The Creative Shift Podcast with Dan Blank

The Creative Shift with Dan BlankIn The Creative Shift with Dan Blank, I interview writers and artists who have doubled-down on their creative vision. I delve deep into how they moved from merely dabbling with ideas to becoming a doer — someone who creates, finishes, and shares their work.

My questions tend to focus on the aspects of managing one’s career that are hidden: how we make decisions, deal with anxiety, the habits and routines that matter, and the reality of what it looks like to be a full-time creative professional.

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Take the Creative Risk
Today I want to remind you of something incredibly important: you get to choose. You get to choose if and how you create. You get to choose if and how you publish. You get to choose if and how you share. I want to share two stories of people taking a bold creative risk, and why these risks are so important. One story is from Dawn Downey (who you can find at, and the other is from the 1985 Live Aid concert.

Feeling stuck? Define your values.
Recently, I was speaking with a writer who described feeling stuck. They were in a rut, believing in the work they do, but just demotivated on a day-to-day basis. This conversation resonated with me for many reasons. If you are a writer or creator who sometimes wonders if you are in burnout, if you are in a rut, if you need a radical pivot, or how to chart the path forward, then please listen to today’s episode. I will share a simple but deep exercise for how I have tried to navigate these questions myself, and with many writers I’ve worked with over the years. It’s this: define your values.

Art lasts…
Today I want to talk about why we create and share. This is something I meditate on all the time, and it is why I work with writers. This week in particular I’ve been thinking about it a lot because I heard of the death of one of my favorite musicians. As I considered his legacy, I was reminded of something: Art lasts. By “art,” I mean anything we create: your writing, your illustrations, your music, your sculpture, your performance, anything creative. After we are gone, art lasts. When we leave the room, art lasts. When someone finishes your book, art lasts.

Will 10,000 followers get you a book deal?
I have heard versions of this from many writers over the years: “An agent told me that if I had 10,000 followers, they would sign me.” Is that true? I don’t think so. Largely, I think this number is entirely made up. What agents and publishers may instead be seeking is a writer’s ability to illustrate that they can reach readers. And sometimes “followers” is simply a convenient metric to represent that. Today, I explore this topic in-depth.

Why take the risk of sharing?
If you are a writer, why bother sharing? Why spend your time and energy sharing on social media, starting a newsletter, or vying for attention at all? Sharing is a risk. Yet, I find that sharing what we create and why opens up the possibility for so many good things. I believe that sharing deeply matters. Not just for marketing what you create, but for filling your life with moments and experiences with inspiring people, and for ensuring your work has a meaningful impact in the lives of others.

A 6-Step Guide to Publishing a Bestselling Book
Today I want to share a step-by-step guide to publishing a bestselling book. There are just 6 steps, and I will be clear about each one. As a model for this guide, I am going to use one of all-time favorite stories of creative success. Please bear with me here… I want to use the story of Meat Loaf’s 1977 album “Bat Out of Hell” as a guide. Why? Because this story is one of my all-time favorite stories of a creator who persisted through rejection to find massive success on their own terms.

How Writers, Artists, and Creators Can Thrive in an AI World
The more I see of it, the more I am understanding how AI (artificial intelligence) will change the fields of writing, art, and all creative fields in a profound way. Today I’ll share examples of what I’ve been seeing, but my first goal today is to make this episode useful to you. If you are a writer or creator who already felt that it was difficult to thrive with your creative work, I want to share specific ways that I feel you can find success and connection with your audience, even as AI reshapes your field. Let’s dig into 8 steps to do so.

How you share is a craft
If you are reading this, chances are you are a writer, illustrator, artist, or creator of some sort. You have embraced your creative craft, and work to develop it year after year. I’ve always considered how we share to be a craft as well. How we show up. How we listen. How we connect. How we engage. How we celebrate others. How we communicate what drives us. How these things blend together to form aspects of our identity.

Why I moved my newsletter of 18 years to Substack
I’ve sent a weekly email newsletter for 18 years. Recently, I moved it to Substack. In today’s episode I want to share the story of my newsletter, and why I am finding Substack to be interesting for writers.

Handcrafted vs AI writing and art
Last episode I talked about the potential impact that artificial intelligence will have on writing, art, and creative work. Today, I want to focus on the opposite: the value of handcrafted creative work (writing, art, etc.), that by their nature are limited edition and deeply personal. What I will cover today: 1.) Why one writer and artist is investing in handcrafted work (this is a super inspiring story) 2.) How handcrafted is a power you have that is very accessible to you (if you dare) 3.) Handcrafted vs AI (who will win?! Sentient robots or funky writers and artists? Listen on to find out!)

How AI may change writing and creating
Maybe you may have seen a lot of headlines recently about artificial intelligence (AI) writing or art. Recently, I’ve seen things with both that are giving me pause. Today I want to share three things: 1.) Why artificial intelligence in creative work is compelling. 2.) Why AI is likely to create a crisis in creative fields, and how it may affect you. 3.) How to consider ways to thrive as a creator as these changes happen. If you are feeling you don’t understand or care for AI, I want to encourage you to listen to this podcast anyway.

