As an independent creative, I’ve really come to rely on my internet heroes for mentorship, inspiration and advice. And the beauty of twitter, podcasting and good old fashioned print media is that I have direct access to the insights of so many brilliant people.
I admire and trust these writers, speakers, actors, musicians and comics with reverence - they’ve been at it for years, they’ve built a loyal audience and they are consistently putting out good work. They are living the artist’s dream. They are intelligent, funny and wise.
And when they speak - I listen up.
Here are a few of my favorite interviews with creative people - about process, business, self-doubt and all the other inevitables of making art in the spotlight. I've pulled some of the top quotes to give you a flavor of what's to come.
Writer / Radio Producer Shares "How I Work"
“I am a noisy introvert. My sister Randi made up that phrase and it describes lots of people I know. Lots of writers seem to be introverts who love to now and then be on stage. Lots of radio people too. I covet large amounts of time alone, and I'm most comfortable and very happy when I'm alone, but obviously there's another side to me because true introverts don't end up with their own national radio shows.”
“I'd just say to aspiring journalists or writers—who I meet a lot of—do it now. Don't wait for permission to make something that's interesting or amusing to you. Just do it now. Don't wait. Find a story idea, start making it, give yourself a deadline, show it to people who'll give you notes to make it better. Don't wait till you're older, or in some better job than you have now. Don't wait for anything. Don't wait till some magical story idea drops into your lap. That's not where ideas come from. Go looking for an idea and it'll show up. Begin now. Be a fucking soldier about it and be tough.” MORE
Comedian Explains How to "Make It" In the Arts
“Who's in show business? I'll tell you who's in show business: who wants to be more than anyone else. The people that are like, I want to be in it, I'm going to be in it. Do I have the skill set? Do I have the talent? Do I have something to offer? We'll find out. Most of the people we see in the arts are there not because they have the most to offer, but because they want to be there the most.” MORE
Author Talks About Resistance, Ego and Creative Work
“When resistance rears its ugly head in all its various forms, it can defeat an amateur because an amateur isn’t really in it with both feet. An amateur isn’t really committed. But once we make the switch in our heads and tell ourselves, I’m a professional, everything changes. For instance, a professional shows up every day. A professional stays on the job every day. A professional plays hurt. A professional doesn’t accept any excuses for not doing the work.” MORE
And another good interview with Mr. Pressfield: Ask Me Anything
Musician on Branding, Creative Process and Honing the craft
“There's so much fear within the process of being creative. What are people going to think? . . . The best songs are written when you’re not thinking about anyone else, they just kind of flow through you. They come from something greater than the pen that’s in my hand. But the criticism and fear is there, the brain is active, it comes down to training the brain to be overridden by the heart when you’re writing a song. . . This is something that takes practice and maintenance.” MORE
Author Explores Magnetism vs. Charisma, Desire vs. Doing
“As soon as I think someone else could be doing this better than me, I’m out. Time to move on to something else.”
“This is my theory: every single thing you’re doing - this interview, the clothes you wear, the people you hang out with, the food you eat - is all about you wanting to feel good. So why don’t we get a little more specific about what wanting to feel good means, and you do whatever it takes to feel that way. And I think that’s when you become god.” MORE
Author on Self-doubt, Spirituality and Hard Work
“My creative process is to sit down at a desk five days a week, at the same time every day. I don’t wait for inspiration or believe in being inspired. I just write when it’s time to write. I’m never in the mood to write. I’d rather watch MSNBC or go for a hike, but I’m very strict with myself at the same time I’m very loving, like your best friend would be.”
“The ‘dark night of the soul’ is where almost everything profound in literary and spiritual wisdom comes from. The most important stuff doesn’t come from people in good moods; it comes from struggle. From being pressed really hard and from being way outside your comfort zone and forced to turn deeply within to something you may never have had the courage to try before - i.e. not trying one of your good ideas but instead surrendering the reins.”
“At the core of my creative soul is this belief that there is truth and that it will set us free. And that we have a debt of honor to give back what was so freely given to us, which is this truth and the exhilaration of art and the miracle that we have found in other people’s love and artistic expression.” MORE
TV Writer & Musician Discuss Suffering, Creativity and Ego
"The part of you that’s capable of feeling anything, and taking credit for anything, and enjoying anything - that’s the part of you that has to be gone - dead and gone - whenever you do anything of merit.” -Dan Harmon
“It’s my job to sit down and report everything that I’ve learned. Just pure hard work. . . it’s not fun necessarily but it does make me happy in a very deep way that other things can’t make me happy.” - Emil Amos MORE
So that's it! A month's worth of inspiration for ya. Which interviews have influenced you the most over the years?