Letters

[cs_content][cs_section bg_color=”hsl(44, 91%, 91%)” parallax=”false” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 0px 0px px;”][cs_row inner_container=”false” marginless_columns=”false” bg_color=”hsla(0, 0%, 0%, 0)” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ class=”cs-ta-left” style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-center” style=”max-width: 400px;margin-left: auto;margin-right: auto;line-height: 120%;”][/cs_text][cs_text style=”max-width: 400px;margin-left: auto;margin-right: auto;line-height: 120%;”]

Hi, I’m Ben—I help 9–5ers make time to make the things that inspire them.[/cs_text][cs_text style=”max-width: 400px;margin-left: auto;margin-right: auto;line-height: 120%;”]

Each week, I’d like to send you one email that will help you fight fear, stay motivated, and build creative habits that stick.[/cs_text][x_subscribe form=”3002″][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ class=”cs-ta-center” style=”padding: 0px;”][x_icon type=”chevron-circle-down” icon_color=”” bg_color=”” icon_size=”25px” bg_size=”100px” bg_border_radius=”” style=”text-align: center;”][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 30px 0px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px 0px 30px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h2″ looks_like=”h3″ accent=”false” class=”cs-ta-center” style=”margin: 0px;”]New This Week[/x_custom_headline][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_element_headline _id=”33″][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text _order=”0″ style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]Putting your problems on paper can can lead to a kind of magic where your subconscious and fingers do an end run around your conscious mind to make great ideas appear out of nowhere.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 30px 0px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px 0px 30px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h2″ looks_like=”h3″ accent=”false” class=”cs-ta-center” style=”margin: 0px;”]The Archive[/x_custom_headline][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_element_headline _id=”52″][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]This year, I am going to share more so I can help more people, find more inspiration inside and outside my own work, and complete more projects.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_element_headline _id=”61″][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]In 2016, I randomly discovered how tarot could be an amazing tool for storytelling and creative motivation. Find clarity of your own with a tarot reading this year.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_element_headline _id=”70″][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]Garbage in, garbage out. In the creative process, inputs beget outputs. Here is my best of 2017 list so you can put the good in and get the good out.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_element_headline _id=”79″][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]There are still 28 days left in the year. That’s plenty of time to try one of these challenges and build a creative habit just in time for 2018.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_element_headline _id=”88″][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]Half of all creative advice is just to get rid of distraction and throw your phone away. But what if you can’t? Here’s how to disconnect—for realists.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_element_headline _id=”97″][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]Anything worth doing is worth creating time and space for. That goes for relationships, reading, and especially, the creative work that inspires you.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_element_headline _id=”106″][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]The noun is the dream; the verb, reality. If you won’t invest time in the verb, put the noun in the dictionary, not as a title on your business card.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_element_headline _id=”115″][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]It takes time to master a skill, fall in love, or get to the top of corporate ladder. You need strategy. You need purpose. And you need patience.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_element_headline _id=”124″][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]A lot of folks think you need to know what to write before you sit down. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Writing is a process of discovery.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_element_headline _id=”133″][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]When you work with ideas, chances are you won’t be able to make them all happen. Sometimes you just have to throw them out. But that’s ok—ideas are free.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_element_headline _id=”142″][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text _order=”0″ style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]When you’re improvising, you only have two options in any scene, to copy or to complement. I cheat by choosing the former.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text _order=”0″ class=”cs-ta-right”]

10.09.17 // What Have You Done in the Last Five Years

[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text _order=”0″ style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]And what are you doing today to set yourself up for success in 2022?[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-right”]

10.02.17 // How To Resist Temptation and Get It All Done

[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]Sometimes willpower isn’t enough to get you through a tough task. That’s why I rely on a concept called temptation bundling to power through tough times.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-right”]

09.25.17 // If You Can’t Embrace Uncertainty, Manage It

[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]Uncertainty is part of life. And while accepting uncertainty can be difficult, there are several ways I’ve found to manage it.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-right”]

09.18.17 // I Got Engaged. Here’s How My Future-Wife Subtly Changed My Life

[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]What my engagement has taught me about the importance of a supportive partnership, making friends, and not overthinking things.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-right”]

09.11.17 // Why You Should Think of Your Schedule in Batches, Not Blocks

[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]If you’re a maker, then you need to get off the manager schedule.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-right”]

09.04.17 // Why Too Much of a Good Thing is No Good

[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]Make sure you audience wants more before you give it to them.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-right”]

08.28.17 // How to Be Authentic in Everything You Do

[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]Why being yourself is the best way to sell your writing, improv classes, products, and even yourself.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-right”]

