Last week I sent out my newsletter to thousands of people, and in the very first line was a typo. Today I want to talk about how this typo represents what so many writers and creators tell me they fear: making a simple mistake that will sink their career. This can cause them to resist creating, resist publishing, and resist sharing. I discuss how this relates to impostor's syndrome, and how perfection limits our potential, and our progress.
Today I speak with Amber Coleman-Mortley who shares her wisdom on making a creative shift in your life. It includes "delusions of grandeur," a "social contribution of making the world a better place," and "needing to have a plan." She talks about the difficult parts of transitions: "[When] I took a pivot, I had a huge confidence drop. [I asked myself], what's my identity?" Her advice: "If there is a moment where you feel lost, find a new path that energizes and inspires you."
Today I look back on the moment 25 years ago that became the birth of this podcast. But not only that, I reflect on why I create, and why I share. In this episode I share the story of how I created a zine in the early 1990s interviewing my favorite bands like Oasis, Blur, Weezer, and They Might Be Giants, and how that turned into the podcast you are listening to now. I also share why these experiences are the foundation for not only creativity, but filling my life with fulfilling connections and moments.
The last quarter of every year, I focus on a creative reset. This is time to collect and organize my ideas and with a sense of intention, prepare a sense of creative clarity for the next year. In this episode, I share a bit about that process and why I'm pausing this podcast for the month of December. But it will return in January with some amazing new episodes. Thank you!
Today, picture book illustrator and textile designer Veronica Miller Jamison, shares how she made a major career shift, and how that led to illustrating her first book. She discusses the value of surrounding yourself with people who appreciate the craft you are learning, and how that community then became major supporters of her work. She is wonderfully honest about mental health, and how navigating anxiety and depression is a part of this journey.
Just as Naomi Jackson received a big promotion and raise at a job she loved, she quit. In doing so, she moved from New York City to the cornfields of Iowa with the goal of finishing her novel. In today's interview, she shares incredible wisdom on the value of having a community around your writing, why you need to be courageous, and the importance of listening to the generations who came before you.
Gigi Pandian is a USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning mystery author of 10 books. Today we explore the huge creative shift she made to stop pursuing a PhD in order to fill her life with more creativity develop her career as an author. She shares the long road to getting the first book published, how that book found a readership because of her active involvement in the community of readers and writers, and how that got her the book deals she hoped for for two of her series.
For years, Valerie Bolling worked in education. One day, a visit from her nieces inspired her to write some stories. She set a goal to get published and “wrote and wrote and wrote.” Through a Twitter pitch, her book was acquired by a publisher. To find her agent, it took more than 150 queries (50 of which came after her deal for the book.) Valerie shares so much inspiring advice on creating and sharing. You can find out more about her and her book, Let's Dance! at valeriebolling.com.
Today I want to share the story of an amazing creative shift. Steve Sansweet was working as a journalist when he was allowed to see an early screening of Star Wars in 1977. That day changed his life, and he went on to amass the world's largest collection of Star Wars memorabilia. He eventually left journalism to work inside Lucasfilm, and today runs Rancho Obi-Wan, an interactive museum of Star Wars memorabilia. His story is incredible, and inspiring.
When Malcolm Lemmons shifted his career away from professional basketball, he describes how he struggled to find a new purpose. What gave him a clear path? Writing and storytelling. In today’s episode, we talk about his creative shift. There is so much in this episode that directly applies to the work that writers and artists face each day. Malcolm is the author of two books: Impact Beyond the Game and Lessons from the Game, and he can be found at https://malcolmlemmons.com
"I'm selling more books and the message is getting out there." This is author Beth Ricanati, M.D. described the results of continuing to promote her book two years after release. She has been running workshops in-person and online in support of her book Braided: A Journey of a Thousand Challahs. In the process, she is finding new audiences she never considered before, is having more people reach out to her, and it has paved the way for her next book.
Earlier this year Andrea J. Loney's book, Double Bass Blues, received a Caldecott Honor. When I asked her about that journey she described how her very first book deal was for her 11th manscript. The next book she sold, Double Bass Blues, was her 17th manuscript. In our interview, she talks about the value of collaboration, persistence, and how her experience working at a circus, in theater, stand-up comedy, and writing for TV helped her realize her dream of being a children's book author.
