No Net

Did you see that guy who walked across the Grand Canyon on a tightrope?

As I was watching the video I thought…

He’s crazy.

He’s passionate.

He’s an inspiration.

Isn’t that who we are as creatives?

We go out on the limb that’s far too slender to hold our weight because that’s where the fruit is at. (Tweet that)

We know that if we keep doing things the same way, we’ll experience no change, no results and no growth. Continue reading “No Net”

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

[box options]

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”

Humor is Creativity

My wife Sarah and I are featured in the April issue of Courageous Creativity! An intro from the editors:

“Have you ever considered that humor is essentially creativity? Check out stories and insights from TED speaker Hannah Brencher, renowned artist Chad Crowe, comedic writer and improv artist Lisa Warsinske, Indian classical vocalist Srivani Jade, multi-entrepreneurial duo Andrew and Sarah Zahn, poet Farah Abdul, and our two young minds, Madhurum Bhuvan and Nadiya Narula! All set to the backdrop of Devasmita Chakraverty’s keen-eyed photography.”

This fantastic ezine is put together by a wonderful group of professionals and we’re honored to have been part of this month’s publication.

Just click on the Courageous Creativity picture below to read the ezine. We’re on pages 18-22. Enjoy!

Childish vs Childlike

When doing creative projects…

Childish: “no one ever helps me. Why doesn’t anyone want my dreams to come true.”

Childlike: “this could be a fun adventure. I hope I make a bunch of mistakes that’ll help me learn and make me a better artist.”

When you have to work a day job to fund your art/projects/fulfilling work…

Childish: “I’d be more creative if I didn’t have my day job. It really stifles me and takes all my time.”

Childlike: “I’m even more creative because I have a day job. I have to be more focused and use my time and resources to the fullest. Plus, I’m grateful to have my needs met. So thankful.”

When being forced to meet a deadline (even when you don’t feel in the ‘creative flow‘)… Continue reading “Childish vs Childlike”

The Dichotomy of Focus

As creatives, we’re tasked with the privilege of seeing our creative projects evolve in three basic stages: getting the initial idea, implementing the idea into our medium and then producing the finished work.

Along this path is the dichotomy of focus.

  • We must be open to change, but not get too distracted.
  • We embrace playfulness, yet need to be responsible.
  • We often create in solitude, but we need community and connection.
TodaysArt 2005 - Nederlands Dans Theater
Maurice via Compfight

The dichotomy of focus reminds me of ballet. As many of my acting gigs involved choreography, I wanted to learn the basics of movement, so I signed up for ballet classes.

The teacher would say seemingly incongruent instructions to help us learn the physical and mental demands of the artform.

Elongate. Tuck.

Push. Pull.

Relax. Tighten.

Such a dichotomy of terms that it seemed the teacher was schizophrenic, yet when she demonstrated we saw exactly what she meant.

What ballet taught me to do in all of my creative work was to enjoy several disciplines at once. As the term “focus” implies being intent on only one thing, it’s too narrow a word for our type of work.

I enjoy embracing the whole of the process rather than just a part.

How about you? How do you strike the balance?

6.5 Ideas For You to Steal

Steal these ideas…consider them yours.

But before I share these multi-million dollar (or these “fall-flat-on-your-face-and-don’t-tell-anyone-you-got-the-idea-from-me”) ideas, here’s why I’m sharing…

  • I have a list of too many and by sharing them, I’ve narrowed down my list. So thank you.
  • I need to see if I’ve done anything on my ‘ideas’ list.
  • Sharing is better than hoarding.
  • You only get to keep what you give away. Marinate on that one.

So here goes. Continue reading “6.5 Ideas For You to Steal”

17 Ways to Inspire Creativity

1. Do something that scares you…like making pasta from scratch.

2. Visit The Creativity Post. I love this blog.

3. Give away something you made…that you normally don’t give away.

4. Charge for something you normally give away.

5. Read an inspiring book. Here’s a list of my favorites. Continue reading “17 Ways to Inspire Creativity”

The Elusive Idea

I had a brilliant idea for a blog post. For this blog post actually. It was an idea that had a nice edge to it, an engaging hook in it and a wonderful overall feel.

  • This post could’ve turned into a novel.
  • It’s appeal would’ve been worldwide.
  • It’s potential would translate well onto the silver screen.

Only trouble is… I can’t remember the elusive idea.

The Idea Environment

Ideation, the process of forming ideas, happens when we create an environment for idea generation.

So what is an environment for ideation to naturally happen? Think about your last energizing idea. It probably happened when you were doing something like…

-Taking a shower.

-Washing the dishes.

-Driving your car.

-Doing gardening work.

-Taking a walk or working out.

Why do ideas seem to come to us during those times? It’s simple: because we aren’t looking for them. Continue reading “The Elusive Idea”

When You Don’t Feel Creative

Confession: I haven’t felt creative this week.

+Perhaps it’s because I was on an awesome vacation last week and am back at my (very good, but not always inspiring) day job this week.

+Perhaps it’s because I’ve got a cold.

+Perhaps it’s because I haven’t exercised enough.

+Perhaps it’s because       fill in the blank with your reason here      .

I don’t know why I haven’t felt creative this week, but in many ways it doesn’t even matter. I know that if I focus on not feeling creative, I’ll do nothing. I won’t create.

I still pumped out two commercial scripts, finished editing a video and put the finishing touches on my soon-to-be released e-book 10 Commandments for Creatives (get more info on it HERE). Continue reading “When You Don’t Feel Creative”

Ideas Are Like Dreams, Unless…

Taking Mr. Sinek’s advice, here are some of the creative projects I’m working on…