Case study: Book sales, audience growth, and earnings from an email newsletter
Today I want to share details on how one writer I’m working with is selling more books, getting rapid growth in her audience, and increasing the revenue she earns from her writing. Melinda Wenner Moyer is a science journalist and author of the book How to Raise Kids Who Aren’t Assholes. She and I began working together more than two years ago, first preparing for the launch of her book. So often, writers consider that opportunities around their book happen only at launch, but what I’m going to share below illustrates that this is just the beginning. Your book can have an amazing life and impact well after launch.

Simple Ways to Connect with Others
In the work I do in helping writers connect with readers and grow their platforms, I find that there is often this pressure to “go viral.” To identify a tactic that reaches the most people with the minimum effort. And sure, that’s definitely useful. But that can also be elusive. Today I want to talk about simple ways to engage those who you hope to connect with: readers, writers, booksellers, podcasters, librarians, teachers, literary festival organizers, and so many others.

Doing stuff works
Every week, my friend Jennie Nash and I have a mini-mastermind call. On it, we discuss business challenges, creative goals, new ideas, and so much else. Today, I want to share two of the biggest and most consistent insights we have had, and how they relate to how you can approach sharing your work and developing your platform as a writer. The main phrase Jennie and I come back to again and again is this: “We don’t know what works, but doing stuff works.” Today, I talk about why that is, and how you can use it.

Find your readers with intention
I want to encourage you to do is be intentional about connecting with potential readers. No, I am not saying that you have to embrace networking. Instead, consider how you can regularly create moments and experiences around the kind of books or themes that inspire you. Joy should be infused in the process.

Are newsletters, podcasts, and social media too crowded?
It’s common for me to read a headline or social media post from someone who shares a story or statistics that illustrate that a specific channel is “too crowded” and not worth pursuing. That may include email newsletters, podcasts, social media, or Zoom events. Yet if you are someone who writes or creates, without these channels, how will your work reach people? Today I want to explore that question and offer my advice.

You are not a brand
Recently I have seen people begin using the word “brand” a lot more. The context being that you have to “define your author brand” or “establish yourself as a brand” if you want to get the attention of readers. But you are not a brand. You are a person. Who you are and what you create is multifaceted. It will evolve and grow. At times, it may even seem like two opposite things at once. And that is okay. Today I want to talk about why I think that is, and what I do feel is important in establishing your work in a manner that truly speaks to your ideal reader or audience.

What is the value of having social media followers?
In recent episodes of this podcast, I’ve encouraged you to stop thinking about social media as being just about growing how many followers you have. But today I want to talk about the opposite: why having followers on social media can matter to your goals as a writer. The context I’m talking about here is why could it possibly matter that you have 100, or 1,000, or 10,000 followers on a specific social media channel? What is the actual value in doing so, beyond just “big numbers are impressive?”

Dan BlankHonor your connection to readers
I have seen so much discussion recently about social media and email newsletters. Today, I want to encourage something critical: Focus on your goals as a writer and the experiences you want to have with readers. I worry that focusing too much on what each social network provides (the trends, the algorithms, etc.), has us ignoring our own creative vision. And in the process, ignoring the moments that truly matter in living your life as someone who writes, who reads, and who is in conversation with others who write and read.

Dan BlankTypewriters, and social media
I am often in conversation with writers and creators about their mixed feelings about social media, or their downright dislike of it. In some ways, it feels like we are at a crossroads with social media. Relying on it for some important things, constantly distracted by it, and repulsed by it for different reasons. Today, I want to talk about social media as a tool, and how you can consider if and how you use it.

Dan BlankWhy your book isn’t getting reviews
Many writers I speak with are surprised at how difficult it can be to get reviews for their books — even from friends, family, or colleagues. Today I want to talk about some reasons why that might be, and I’ll share advice on how you can get more reviews.

Dan BlankDo your friends & family support your writing goals?
I was speaking with a writer recently who shared a question someone asked them. You see, this writer is embarking on a new phase of her life where she wants to write fiction and creative nonfiction. Her friend asked: “If you were going to do something with your writing, wouldn’t you have done it already?” Of course, this kind of question can be deflating for a writer or creator. Today I want to explore why those close to you may not support your creative goals, and how I would respond to that question.

Dan BlankA Window or a Gateway
I recently rewatched the 1954 Alfred Hitchcock movie, Rear Window. I can’t help but feel as though it is a lens into the challenges that writers face in navigating social media. Today I want to talk about how the movie is a metaphor for these challenges.


Dan BlankWhat does “just be authentic” on social media mean?
As a writer or creator, I’m sure you have read that you should connect directly with your potential readers on social media, a newsletter, and elsewhere online. And when you ask “Um, what exactly do I share? How — specifically — do I do this?” You may have heard the advice of: “Just be authentic!” But that isn’t as easy as it sounds. So today I want to talk about what it means to share your work, how “authenticity” works, when it becomes ridiculously complicated, and how you can approach all of this as a craft that feels safe and meaningful.

Great marketing is giving people something they WANT to share
There are many writers and creators who think that marketing is the act of getting in someone’s way. Of tricking someone to subscribe to a newsletter by giving them a freebie; using a hashtag to game the social media algorithm to share your work; or posting a random meme to social media to get any kind of attention for your book. But the opposite is what is true. Great marketing is giving people something that they want to be a part of, and that they want to share with others.

