The Best of 2017: Three Things Worth Sharing

best of 2017

Two satirical Charlie Brown panels. A photo of my two dogs. A pizza menu from Portland. Printed Tweets. Engagement photos. These are just a few things I’ve pinned to the one foot by four foot bulletin board at my office desk. Most of those clippings are there to make me laugh or make me happy, but there are a few … Read More

On Challenges: It’s Not To Late to Create Something Amazing

december challenges

With the year coming to a close, many folks are excited to slip into their Christmas onesies and slow the heck down. There’s less to do in the office, the weather is uninviting, the food is better, and there are plenty of holiday parties to attend (or skip). Some, like myself, are even lucky enough to have a week off … Read More

Don’t Push Me

disconnect

“We’ll have Editor A saying, ‘Please, just send the alert, send the alert!’ And Editor B’s going, ‘No, we can make this better.’ And it’s aggravating for us that we’re sitting there looking at our lock screens,” knowing an alert on the same story from another paper could pop up at any moment.”Eric Bishop, New York Times via Slate Push … Read More

You Can’t Live Your Life in the Nooks and Crannies.

space

If you don’t make time for creative work, you won’t have time for creative work. There’s always that lingering temptation to wait—to wait until you’re feeling more inspired, to wait until you’ve had the perfect serving of coffee, to wait until you’re less busy. But you’ll be waiting forever. And, if that day or time ever did come, I’m confident … Read More

On Titles: What You Do Is What You Are

titles

The only thing I wanted for my twelfth birthday was a Sony Handycam. And my parents—ever generous and supportive of my creative passions—came through. This was, admittedly, a large and expensive ask. But in the days before bargain digital cameras and ever-present iPhones, this camcorder was the most affordable device with which I could make home movies. Although these weren’t … Read More

Do You Have the Patience for Long Things?

patience

My fiancé is threatening to burn my books. Well, not all of them. At least, not yet. Just the one I’m reading right now—Tocqueville’s 880-page Democracy in America. I complain about how long it is pretty much every night. Some of that whining is just to (lovingly!) push her buttons. But some of it is truly felt; it’s discouraging to … Read More

What To Write About When You Don’t Have Any Idea What to Write About

discovery

On Saturday, I finished the essay for this week’s email. It was ready to go. But you’re not reading it right now. This morning, I panicked. I couldn’t send it. In that email, I was going to commit to a new writing project, but I realized that there is another major project I haven’t finished. I should devote my time … Read More

80% of My Job is Throwing Good Ideas in the Garbage

throwing away good ideas

In 1986, Steve Jobs needed a logo. He’d just left Apple (this was before he’d return as CEO) to launch another computer company, NeXT. At the time, Jobs was talking to powerhouse designer Paul Rand (not to be confused with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul), “I asked him if he would come up with a few options, and he said, ‘No, … Read More

I Cheat at Improv

cheat

I’ve recently learned (and recently introduced my students to) a new improv concept—when you’re on stage, you can really only do one of two things: copy or complement.  Improvisers are naturally drawn to that latter function, complementing. If their scene partner initiates as a drunken, disgruntled pilot, they’ll respond as a young, bright-eyed trainee, intentionally playing up the contrast. It’s … Read More

What Have You Done in the Last Five Years?

five years

In 2012, President Obama had not yet been elected to a second term. The U.S. had just won the London Summer Olympics. No one knew Edward Snowden’s name. And I was still in college…well, technically, I was on a leave of absence from school interning full time at an advertising startup (that would go under a few months later). Back … Read More