Whatever You Want to Be: Start Acting Like It


Whatever you want to be in life – novelist, filmmaker, artist, pastor, leader, whatever – there’s one piece of advice I’d give you:  Start acting like it.  Too many people spend years waiting for their opportunity, while successful people step out and do it now. Sure you may not have funding in place, school isn’t finished, you haven’t left your day job, or haven’t picked the right project. But I’ve discovered that

Here’s What’s Keeping You From Accomplishing Your Dream Project


Why aren’t you writing your book, creating your film, starting your business, launching your ministry, or otherwise making your big idea happen? Probably because of what writer Steven Pressfield calls “Resistance” – that urge to do anything other than sit down and do what you actually need to do. I’m working on my next book, and yet every morning I have an almost uncontrollable urge to do something – anything – else: check my email, re-arrange my closet, organize my desk, take a walk, or a million other things. The idea of “Resistance” is far more powerful than we think, and unless we

4 Secrets to Help You Manage Multiple Creative Projects


Writer’s block, boredom, hitting a wall – all are terms creative people use when they run out of ideas. One of the best ways to overcome those moments of terror is to work on multiple projects at once. In fact, multiple projects may be the best remedy for creative block. Plus, I’ve discovered that if you actually want to make a living with your creative profession, managing multiple projects becomes a necessity. But if you struggle with simultaneous creative efforts, here’s 4 keys that should help:

What We Could Learn From Film Director Christopher Nolan


Movie director Christopher Nolan is quickly becoming a legend in Hollywood. Although he’s directed a number of memorable films, you may know him best as the 44 year old director of a trio of “Batman” movies, which together grossed $2.5 billion at the global box office. As he releases his latest film, “Interstellar,” he’s as respected as anyone in Hollywood and studios pay him as much as they do top stars. For instance,

In Media Programming, Are Male or Female Narrators More Effective?


I get a lot of questions about using male versus female voices in media productions. Largely because there are some terrific female narrators out there, and yet most videos, commercials, news, and other media seem to be dominated by male voices. Does it matter? I’ve asked many direct response producers, because DR is a genre that needs results right away. That includes infomercials, fundraising programming, donor development media, and most of religious media. It’s a place where you can measure results quickly, and Direct Response writers and producers have always told me

Creativity Is About Connections


From time to time I write about creativity, and invariably it creates an energetic discussion. Are we born creative? Is it learned? Is it a gene? Maria Popova of Brain Pickings (one of my favorite sites) recently revealed in an interview what I think is a wonderful definition of creativity – both practical creativity and moral creativity. Take a look and let me know what you think:

You Are Not A Storyteller


This two minute interview with Austrian graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister is absolutely right on.  However I hesitated posting it because of the profanity.  But the subject is so good and so timely I decided to post it anyway.  If you’re fed up like me with all the people calling themselves “storytellers” out there, then this is for you.  He doesn’t mince words, and hence the profanity.  If you’re offended, don’t watch. But if you’re not, it’s well worth two minutes:

Great Art Doesn’t Tell – It Shows

The following are the remarks by Wall Street Journal drama critic and columnist Terry Teachout when he received the Bradley Prize in Washington, D.C..  When I read them, I immediately thought of writers, filmmakers, musicians, and artists who are driven by their faith.  All of us need to be reminded of what Terry says is the key to creating great art: 

The Problem With Surrounding Yourself With Smart People


I grew up in the South and spent my early years watching buddies hang out their entire lives. Usually these buddies were picked because they wouldn’t challenge each other, push each other, or inspire each other. You probably know some people like this. They’re buddies that do nothing but “hang out.” So I decided early on that I wanted to do the opposite – to surround myself with smarter, more talented, and more driven people than me.  And for most of my life, my friends have done some amazing things. They produce 

Would You Give 5 Hours a Day to Achieve Greatness?


One of my favorite books from last year was Mason Curry’s Daily Rituals: How Artists Work.  In the book he details the daily schedule of 161 artists, writers painters, thinkers, inventors, and all-around creative people. It features their quirks (Ben Franklin liked to be naked, Maya Angelou can only write in motels, and more). It’s a fascinating read, and will definitely impact your own daily creative schedule. While there’s a wealth of information in the book (I highly recommend it), here’s two critically important things I learned: