Author

Facebook - Link

YouTube - Link

And P.S., don't forget that David has a new book coming out this year called Magnetic Faith. It will be available through Amazon for purchase. 

Does music tell a story? This was a question I posed as the primer for my next interview with fellow creative, poet, and voice teacher, Mr. Loren Reash-Henz. 

Loren and I connected at a book signing last year and as I've come to find out, Loren has a real penchant for all things music -  teaching, theory, its roots, and its expression. In this conversation, Loren and I sit down to talk about all things music and writing. And how we are all striving to be original and authentic, but oftentimes, we get mixed up on what this can look like. I found this to be a fun and engaging dialogue that opens up a lot of boxes on what we think creativity and art do for a person's soul. And, ultimately, for our culture. 

Loren also works for Apollo's Fire, a baroque orchestra, here in Cleveland, OH. You can find out more about them here.  

When it comes to using the term, "creative", I'm still a newbie. I happen to think I'm creative (I'm a writer, after all) so tying those two concepts together isn't a problem. When it comes to other creative types, I - like many others - tend to recognize someone for a single gift: making a craft, making music, writing, etc. These all make up the "creative" part of our persona. But is that all we are made for? Just one facet of creativity? For sometimes we encounter someone who is not only creative in one area, but in several different venues too. 

Cue the guest of my next interview: Willie Scott, aka FOLD.

Willie is a return guest on The Writer's Lens and in addition to being one-half of Better Than Blended and co-founder of TKI Publishing, Willie is also a recording artist. He truly puts the idea of putting one's creative interests to work while simultaneously debunking the notion that we have to be so singularly focused on one aspect of our creativity, thus starving our other creative outlets. So in this interview, I explore with Willie all the dynamics that come with being an entrepreneur, a creative writer, a father, and a husband. 

This was a fun interview for Willie and me and I think you'll find it equally enjoyable. 

For more on Willie and his music, you can check out these links below: 

Better Than Blended - Website, Facebook, Instagram

TKI Publishing - Website, Facebook

Matlock and FOLD - Facebook

 
YouTube
 
Matlock and FOLD - "Favor"
 
Matlock and FOLD - "ICIT - In Christ I Trust"
 
Matlock and FOLD - "Turn up"

It's hard to believe 2018 has already come and gone. So with 2019 here, it's time to do that age-old favorite: make a confession. 

Wait, you mean resolutions, right? Well, not really.

Whenever a new year comes around, we are quick to make lists of what we want to change in the year ahead. We make big - and small - life-altering goals that we hope and pray will come to fruition in the year ahead. And though I'm no stranger to doing such a thing, I thought it might be good to look at the year behind me too. Where did I "miss the mark" on my creative goals? Was I following my own advice? The advice of others? Turns out I have some work to do (don't we all?). 

There were certainly some wins and some misses from 2018. So in this episode, I take a closer look at where things went well and not-so-well as I look ahead to take on 2019. 

Here's a breakdown of what to expect:

2018 "Wins"

  • Podcast still alive
  • New logo
  • Downloads only increasing
  • Journaling
  • Reading more

2018 "Misses": 

  • Missed launch date - The Shadow Of Mars
    • 1st reason: I backed myself into a corner creatively
    • 2nd reason: Not at peace with product
  • Less interviews

 2019 "Looking Ahead": 

  • Re-purposing The Writer’s Lens - storytelling is paramount
  • Guests (new and old) 
  • Keep cultivating good habits 
  • Hitting that Deadline for The Shadow Of Mars

 

What is a digital footprint

In part 3 of this "Pens of Steel" group discussion, we wrap up our conversation about digital voices and what each of us is doing in our pursuits to hone our unique digital footprints. 

As this is part three, be sure to check out our earlier discussions (if you haven't already) by clicking the links below.

Part 1: What Is A Digital Voice?

Part 2: Competing In The Sea Of Digital Voices

 

Brian Del Turco, owner/operator of LifeVoiceQuest

Website: http://www.lifevoicequest.com/

Podcast: http://www.jesussmart.com/

 

Willie Scott, co-founder of Better Than Blended and T.K.I. Publishing

Website: https://betterthanblended.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/betterthanblended/?hl=en

 

Brent Mclaughlin, writer

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brent.mclaughlin

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