Dan BlankWhy should writers worry about marketing at all?
Isn’t it enough just to create a great book or work of art? Why would a writer ever have to feel responsible for marketing their own book? Shouldn’t that be the job of the publisher? Let’s dig into this topic.


Dan BlankPrepare your author platform earlier than you think
Regardless of the publishing path you choose, I encourage you to prepare your author platform for sharing your writing or publishing a book way before you think you need it. Like, years before. Today I want to talk about why that is.


Dan BlankGenerosity should be your platform, part 2
Are a writer or creator who feels that you one day want your work to be read/seen? Or you worry you just don’t have the network — the access — to others who create, who engage your ideal readers, and to your ideal readers themselves? Then I want to tell you about this truly incredible resource you have. It’s a power that I find many people (myself included) under-utilize. It’s this: Be generous. I know this sounds vague and trite, but today I want to talk about the value of generosity in growing your platform and career as a writer or creator.

Dan BlankAnxiety and Sharing
Today I want to talk about the anxiety we feel when we share. So much of the work that I do is to help writers feel a sense of purpose and strategy in sharing their books, their writing, and their mission. But there are often hidden emotions and psychology which stops us from sharing, delays us from sharing, and makes us feel bad about sharing. That’s not good. I believe sharing helps your writing and art change people’s lives for the better. So I want to address the anxiety head on, because anxiety tends to thrive in silence.

Dan BlankRejection is a normal part of the creative journey
Author Fleur Bradley shared this recently: “I would say I have at least 1,000 rejections, though I stopped counting long ago.” Today I want to talk about why rejection is a common part of the creative journey, and how that should empower you to choose your own path. I’ll also talk about the nature of compromise as it relates to our art!

Dan BlankCan an introvert get good at marketing?
Boundaries actually make better art, and help you get better at sharing what you create. We all have boundaries. We all have preferences that feel like they are rules set in stone. The one I run into most often is this: “I have a hard time sharing because I’m an introvert. Marketing just isn’t for me.” Today I want to discuss the value of embracing your creative boundaries.

Dan BlankThe marketing advice few writers want to hear
I’ve asked this question to writers many many times: “Would you prefer people you know buy your book, or strangers.” Their face lights up with unquestioning certainty: “STRANGERS!” But what I often find is that to build momentum in how your creative work is shared, it starts with those you already have a connection with. Today I want to explore why.

Dan BlankGenerosity should be your platform
Instead of just recommending a book here and there, instead of just doing a #FollowFriday on Twitter, instead of just linking to someone, what if you gushed about them? What if you celebrated them in a big way? What if you honored what they create? What if you took on the role of someone who shares with ridiculous generosity? Today I explore the power of generosity in your platform.

Dan BlankTo engage readers: be consistent & delight them
Today I want to discuss two strategies for effectively marketing your writing that may seem to conflict with each other. Yet, both are essential. Here they are: #1 Consistency Matters. #2 Delight and Surprise Your Audience.



Dan Blank4 Critical Steps to Growing Your Audience
Today I want to talk about how to reach your goals as a writer. That may be book sales, or book reviews, or appearances, or getting essays published, or developing a following, or so much else. I will cover four key areas from a marketing perspective:
1. Proximity Matters
2. Focus on Conversion
3. Understand The Marketing Funnel
4. Double Down

Corie Adjmi“I’m so happy to be writing, I feel like this is where I was meant to end up,” with Corie Adjmi
Growing up, Corie Adjmi was always experimenting with creativity, but grew up in a house full of athletes: “In the bookcase in my house, there were very few books, but a lot of trophies. But they always gave me the opportunity to take classes.” That support translated into a life of dance, art, and then… writing. In this conversation, Corie shares her journey to her life as an author. Plus, how she describes her ethos for her book launch: “This is fun! How can I be creative in showing people my book, and sharing what’s inside, and what kind of great conversations can we have? And it has been amazing, a really busy two years.”

Dan BlankCreate a Sharing System
Many writers and artists who consider how others will find their work look to the common channels: social media, email newsletters, and the like. But right away, they are confronted with challenges: “Um what do I share? And how often do I have to do that? And why will anyone care? And… shouldn’t I be just writing my next book instead of worrying about all this?” So today I want to talk about the value of developing a system for how you share. Does “system” sound icky? Like a thing that will trap you? It isn’t. It will set you and your creativity free.

Mary Laura Philpott“I don’t create great work if I’m trying to figure out what trends to follow.” My interview with Mary Laura Philpott
I’m so excited to welcome author Mary Laura Philpott onto the podcast. We discuss how she developed her career as a writer, transitioned from a traditional job office job to freelance work, and how she got her first big bylines in major publications. She tells the amazing story of how a sharing on social media lead to her first book deal, and how she got her agent. We also discuss her new book, Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives.

Dan BlankDefine Your Creative Voice
Have you struggled to develop the platform you want as a writer? I encourage you to hone the most powerful tool in your entire  presence as a writer: Defining your voice. Embracing your voice. Sharing your voice.


What Great Design Teaches Us About Building an Effective Author Platform
My friend Lori is renovating her home, and in the process designed this entire area for her cat’s litter box. The process was takes into account the needs of the cat and her family, the details were really intricate. I find this process fascinating, because it reminds me that the details matter. That to craft something special, it takes time and attention.
This episode explores some lessons that I feel great design teaches us about building an effective author platform.

