There are secret spaces inside of any city.
In Brooklyn, the underground subway is noisy, chaotic, and dirty. I wear gloves to avoid germs, and I try not to touch anything if I can try. Loud advertisements are ripped and edited almost immediately after they are posted; teenagers often color in the eyeballs with red sharpies and write crude notes in thought bubbles over health care advertisements.
But underground, where the subways rush by, where papers fly up, it gets noisy for a few minutes. A few minutes of deafening noise, of a rushing train that’s not stopping, a time when any conversations pause, and people wait.
As I’m walking from one end of the subway platform to the other, the passing train makes me smile — because I begin to sing. I’m learning how to sing (I just had my second private lesson), and in the subway, I can practice, for just a few minutes, without anyone hearing me.
Sometimes I scream into the subway abyss, just because I can.
Last week, I got to talk with Rob Lawrence, who recently launched the Inspirational Creatives podcast, and he asked me questions in a way that I hadn’t heard before.
Every so often there’s a question, an interviewer, a person that noodles further into my brain. Gets me thinking, talking, curious. As a writer, it’s challenging to express myself in speech in the same way that I’m accustomed to on paper; I get nervous, at times, that I won’t say it quite right. That I won’t get to dig into the deeper ideas.
Yet this one went deeper on several subjects. In this episode, I talk to Rob about the ideas of loneliness and being alone, and how they relate to the craft and the business of creativity.
How do you stay healthy in a world that’s pressing us to be hyper-connected?
I was lucky to chat about ideas that mean a lot to me — here are a few excerpts:
- The very act of being created means you are a creative being.
- We wrap ourselves up inside of our own worth, our own egos. There’s more than that.
- Writing is a way to get your brain on to a piece of paper and then move it through time or space, or both. Writing is the easiest and hardest thing to do. The more I write, the easier it is to write. Sometimes loneliness is a separation from self.
- Creating habits is the most useful thing I can do.
- There’s something delightful about changing contexts.
- There’s so much richness inside of your brain and your body and your mind and your soul, sometimes it’s just about sitting down and letting it out. Communication technology is essentially a way to get words, or your voice, across time and space.
Of all the interviews I’ve done, there are still two that stand out in my mind — this one and the one with Srini Rao for the Unmistakeable Creative. Something about what Rob and Srini have done with their story structure and teasing ideas out have, well, captured ideas in a way that I think they deserve to be captured.
I’m grateful to be able to share this with you. Listen to the full podcast here. Enjoy, and if you have time, check out some of his additional interviews on how to reduce overwhelm, or dealing with the competing pressures of doing social media, blogging, and business all at once.—
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