Have you ever experienced one of those strange journeys in life? The kind where you start at point A and end up at point Q? (This podcast is one of those journeys for me!) Today’s interview is with Blaine Hogan. Blaine started out as an actor, but as he began to really make it, a series of panic attacks derailed his career and brought his life to a halt. He is now the Creative Director at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago and the founder of the course Make Better. I first ran across Blaine years ago in an episode of one of my favorite shows, Prison Break. Listen to his story in the podcast to see how he came from there to creating a course like Make Better. Truly inspiring stuff!
Listen to Create If Writing – Episode 002
At a Glance
- I loved Blaine’s understanding of art as a spiritual experience: “The lights would go down and someone tells you the most true thing they know.” Do YOU think of art as spiritual in some way?
- Have you ever unraveled in the best possible way, as Blaine says he did?
- Has your life ever taken you on one of those surprise journeys? Were you pleased with the destination & the journey itself?
- “Disorganization is not a badge of honor for creative professionals.” What I took from this is that we often need great discipline and organization to create, especially in the middle of busy lives.
- Do you feel like you need validation (self-validation or validation from others) to let yourself write or create?
- Has being an adult stifled or killed your creativity? In what ways do we encourage creativity in children but discourage it in adults?
- Blaine mentioned the discipline of being AWARE, and giving yourself credit that what seems like a small though over breakfast might be important. Write it down. Put it on the computer. File it away. Write every day.
- “Never stare at the blank page.” Do you have hope or guilt with the blank page?
- Are you a good starter or finisher? (Or maybe a good middler?)
- Do you struggle with a sense of artist guilt if you miss a day or don’t accomplish your goal?
- If you have kids, how do you balance having kids & creating art?
- “I am not my work.” <- Do you find that as freeing as I do??
- I loved his idea of not creating a singular project, but our life as a portfolio. How do you think mindset might change creative work?
- Do you think you could make it through a silent retreat???
My Big Takeaway
THERE WERE SO MANY. I love thinking of the idea of a portfolio rather than projects. I have so many projects and sometimes I think they are all in their separate boxes, unrelated. Thinking of my whole life as a portfolio gave me a sense of hope and also the freedom to HAVE so many random projects. I also have even more of a sense of validation for art just by talking to other artists. I hope listening gave YOU the same sense of validation! As far as a practical takeaway, I love the idea of keeping something handy to write down those thoughts through the day. I’ve been keeping a small notebook in my purse for the past few months and have found that I write things in it all the time. Sometimes to-do lists and sometimes fragments of a poem or story.
What I Want to Know from YOU
I’m nosy. I want to know all of these things in the comments and I want to know them NOW.
-Do you feel like you have lost some sense of creativity as an adult?
-Have you had to overcome something (whether that’s fear or a traumatic event or criticism or something different) to continue following your passion?
-What inspired you most from this conversation with Blaine?
-Do you have a way of collecting your random daily thoughts?