08.21.17 // On Brevity

[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]If you want five minutes of someone else’s time, you’ve gotta spend five times that making sure your message is as brief and and clear as possible.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-right”]

08.14.17 // On Puzzles

[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]Although the blank page scares people away, starting a new writing project is, ironically, the easiest part. Like a puzzle, you know exactly what you’re setting out to make.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-right”]

08.07.17 // On Cake

[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]When you started blogging it felt fun and freeing. But over time, it became a burden. If this sounds familiar, it might be because you stopped eating cake.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-right”]

07.24.17 // Do You Want to Quit? Follow this Flowchart First

[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]How do you know when it’s time to quit a project that you’ve poured your time, energy, and maybe money into? Follow this flowchart to find out.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-right”]

07.10.17 // HOW TO START A NEW PROJECT, PROMOTE YOURSELF AUTHENTICALLY, AND MAKE TIME FOR YOUR CREATIVITY

[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]Two weeks ago I asked you to ask me a question or let me know what you needed help with. Here are a few of your questions and what you should do next to keep kicking butt.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-right”]

06.26.17 // WE CHANGE EVERY SIX MONTHS. SO HOW CAN I HELP THIS CREATIVE CYCLE?

[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]Sometimes, I think constant shifts and changes in tone and substance mean I’m a terrible, no good, very bad writer. But I am coming round to the fact that maybe that’s just not me. And that that’s OK. Maybe we’re supposed to change every six months?[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-right”]

06.12.17 // YOUR OLD WRITING IS AN EMBARRASSMENT

[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]With time and experience, yesterday’s work will always pale in comparison to what we can achieve today. And, paradoxically, it can be a positive reminder that you’re growing, that now, you’re capable of more.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-right”]

05.29.17 // Quitters Never Win. But That Sure as Hell Hasn’t Stopped Me.

[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]If you’re too busy for something today, then you’re going to be too busy for it next week. Busy has become the catch-all on which we hang our hopes and dreams.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-right”]

05.15.17 // Why Do You Always Want More?

[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]What this one crazy AI thought experiment about paperclips can teach us about the danger of never stopping to ask “why do I want more?”[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-right”]

05.01.17 // How to Get an F in Podcasting

[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]Confession: I’ve spent the last two years fantasizing about my future Best-of-iTunes-podcasting-career. I never did anything to move towards that goal…until now.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-right”]

04.17.17 // WHAT PUBLIC HEALTH CAN TEACH US ABOUT CYBER-SECURITY

[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]In the early 2000s, it was still strange to type your personal information into an online form. But when it comes to cyber-security have we swung too far the other way?[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-right”]

04.03.17 // Why The Press Will Never Be Free

[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]The People share the common goals of freedom and upholding the democratic system. The Press shares those same goals, but each individual organization also has a more selfish goal—that of breaking news so they can make money for their outlet. These two overarching objectives stand at odds.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-right”]

03.20.17 // The American Divide Is Not New and It’s Not Accidental

[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]This is not a story about the 2016 Presidential Election. It’s not a story about coastal elites and pious countryfolk. At least, not directly. It’s a story about division. A story about divisions we all take for granted, that we assume are “natural,” when in fact that couldn’t be farther from the truth.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-right”]

03.06.17 // I DESPERATELY WANT TO GET BACK TO FRIVOLOUS READING. D.C. WON’T LET ME

[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]When we’re happy with the present (or merely bored), we look forward to the future. When the present is dark, we turn to the past. In the good times, we imagine the bounty that lies ahead. In the bad, we turn backward, searching for clues.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-right”]

02.06.17 // ON SHAME, SELF-REFLECTION, AND Taking a Break from Blogging

[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]The minute I hit “publish” on Monday morning, I am already falling behind on the following week’s essay. This aggressive publishing schedule biases my writing towards articles that are easy rather than those that are interesting.
[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-right”]

01.23.17 // Journalists, to Survive, You Need to Understand “Trust“

[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]Why you need to quickly learn what bloggers figured out years ago.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-right”]

01.16.17 // Cure Information Overload By Being Intentionally Inefficient

[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]Our challenge, in 2017, is finding the right balance between refreshing open loops and doing literally anything else. But the problem we all face is that the creators of those open loops don’t want us to log off. They want to grab our attention for as long as they possibly can — because that’s how they make money.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-right”]

01.09.17 // Why You May Never Finish Anything Ever Again

[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]Absent global nuclear winter and the destruction of the Internet, we will march ceaselessly towards the world of open loops, of flows, of verbs, of becoming rather than being. But that also means we’re entering a world that is constantly threatening to outpace us. We’ll have to sprint simply to stay in place.
[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-right”]

01.02.17 // Stake Out Your Lighthouse

[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]I choose a single word that will serve as my guiding light for the year ahead. No matter how choppy the waters of 2017 get, this word will be my lighthouse — a shining beacon, guiding my decisions and steering me to safety.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 50px 0px 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-right”]

12.19.16 // Is Democracy Worth Saving?

