Several Reasons Why You May Not Want to Cut the Cable Cord

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Today’s post is from a great college friend of mine, Jeremy Doan. After Jeremy read 14 Reasons This Artist Doesn’t Need Cable TV, he and I had a stimulating Twitter conversation resulting in me asking if he’d share his thoughts with you.

And I’m so very glad he did. Enjoy…

Jeremy’s bio: “I am the husband of Superwoman and a father of four part-time devil children (with another on the way). By day I work as a software engineer.  The rest of the time, I am an amatuer photography, a film-watcher, a book-reader, a music-listener, and a nature-experiencing. In other words, I am a short-talented Renaissance Man.”

Feel free to connect with Jeremy on Twitter.


I  don’t completely agree Andrew’s post “14 Reason This Artist Does Not Need Cable TV”. After reading it, I considered writing a snarky reply entitled, “14 Reasons Why Every Artist Needs Cable TV.” That would have been fun.

However, further contemplation revealed that I did not want to provide counterpoint to each of Andrew’s points, but to add some nuance to the overall spirit of the post. I agree (mostly) with this spirit. I even agree with several of his points. I particularly appreciate points 9 and 10—you do not need Cable to get the really good shows.

Thus, I took a break from my YouTube viewing to write a psuedo-reply.

Walden Pond and Greenwich Village

A key factor, possibly even the most important factor, for creativity is discipline. As Andrew has pointed out on many occasions, inspiration does not come by accident.

We have to seek it out.

Creativity involves work.

Creativity takes discipline and intentionality.

Creativity involves action–we either peer through the distractions, or prune them from the path. Thoreau found inspiration on Walden Pond. Dylan found inspiration in Greenwich Village. To a great extent, inspiration and creativity occur despite our surroundings. As William Blake says:

“I question not my Corporeal or Vegetative Eye any more than I would Question a Window concerning a Sight: I look thro [sic] it & not with it.” (From A Vision of the Last Judgment) Continue reading “Several Reasons Why You May Not Want to Cut the Cable Cord”

Ch-ch-ch-ch Changes!

[box options]Today’s guest post is by producer Jason Mundok from the Wood Stove House. WSH produces creative projects such as house concerts, theater events, and a weekly performing arts podcast called Around the Wood Stove. You can also find Wood Stove House on Twitter.[/box]

I had a big birthday last year. I turned 40 in September. I’ve always been a milestone guy when it comes to birthdays, but not in a big party or expensive trip kind of way; more in the introspective and reflective kind of way. A few months before that birthday I had a few life changing experiences and made a few very important realizations.

I’ll save those stories for another post, but the result was significant soul searching, deep conversations with close friends, and finally a decision to leave my very comfortable, very well paid, and very uninspiring I.T. management job to start a business focused on the performing arts. Continue reading “Ch-ch-ch-ch Changes!”

The Forgotten Core of the Creative Process

[box options]This is a guest post from Jared Latigo. Jared is a writer, husband, father and stellar designer. After reading his post, head on over to his site and follow him on Twitter. You’ll be glad you did.[/box]

When we think of the creative process, we tend to lean toward a list of things we need to do in order to refine that process. But we leave out an important part. That important part is the core of building who we are as a creative, or any professional for that matter.

The thing we tend to leave out is training.  We must learn to be a life learner to train for the day when we do have power and ability to influence others through our work and passions. This cannot be changed.

Ill-advised – Photo Credit: pasukaru76
Continue reading “The Forgotten Core of the Creative Process”

The Campaign for Real Life

[box options]You’re in for a treat today… from the UK! Today’s post is a guest post by Ayd Instone. Ayd is an international speaker, philosopher and entertainer on the subject of creativity. He’s the author of a number of books and writes regularly on his blog ‘Ding!’ When you’re done reading his post, head on over to his blog. [/box]

Instant coffee. Horrible and pointless. Someone has gone to a lot of trouble to make some coffee, boil off the water and freeze dry the gunk that’s left so you can pour hot water on it and have a horrible ‘instant’ cup of coffee.

‘Convenience’ they call it. Convenience foods – so you don’t have to cook, don’t have to chew (and with most, almost don’t even need to swallow). You don’t get any flavour, nutrients or vitamins but at least you didn’t have to do any work. God forbid you’d ever have to lift a finger.

For the past sixty years or so our society has been obsessed with convenience. We invented fast foods so you don’t have to wait and savour the anticipation. You can then eat in a rush, on the move, while you’re busy doing something else.

What exactly have you got to rush off and do? Everything has been made so convenient with all the enjoyment and experienced boiled and freeze dried out of life that there’s actually nothing worth rushing off for. Continue reading “The Campaign for Real Life”

Brownie for Life

[box options]This is a guest post by an amazing writer, actress… and wife! The fantastic Sarah Zahn is an avid learner and Mindy Kaling fan.  She likes coffee, fun writing games, and bags of Doritos.  She’s also the founder of Sugared Beauty, LLC, a line of skincare made with organic ingredients.  Follow her adventures here: @SugaredBeauty.[/box]

I don’t remember a time when I didn’t enjoy learning.  Like being from a small town in the Midwest, learning stuff and getting good grades just seemed like my lot in life.  This didn’t exactly grant me a lot of friends in school. In 7th grade I remember a kid in my class introducing me to the cute new boy as a brownie.  I’m ashamed to admit I thought it was a compliment.

As a result of this and other name-calling incidents, some of the first interpersonal relationship lessons I heard from my mom was that I should “get a sense of humor” and “bury the hatchet.”

I am still figuring out how to do this.

It’s not that I was any smarter than anyone else, I just got a kick out of learning things.  Throughout grade school I would toe the line between first and almost-first in class…until I hit puberty. Continue reading “Brownie for Life”

Let the Good Times Roll

[box options]Today’s post is a guest post by Jim Woods. He is a writer, blogger and guitar junkie in Nashville, TN. He is also a chocolate chip cookie addict, but who isn’t right? You can read his blog here and find him on Twitter @unknownjim. [/box]


Tree. Arrow. Bee. Fish. Light Bulb. Turtle. Sad. Building. Footprint. What do all of these things have in common? Not much at all. But those are my results on my first roll with my Rory’s Story Cubes.


How do these work? Continue reading “Let the Good Times Roll”

Passion is Key

[box options]From Andrew: Today we’ve got a stellar guest post by Scott Kerzner. Scott and his family embarked on Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover plan over four years ago. Early this spring, they plan on becoming debt-free.  Talk about creativity–they’re living it.  His blog, serves as a source of inspiration and motivation for all of those out there that battle debt, try to live on less than they make, or just plain want to save money.  Subscribe to his RSS feed and receive great anecdotes, advice, and humor.[/box]

As creatives, we sometimes hit a wall.

Javier Volcan (Creative Commons)

Every so often, hopefully more not than often, ideas don’t come to us easily.  Some days we just can’t think of anything.  We stare at an empty screen.  We rest our fingers on the keyboard waiting for something to come to us, like when you turn the key of a stalled car again and again, hoping each time that it will magically start.

Continue reading “Passion is Key”

Value of Art

[box options]Today’s guest post is by producer Jason Mundok at The Wood Stove House. I enjoyed working with him on a recent project, The 24 Hour Plays and will be participating in his podcast series “Conversations” later this month. Enjoy![/box]

The Value of Art

At the Wood Stove House, we have immersed ourselves in the performing arts over the past few years. We’ve hosted house concerts, helped promote and book public concerts, produced theater events, provided promotional and logistical support for other theater events, and produced several recordings for wonderful regional musicians.

One of the big questions that we grapple with when engaging in any of these projects is the idea of value. What is the value of what we do and how much should we be charging for it?

A Tightrope Walk

Continue reading “Value of Art”

Setting the Stage to Experience Flow

[box options]Today’s guest post is by Jason Mundok at The Wood Stove House. I enjoyed working with him on a recent project, The 24 Hour Plays. Enjoy![/box]

Photo Credit: Ernest Koe

I was recently turned on to the psychology term “flow.”

It’s a mental state where a person is so completely immersed in an activity, they enter into a state of pure focus and concentration where time has no meaning and bodily needs are essentially ignored. I’m familiar with the concept from the more common descriptions like being in the zone or in the moment.

For creatives, “getting there” can be very challenging, and the lack of “being there” can prevent any motivation to engage in the creative process. But when it happens, hours slip by and productivity skyrockets. Stuff gets done and it feels great! I’m lucky enough to experience it occasionally, but like other creatives, I’d love for it to be way more often.

Continue reading “Setting the Stage to Experience Flow”