Dan BlankHow You Share Is a Craft
Today I want to talk about how you share is a craft. Learning how to do so is akin to developing a new literacy. So many writers and creators consider “author platform” or social media as an overwhelming obligation. What if you flipped that perspective, and instead considered it an opportunity to create deeply meaningful connections between people and your creative work?

Meera Lee PatelFinding Joy in Sharing Your Writing
Today I want to share a case study of the work I did with author and artist Meera Lee Patel. She is the author of four books which have sold more than a million copies in total. She has more than 50,000 followers on Instagram, and a thriving career as an artist and writer. I share the process we went through to focus on shifting her creative identity, finding confidence in sharing her voice, creating authenticity in outreach, and having a clear plan for what she shares.

Dan BlankShare Like It Matters
I would like to ask for your help today. Can you share your reaction to the possible title of my next book. Here it is: Share Like It Matters. In today’s episode I share more about this title and what it represents in the book I’m working on. I’d love your feedback:

Dan BlankHow I Work With Writers
This is my 12th year of working full-time with writers and creators. Each day, I get to wake up and spend time with people who write because they choose to, create what speaks to their heart, and share what makes people’s lives better. Every day is a gift. Today, I want to talk about how I work with writers, and give you a behind the scenes look at the process.

Dan BlankAuthor Platform and Book Launch Essentials
Are you a writer who is trying to develop your author platform, or plan for a book launch? Well, today I want to talk about three essential tips I would encourage you to focus on. I also want to invite you to a special workshop that I am running on this topic.

Dan BlankFind Your Ideal Audience
So many writers and creators I speak with feel that if they could just find their audience, then the path forward would be obvious. Today I want to talk about a concept for how to find your ideal audience, and invite you to a work session next week where I answer your questions and show examples of the practice in action.

Dan BlankStart the Year with Creative Clarity
Want to reach your audience in 2022? Start with creative clarity. My Clarity Card method is simple exercise that has filled people’s lives with more time and energy to create, and the foundation to growing their platform and sharing their work. These 10 cards can change your life. Download the entire Clarity Card method for free right now, then join me Friday January 7th at 1pm ET for a work session where I answer your questions, provide feedback.

Dan BlankHealthy Creative Habits
Today I want to share 11 habits I have been working on, meant to improve not only my creative work, but my life in general. Many of these are daily habits, and I discuss not only how I’m pursuing each, but why they matter to me.

Dan BlankWhat Zibby Owens Can Teach Us About Establishing Your Platform
Zibby Owens has skyrocketed to becoming one of the biggest influencers in the book world in just a few years. How did she do it? What can we learn from her to establish our own platforms as writers and creators? Today, we dig into her story and specific lessons. This episode is a bit of a “reaction” to Zibby’s recent interview on the #amwriting podcast (episode #293), which I highly recommend you listen to.

Dan BlankDoes Social Media Sell Books?
There is an article that I have seen a lot of people share recently, where they talk about how Billie Eilish (97 million followers) “only” sold 64,000 copies of her book. The implication many readers walked away with: social media doesn’t sell books. Today, I unpack this conversation. It’s worth noting that social media itself is just a tool, it is not the entirety of one’s platform. I also share some compelling examples who are thriving by focusing on a smaller — but more engaged — audience.

Dan Blank23 Lessons from The Beatles on the Creative Process
I recently watched a 7+ hour documentary on The Beatles, and kept finding little lessons for writers and artists on the creative process and marketing. In this episode are 23 lessons that I think will address a lot of common challenges that people face when not only creating, but considering how to balance marketing into the mix.

Dan BlankWant to grow your platform? Do less.
I talk to a lot of writers and artists who want to grow their platform, effectively sharing what they create, and reaching their ideal audience in a meaningful way. Yet, they are overwhelmed with all they feel they have to do in order to market their work. But I have found that doing less can be more effective. Let’s explore why.

Dan BlankMy 5-part System for Conducting Marketplace Research
Today I want to share my 5-part system for how you can conduct marketplace research, learning how readers share and talk about books online. This framework can be applied to any kind of creative work. This is a critical process for understanding word-of-mouth marketing, which drives book sales. We will use TikTok as an example, though this methodology applies more broadly to channels such as Instagram, podcasts, and so on.

Dan BlankMy Process for Intentional Creative Growth
I spend the last few months of every year reassessing what I create, and how I can better serve writers and creators. Every single year, I go back to the well to reconnect with my deeper purpose for this work. My goal is to help people share their creative work in a meaningful way, one that leads to fulfillment and success. Today I talk about that process and ask for your help.

Dan Blank5 Powerful Lessons on How to Connect With Your Audience
I’ve been thinking a lot about what singer/songwriter Mike Mattison told me in our recent interview, about what it means to become a professional in your craft. Some of his advice can be challenging to those who go into the arts for the love of it. If you are a writer looking to get to the “next level” in your career, so much of what Mike shares may be useful. In this episode, I share five powerful lessons on how to connect with your audience.

Mike Mattison“You have to be fanatically in it.” Finding creative fulfillment with singer/songwriter Mike Mattison
I’m excited to share my conversation with singer/songwriter Mike Mattison. He dives deep into what it means to find fulfillment in what you create, as well as navigating the professional side of your work. He discusses balancing audience expectations with your own creative vision, and so much else. He has played with the Derek Trucks band and currently is a part of the Tedeschi Trucks Band, along with his solo work. He is the author of the new book: Poetic Song Verse: Blues-Based Popular Music and Poetry, with co-author Ernest Suarez. This interview is packed with incredible wisdom from Mike.