[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text style=”max-width: 600px;line-height: 150%;”]From a U.S.-centric perspective, my life has been marked by increasing political partisanship. I was not old enough to understand the Clinton presidency, I watched the Supreme Court determine the 2000 election and put a popular-vote loser into office. I voted for Obama, only to see congressional republicans obstruct his agenda at every turn. And now…Trump.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 10px 0px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]

12/12/16:
The Best of 2016: Books

I look back on my favorite things from the past year and give a few recommendations on how to spend that holiday cash burning a hole in your pocket. This week, books![/cs_text][cs_text]

12/05/16:
Read the Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements are vastly under appreciated. The secret is that they contain a wealth of information for writers looking to improve their craft, that should not just be read, but studied.[/cs_text][cs_text]

11/28/16:
Why We Need Gatekeepers

Most of us are busy, we cannot spend (or do not want to spend) as much time as a professional gatekeeper finding, cultivating, and sharing new works. As hard as it is to make something new, it’s equally hard to separate wheat from chaff.[/cs_text][cs_text]

11/21/16:
Haven’t You Read This Before?

Facebook did blind the left to Trump’s popularity, but it’s moronic to claim that this was somehow Facebook’s fault. It is wholly our own. We overfitted ourselves. We liked what we saw, so we never took the time to step outside our own personal utopia.[/cs_text][cs_text]

11/14/16:
Where We Go From Here Is Up To Us

There’s one topic on my mind. It’s the same topic that’s on everyone’s mind. And I don’t really want to write about it. But it’s Monday — I have to write something. For my own sanity. To prove to myself, and to everyone else, that the world keeps spinning.[/cs_text][cs_text]

11/07/16:
I Am Very Scared…

With time and distance, we convinced ourselves that things were getting better. That we’d been making steady progress toward the liberal ideals of true freedom and equality for all. That we were all on board. Now, that conviction has been dispelled as the illusion it’s always been.[/cs_text][cs_text]

10/31/16:
Showing Up Is the Key to Success

Last week, I went to a concert. There’s nothing odd about that. A lot of people go to concerts in a given week. What was strange, though, is the headliner didn’t show up.[/cs_text][cs_text]

10/24/16:
How to See The Future

Superforcasters make use of that data by finding patterns, telling a story and making an educated guess on where we might end up. In our personal lives and our creative lives, we must do the same.[/cs_text][cs_text]

10/17/16:
Magic Always Beats Marketing

It doesn’t take a fancy sales funnel, a weekly email, content upgrades, and product validation to be profitable online. Those things might help, but they’re no substitute for “The Magic” — the passion and love for an idea that drives you to stay up all night working on it, that fuels you even when you’re down or when things aren’t going well.[/cs_text][cs_text]

10/10/16:
Automation Is Making Us Dumber…And That’s a Good Thing

“Skill fade” is real. Automation is making us dumber. But it’s only bad if you want to see it that way — if you want to focus on the extreme short term.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 10px 0px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]

10/03/16:
How to Write Like a Graphic Designer

[/cs_text][cs_text]Writers have no way to pack that immediate feeling of awe and beauty into a single second the way a visual artist can. I guess that’s why they say a picture is worth 1000 words.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 10px 0px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]

09/26/16:
How Donald Trump Saved Me From my Facebook Addiction

I’d always said that a social media detox “wasn’t for me.” That it probably was beneficial for some, but I personally couldn’t. I needed Facebook to promote my writing, to communicate with my improv teams, to post funny statues, to see event invites, to stay abreast of current events. Or did I?[/cs_text][cs_text]

09/19/16:
Well…This is Awkward

This week, I’m going to break with my usual format and share an interview I just did with Express (the clothing store) about St. Louis, improv comedy, and my writing. [/cs_text][cs_text]

09/12/16:
Why I Love Commercials and How to Make Them

Wouldn’t it be nice if brands treated every commercial they aired with that level of care? Wouldn’t it be better for everyone if, rather than an interruption, commercials could be a source of art and entertainment in their own right?[/cs_text][cs_text]