Today author/illustrator Vesper Stamper shares incredibly powerful wisdom on the lessons she has learned in four decades of creative work. As a child, she found escape in books, she attended the arts high school featured in the movie and TV show Fame, and then pursued music, illustration and writing. She talks about the long road to success, the role of art in our lives, the power of collaboration, and why relationships need to be at the center of creative work. Her new book, A Cloud of Outrageous Blue is out this month!
Today I want to explore a topic that many writers and artists avoid: money and finance. I'm excited to welcome financial expert Jacquette Timmons onto the podcast. She talks about the psychology and emotion around money, and how it can limit your potential as a creator. I love the way she frames this: "We are talking about money all the time, but we aren't having the right conversations."
Welcome to the third part of my book launch case study with Leigh Stein. A year ago she and I began working on the marketing strategy for her novel, Self Care, which was released a few weeks ago. In this episode, we discuss the many ways the book has been successful, and how a year's worth of marketing work has paid off.
Today I'm excited to share my interview with filmmaker Angela Tucker. We discussed the creative and business challenges of filmmaking, and consider the many lessons that has for writers and artists as well. She is the producer on a new film that (of course) is being released into a changed world -- one where theaters and festivals are largely closed. We talk about how she is navigating that process. You can find Angela at http://www.tuckergurl.com and her new film at https://www.bellyofthebeastfilm.com
When I asked Evan J. Roberts how he has been able to promote the 18 books he has written in the last few years, he told me: "As an author, you can hide behind Amazon all you want, but people want to know who you are as a person. It also challenges you to start talking about the book and the relationship of what it means to the reader. That is a totally different conversation to have." This is an inspiring conversation of how a trip to the library catapulted him to become an author. You can find Evan at https://ejrbooks.com.
Kalynn Bayron has been a musician, dancer, opera singer, and is now an author. Her new book Cinderella is Dead was just released from Bloomsbury. In our conversation, we talk about that path to publication, including the 70 queries it took to find her agent, and the 4 year path to publication. She described the culmination of this process as readers telling her that they see themselves in the story, “I see there is a space for me.” Kalynn concluded: “If nothing else ever happens for me, that will have been enough.”
Today I'm excited to writer Sonya Larson. We discuss her role as Director of GrubStreet‘s Muse and the Marketplace writing conference, and how they are adjusting to serving writers amidst the pandemic. I love her take on finding hope amidst challenges: "The best artists pick up what's left, and generate something new and exciting." GrubStreet runs 600 workshops a year, have 1,000 people attend their conference, and are moving to a brand new 15,000 square foot facility. Find Sonya at larsonya.com.
Something Marcus Whitney said to me has been bouncing around my mind all week: “You have to shift from consuming to creating.” Today I am excited to share my interview with Marcus, where he shares an inspiring message of what creative power is, and how to turn ideas into action. He has a new book out called Create and Orchestrate: The Path to Claiming Your Creative Power from an Unlikely Entrepreneur. He is also the Co-Founder of the Nashville Soccer Club, Jumpstart Foundry, and Health:Further. Find him at marcuswhitney.com.
Today I want to share the inspiring story of how Monica Bhide followed her dream to becoming a successful writer. Her journey is filled with amazing wisdom for what it takes to find your voice, get published, and truly have an impact in the lives of readers.
Author Michael La Ronn has already written three books this year, and he will likely write three more before the year is done. Today I want to explore how he is able to fill his life with creativity, infusing writing into all he does. You can find show notes for this episode at https://wegrowmedia.com/thepodcast/
When I first noticed author/illustrator Jarrett Lerner, he was using his Twitter account to constantly celebrate other authors and books. His generosity got him noticed. The result? 20,000+ followers. His first book was published in 2017, his second in 2020, and he has 9 more books in the works to be published within the next two years. In today's conversation, I talk to Jarrett about what it means to live your mission as a writer, and what that daily work of creating and sharing looks like.
Today I talk to author Jenny Blake about how to navigate change and uncertainty. Her book, Pivot, The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One, showcases her process for this, but our chat goes deeper. When everything shut down in March, her entire speaking and workshop business got "wiped out." This is an honest conversation not just about managing the strategy of having a creative career, but how to manage the emotions of it as well.
How can you launch a book in a constantly changing world? Author Leigh Stein is finding out. She has been focusing on what she can control, remixing strategic plans, and devising new ideas filled with creativity and connection. We dig into it all in today’s conversation. This interview is part 2 of my book launch case study with Leigh as she prepares for the June 30 launch of her book: Self Care: A Novel.