Dan BlankWhen Success as a Creator is Not an Accident
Today I reflect on how success in what we create and share can be dependent on the decisions we make. That it is our choice for where we put our attention, the creative risks we take, and how hard we work to create more and ensure that work connects with others. Of course, so much else goes into success, but today I reflect on what I heard when I recently spoke with author Jasmin Darznik on the previous episode of The Creative Shift.

Jasmin Darznik“I grew up with a sense that writing was dangerous.” My Interview with Author Jasmin Darznik
When I asked author Jasmin Darznik if she had a sense of permission to create when growing up, she replied: “Not at all. It’s not even that I didn’t feel permission, I felt prohibition.” In today’s interview, we dive deep into her journey, emigrating from Iran, how she gave herself permission to pursue writing, and how she found a supportive community along the way. It’s an incredible story, filled with details about how she launches her books and connects with readers today.

Dan BlankMarketing is About Connection
As you consider what it is to create and share your work, I encourage you to focus on the individuals who support what you do. The names, the faces, and connect with them in a manner that develops meaningful experiences, not just social media stats. In today’s episode I share some stories that illustrate this concept.

Janae MarksA Successful Debut Novel (After 3 Unpublished Books and 70+ Rejections) My Interview with Janae Marks
Last year Janae Marks had her first novel published to an incredible reception: 900+ reviews on Amazon, starred reviews, and selected as a must-read book by many organizations. In our interview, Janae shares the road to that book, which included writing three books that didn’t get published, and how she queried 70+ agents before getting her book deal. She shares so many inspiring lessons.

Dan BlankHow to Get People to Buy Your Book (Podcast)
I recently spoke with New York Times bestselling author Jessica Lahey, who shared what is essentially a masterclass on the topic of launching a book. In this episode, I reflect on some key areas that Jess shared in my most recent podcast with her. Themes I discuss on today’s episode: why books that continue to sell are books that the author continues to talk about; how generosity factors into developing your platform; why give away content; and how to think about building a team around a book launch.

Jessica Lahey“How do you get a book to continue to sell? You continue to talk about it.” My Interview with Jessica Lahey
In today’s episode, New York Times bestselling author Jessica Lahey takes us behind the scenes to how she promotes a book. She gets into the details about the hundreds of letters she sends out; the importance of gift-giving and thank you notes; why she hired a publicist; the surprising answer she gave to a “massive philanthropist” when he asked how he can support her work; and so much more! What permeates through every aspect of her methodology is generosity and the personal touch.

Dan BlankWould You Take This Creative Risk?
Would you take this risk? Let’s say you write you very first novel and get a book deal with a major publisher — it’s your dream come true. Then, you come up with an idea to self-publish a free prequel short story to that book, six months before the novel is released. Your publisher is nervous about the idea and pushes back. Would you proceed with publishing that prequel story? In today’s episode I share reflections on creativity and risk that are inspired by my conversation with Livia Blackburne.

Livia BlackburneFrom a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience to NYT Bestselling Author. The Creative Shift of Livia Blackburne
Livia Blackburne studied biochemical sciences at Harvard, and then went on to earn her PhD in cognitive neuroscience from MIT. What did she do next? She gave up that career to become a New York Times Bestselling author pursue writing full-time. In our interview, share shares her journey to becoming a writer, and the unusual marketing tactic she used just before the launch of her first novel.

Every Reader Counts
Writers and creators tend to feel pressure to get followers, subscribers, reviews, make bestseller lists, and win awards. In the process, this can reduce the concept of engaging with readers to a simple number. It’s not uncommon for me to hear someone say: “I only have 100 followers.” But I want to emphasize this: Every reader counts. If you want your career as a writer to grow, spend more time focused on the people who are engaging with you and what you create.

Nicole Blades“When the book came out, I left my job.” The Creative Shift of Author Nicole Blades
Moments like this are why this podcast exists: “When the book came out, I left my job, and went freelance. That was my last job-job.” Today, author Nicole Blades shares her initial inspiration to become a writer, how she navigated other careers until she found her path into writing, and how she got a book deal. She also takes us behind the scenes of her amazing social media videos.

Dan BlankThe Power of Clicking “Publish”
In studying how to effectively share what we create to develop an audience for our work, something I think a lot about is frequency. The act of creating and sharing often. This can be especially effective for a writer or artist who hopes to develop their platform, grow their audience, and ensure their work truly connects with people. Today I want to share the stories of a few writers and creators who are finding success by doubling-down on their craft.

Miranda Beverly-Whittemore“It’s the hardest book I’ve ever had to write. It stirred up a lot in me.” My Interview with Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
Today I’m excited to welcome back onto the podcast author Miranda Beverly-Whittemore. She gets really honest about how she navigated multiple book launches, changing editors and publishers, and what she considers when making a book deal. She also talks about her creative process and the road that lead to her latest novel: Fierce Little Thing.