09/04/16:
Should Creatives Go On Vacation

Vacation is the absence of routine. To fully embrace its restorative power, you have to stop thinking about your creative work. Otherwise, what kind of vacation is it? You’ll either spend the whole thing working — carrying out your routine in a new setting — or not working (and stressing about what’s not getting done).[/cs_text][cs_text]

08/29/16:
Maybe the Problem is How You Define Revenue

Make stuff that matters and put it out there — hell, charge for it if you want. But next time you look at your balance sheet and find that you’re coming up short, rather than chalking your work up as a failure, maybe try rethinking “revenue” instead.[/cs_text][cs_text]

08/22/16:
This is Why No One Will Pay for Your Writing

Clickbait exists because the system rewards eyeballs, not reads, listens, or watches. And despite the fact that not a single person likes clickbait, we keep clicking. We keep getting seduced by the idea that a single blog post will have the silver bullet that will get us exactly what we want.[/cs_text][cs_text]

08/15/16:
The Tools I Can’t Create Without, A–Z

Since I’ve been writing this blog for over two years, I thought it might be interesting to reflect on my creative process and some of the tools I take for granted (in a fun A-Z format). Hopefully I can recommend one or two that will help you make more cool stuff.[/cs_text][cs_text]

08/08/16:
Stop Reading

Reading for reading’s sake is no better than turning on Netflix and letting the queue take you for a ride.[/cs_text][cs_text]

08/01/16:
Is Every Improv Scene Salvageable

After thinking about this question all week, I’ve come to the conclusion that the answer is irrelevant. It doesn’t matter. It’s a red herring.[/cs_text][cs_text]

07/25/16:
So You Want to Be a Copywriter?

My first piece of advice — do not, under any circumstances, try to do what I did. I was an accident.[/cs_text][cs_text]

07/18/16:
Want To Be a Better Writer? Give Your Writing a Chance to Evolve

Rather than share another “writing process” article, I thought I might attempt to advance the conversation by helping you with the actual craft.[/cs_text][cs_text]

07/11/16:
If You Had One Shot

Practice doesn’t make perfect. Performance does.[/cs_text][cs_text]

07/03/16:
The Step-By-Step Breakdown to Create (and then Destroy) Your Very Own Podcast

Failure is a feature of the creative process, not a bug. But that doesn’t make failure any easier to swallow.[/cs_text][cs_text]

06/27/16:
Am I Boring You Yet?

Focusing on any of these specific “tactics” misses the point — consistency is about setting expectations and then meeting (or going beyond) those expectations over and over. It has nothing to do with form and everything to do with the promise you make to your fans.[/cs_text][cs_text]

06/20/16:
It’s So Hard to Sell Out

As much as I wanted to stop doing those things, I couldn’t. Because stopping would mean that I’d have to give up on selling out. And selling out, according to every writer ever on the Internet, was supposed to be easy.[/cs_text][cs_text]

06/13/16:
1>100, A Math Primer for Creatives

The farther away I get from Calc 2 class, and the deeper I get into my creative career, the more I realize the math I learned, the math I was good at, isn’t useful. It’s not useful because I’ve had to master a new kind of math — one that’s diametrically opposed to what they taught me in school.[/cs_text][cs_text]

06/06/16:
A Crash Course in Getting Off Your Butt and Finally Starting that Blog

You have to create a system that forces inspiration and motivation to happen.[/cs_text][cs_text]

04/04/16:
The Dark Side of Creativity

[/cs_text][cs_text]When you start something new, your brain is flooded with dopamine (the feel good hormone released during sex), but as time passes, the chemicals wear off. Ultimately, there’s nothing but sheer willpower to push the project forward, and often, that’s not enough.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 10px 0px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]

02/27/16:
9 Secrets to Read More Books and Get More Out of Them

[/cs_text][cs_text]Make reading a priority — it’s the best, most tangible, most lasting way to expand your knowledge.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]

02/22/16:
The Step-By-Step Guide to Getting Famous on Social Media

[/cs_text][cs_text]The sad truth is that mantras like “content is king,” “if you build it they will come,” and “you have to build a product first and audience second” are hollow. Building a large social media following requires a lot of hard work in addition to the hard work of creating valuable content (which I’m sure you’re already doing).[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 10px 0px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]

02/15/16:
How to Write Like a Professional

[/cs_text][cs_text]You have to stop worrying about quality and trust that, if you put in the hard work, quality will ultimately take care of itself. You have to trust that the process will guide you along the way, that you’ll make it home safely as long as you keep moving forward.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][/cs_content]