Becoming who you are
So much of the work I do with writers and creators is to help understand how they can effectively share their creative work and their mission with the world. To those who will be moved by it. Helped by it. Feel less alone because of it. Today, I simply want to reflect on the journey between those things. How what we create and how we share helps us become who we are. I’ll share this through the stories of writers and performers I have been thinking about this week.

Yang Huang“I kept writing because publishing wasn’t my goal. Writing was my goal. I needed to get those stories out.” My Interview with author Yang Huang
The title of this podcast is The Creative Shift, and today I am excited to share the story of one author whose life has been filled with creative shifts! Yang Huang grew up in China, came to America and moved to four corners of the country as she trained to become a computer engineer at University of California, Berkeley. But then, she pursued her lifelong passion to become a writer. She has published two novels, a short story collection, as well as essays. Her journey is such an inspiring story.

“Who Will Take Care of You?”
Today I want to talk about the value of having collaborators and mentors as a part of how you create and share. This week I have been considering something I think is critical to how we find success as writers and artists: that we tend to thrive when we collaborate with others, and failure is more likely when we try to go it alone. What this means is that having colleagues and mentors is something I encourage in terms of how you create and share your writing and art.

Nikki Grimes“Reading and writing were my survival tools.” 80 Books Later, This is the Story of Nikki Grimes
When I asked Nikki Grimes if she had a sense of permission to create as a child, she replied, “It wasn’t a question of permission, I was compelled. I was in and out of foster care, yet there were things I needed to say.” Writing, poetry, and visual arts were her way of doing that. Nikki is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 80 books. In our conversation, we discuss the importance of surrounding yourself with like-minded creators, of finding your own creative path, dealing with rejection and compromise, and filling your life with creativity. It is an honor to have spoken with her, her wisdom is just awe inspiring.

Doubling Down: Welcome to the New Season of the Podcast
Welcome to a new season of The Creative Shift podcast. Today, I want to share what to expect this season, and how I’m doubling down on the podcast. This is a process of challenging myself to give more creative energy to the things that matter most, and consider how this podcast can be most useful to you, the listener.

How to Navigate a Creative Reset
Today I want to talk about the concept of a creative reset, and share advice on how to make incremental improvements to your work. I will frame this all in my own creative reset, which I last shared on this podcast in December. You can find out more about my work at and on Instagram and Twitter at @DanBlank.

Rebecca Green“I had to think, what kind of artist am I, and what do I want to be doing?” My interview with Rebecca Green
This is the third time I’ve interviewed artist and writer Rebecca Green, and each time we have tracked how she is transitioning her career to find more personal fulfillment in the creative process, as well as greater success. Today we talk about the risks she is taking in focusing more on certain kinds of artwork, the pros and cons of social media, why she loves her email newsletter, and the importance of an artistic community.

Angela Abreu“I had the supportive community, because I had been supporting them for all these years.” My interview with Angela Abreu
Angela Abreu is a writer, and founder of the Dominican Writers Association. She shares her own story of launching her poetry book, and how she turned it into a performance, selling 100 tickets with huge support from her network. She talked about the value of being a part of a literary community and how that forges the relationships you need to share your own work in a meaningful way. She also shares how she created the Dominican Writers Association and how that has grown to support so many writers.

Emma Gannon“I had so much creativity waiting to come out.” My Interview Emma Gannon
Emma Gannon is an author and host of the podcast Ctrl Alt Delete. She shares her journey to becoming a writer, and what it is like to switch to writing novels after a successful nonfiction career. Along the way, she was “rejected once a day” from magazines she submitted work to, only to find people loved her writing that she shared on her blog. She explains how that platform grew into an amazing career, and how she manages her time in order to write novels, nonfiction, host her podcast, and so much more!

Donna Hemans“I had to figure out how to make writing the central part of my life.” My Interview with Author Donna Hemans
Donna Hemans’ first two books were published nearly 20 years apart, and in our interview, she describes the difference in launching each. She also shares the journey between them, where she began two manuscripts that are still unpublished, only to find that her next idea was the one ready to be finished and shared with the world. We also discuss her getting her MFA, balancing a day job and writing, and why she now owns a co-working studio for writers. Her latest novel is Tea By the Sea.

Melissa Bernstein“I’ve created nearly 10,000 products, but creating this book was the most incredible experience of my life.” My Interview with Melissa Bernstein
Melissa Bernstein is the co-founder of Melissa & Doug, where she has designed nearly 10,000 toys and created a $500 million dollar company. In this conversation, we talk about the importance of failure in the creative process and what it means to live and create with authenticity. She also gets very honest about mental health and why her new book has been the most incredible creative experience of her life. The book is called: LifeLines: An Inspirational Journey from Profound Darkness to Radiant Light.

Skeme Richards“I would buy records with my lunch money.” My Interview with DJ Skeme Richards
Skeme Richards has not only found a way to grow his creativity and audience, but fill his life with what inspires him. As a DJ and collector, he has found a way to infuse everything part of his life with the art, culture, and people he appreciates most. We discuss why he chose to not make his creative passion his day job, how his work as a DJ grew globally over the years, and how he has embraced the web to fill his life with like-minded people and share his music in new ways.

KJ Dell'AntoniaBehind the Scenes of a New York Times Bestselling Book Launch, with KJ Dell’Antonia
Today I talk with KJ Dell’Antonia about the huge creative shift she made from writing nonfiction to fiction. We take a behind the scenes look at her book launch, which she and I began working together on it months before release. She shares specifics of what she did, and how her novel, The Chicken Sisters, came to be picked by Reese Witherspoon’s book club, become an Indie Next List pick, and land on the New York Times bestseller list.

Anthony TrucksFrom the NFL to Helping People Reach Their Full Potential, with Anthony Trucks
In today’s episode, Anthony Trucks takes us through his story of reaching the pinnacle of his dream — joining the NFL — only to having that dream crash down around him. But then, he found alignment: The clarity, the drive, the balance that so many of us desire. I loved this advice from Anthony in our chat; that to get what you want, “you have to go past logic.” You can find Anthony at His new book, Identity Shift: Upgrade How You Operate to Elevate Your Life comes out in August.

Amanda SternHow a Creative Community Fuels a Creative Life, with author Amanda Stern
Growing up in New York City’s Greenwich Village, Amanda Stern met Shel Silverstein when she was 12, lived on the same block and Bob Dylan, and described it as: “the whole village was like a stage, and everyone was in a show.” We explore her success as a writer with 9 children’s books, 2 young adult books, a novel, and a memoir, and the value of being a part of a creative community. She says: “Making connections and building community is one of the best ways to generate ideas and come up with new projects.”

Julian Winters“I Started Building Creative Muscle.” The Creative Shift of Author Julian Winters
Today I would like to share the story of how one writer found his path to create, publish, and share his novels. Everything about this journey is so inspiring to me. In this conversation with Julian Winters, we discuss finding permission to create, taking a huge risk to pursue your creative goals, managing mental health, how one person can radically change your career for the better, impostor’s syndrome, and the responsibility an author has to get people interested in their writing.

Perfection vs Progress
Last week I sent out my newsletter to thousands of people, and in the very first line was a typo. Today I want to talk about how this typo represents what so many writers and creators tell me they fear: making a simple mistake that will sink their career. This can cause them to resist creating, resist publishing, and resist sharing. I discuss how this relates to impostor’s syndrome, and how perfection limits our potential, and our progress.

Amber Coleman-Mortley“If there is a moment where you feel lost, find a new path that energizes and inspires you.” My interview with Amber Coleman-Mortley
Today I speak with Amber Coleman-Mortley who shares her wisdom on making a creative shift in your life. It includes “delusions of grandeur,” a “social contribution of making the world a better place,” and “needing to have a plan.” She talks about the difficult parts of transitions: “[When] I took a pivot, I had a huge confidence drop. [I asked myself], what’s my identity?” Her advice: “If there is a moment where you feel lost, find a new path that energizes and inspires you.”

Dan BlankWhy I Create and Share
Today I look back on the moment 25 years ago that became the birth of this podcast. But not only that, I reflect on why I create, and why I share. In this episode I share the story of how I created a zine in the early 1990s interviewing my favorite bands like Oasis, Blur, Weezer, and They Might Be Giants, and how that turned into the podcast you are listening to now. I also share why these experiences are the foundation for not only creativity, but filling my life with fulfilling connections and moments. I encourage you to consider the same questions for yourself.

Veronica Miller Jamison“I got diagnosed with depression and anxiety, but the book was my bright spot.” My Interview with Veronica Miller Jamison
Today, picture book illustrator and textile designer Veronica Miller Jamison, shares how she made a major career shift, and how that led to illustrating her first book. She discusses the value of surrounding yourself with people who appreciate the craft you are learning, and how that community then became major supporters of her work. She is wonderfully honest about mental health, and how navigating anxiety and depression is a part of this journey.

Naomi JacksonQuitting Her Job to Finish Her Novel: The Creative Shift of Naomi Jackson
Just as Naomi Jackson received a big promotion and raise at a job she loved, she quit. In doing so, she moved from New York City to the cornfields of Iowa with the goal of finishing her novel. In today’s interview, she shares incredible wisdom on the value of having a community around your writing, why you need to be courageous, and the importance of listening to the generations who came before you.

Gigi Pandian“Because I was finally following my passion, everything fell into place.” My interview with author Gigi Pandian
igi Pandian is a USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning mystery author of 10 books. Today we explore the huge creative shift she made to stop pursuing a PhD in order to fill her life with more creativity develop her career as an author. She shares the long road to getting the first book published, how that book found a readership because of her active involvement in the community of readers and writers, and how that got her the book deals she hoped for for two of her series.

Valerie BollingFrom a 25+ Year Career in Education to Her First Book, with Valerie Bolling
For years, Valerie Bolling worked in education. One day, a visit from her nieces inspired her to write some stories. She set a goal to get published and “wrote and wrote and wrote.” Through a Twitter pitch, her book was acquired by a publisher. To find her agent, it took more than 150 queries (50 of which came after her deal for the book.) Valerie shares so much inspiring advice on creating and sharing.

Steve SansweetHow Star Wars Led to an Amazing Creative Shift, with Steve Sansweet
Today I want to share the story of an amazing creative shift. Steve Sansweet was working as a journalist when he was allowed to see an early screening of Star Wars in 1977. That day changed his life, and he went on to amass the world’s largest collection of Star Wars memorabilia. He eventually left journalism to work inside Lucasfilm, and today runs Rancho Obi-Wan, an interactive museum of Star Wars memorabilia. His story is incredible, and inspiring.

Malcolm LemmonsFrom Professional Basketball to Becoming an Author and Entrepreneur. My Interview with Malcolm Lemmons
When Malcolm Lemmons shifted his career away from professional basketball, he describes how he struggled to find a new purpose. What gave him a clear path? Writing and storytelling. In today’s episode, we talk about his creative shift. There is so much in this episode that directly applies to the work that writers and artists face each day. Malcolm is the author of two books: Impact Beyond the Game and Lessons from the Game

Beth Ricanati, M.D.“It Keeps Growing.” Promoting Your Book 2+ Years Post-Launch, with Beth Ricanati, M.D.
“I’m selling more books and the message is getting out there.” This is author Beth Ricanati, M.D. described the results of continuing to promote her book two years after release. She has been running workshops in-person and online in support of her book, Braided: A Journey of a Thousand Challahs. In the process, she is finding new audiences she never considered before, is having more people reach out to her, and it has paved the way for her next book.

Andrea J Loney“The book that won the Caldecott was my 99th story idea.” My Interview with Andrea J. Loney
Earlier this year Andrea J. Loney’s book, Double Bass Blues, received a Caldecott Honor. When I asked her about that journey she described how her very first book deal was for her 11th manscript. The next book she sold, Double Bass Blues, was her 17th manuscript. In our interview, she talks about the value of collaboration, persistence, and how her experience working at a circus, in theater, stand-up comedy, and writing for TV helped her realize her dream of being a children’s book author.

“I Can Choose My Outcome.” On Creativity, Identity, and Success, with Vesper Stamper
Today author/illustrator Vesper Stamper shares powerful wisdom on the lessons she has learned in four decades of creative work. As a child, she found escape in books, she attended the arts high school featured in the movie and TV show Fame, and then pursued music, illustration and writing. She talks about the long road to success, the role of art in our lives, the power of collaboration, and why relationships need to be at the center of creative work. Her new book, A Cloud of Outrageous Blue is out this month!

Jacquette Timmons“You always have a choice, so operate from within that power.” On Money and Creativity, with Jacquette Timmons
Today I want to explore a topic that many writers and artists avoid: money and finance. I’m excited to welcome financial expert Jacquette Timmons onto the podcast. She talks about the psychology and emotion around money, and how it can limit your potential as a creator. I love the way she frames this: “We are talking about money all the time, but we aren’t having the right conversations.”

Book Launch Case Study Part 3, with Leigh Stein
Welcome to the third part of my book launch case study with Leigh Stein. A year ago she and I began working on the marketing strategy for her novel, Self Care, which was released a few weeks ago. In this episode, we discuss the many ways the book has been successful, and how a year’s worth of marketing work has paid off.

Angela Tucker“I Look at Obstacles as Opportunities.” My Interview with Filmmaker Angela Tucker
Today I’m excited to share my interview with filmmaker Angela Tucker. We discussed the creative and business challenges of filmmaking, and consider the many lessons that has for writers and artists as well. She is the producer on a new film that is being released into a changed world — one where theaters and festivals are largely closed. We talk about how she is navigating that process.

Evan J Roberts“You Can Hide Behind Amazon All You Want, But People Want to Know Who You Are As a Person,” My interview with Evan J. Roberts
When I asked Evan J. Roberts how he has been able to promote the 18 books he has written in the last few years, he told me: “As an author, you can hide behind Amazon all you want, but people want to know who you are as a person. It also challenges you to start talking about the book and the relationship of what it means to the reader. That is a totally different conversation to have.” This is an inspiring conversation of how a trip to the library catapulted him to become an author.

Kalynn Bayron“It’s Not Selfish to Pursue Your Dreams, and It’s Never Too Late.” My Interview with Author Kalynn Bayron
Kalynn Bayron has been a musician, dancer, opera singer, and is now an author. Her new book Cinderella is Dead was just published from Bloomsbury. In our conversation, we talk about that path to publication, including the 70 queries it took to find her agent, and the 4 year path to publication. She described the culmination of this process as readers telling her that they see themselves in the story, “I see there is a space for me.” Kalynn concluded: “If nothing else ever happens for me, that will have been enough.”

Sonya Larson“The Best Artists Pick Up What’s Left, and Generate Something New and Exciting,” My Interview with Writer Sonya Larson
Today I’m excited to writer Sonya Larson. We discuss her role as Director of GrubStreet‘s Muse and the Marketplace writing conference, and how they are adjusting to serving writers amidst the pandemic. I love her take on finding hope amidst challenges: “The best artists pick up what’s left, and generate something new and exciting.” GrubStreet runs 600 workshops a year, have 1,000 people attend their conference, and are moving to a brand new 15,000 square foot facility.

Marcus Whitney“You Have to Shift From Consuming to Creating.” My Interview with Marcus Whitney
Something Marcus Whitney said to me has been bouncing around my mind all week: “You have to shift from consuming to creating.” Today I am excited to share my interview with Marcus, where he shares an inspiring message of what creative power is, and how to turn ideas into action. He has a new book out called Create and Orchestrate: The Path to Claiming Your Creative Power from an Unlikely Entrepreneur. He is also the Co-Founder of the Nashville Soccer Club, Jumpstart Foundry, and Health:Further.

Monica BhideSuccess as a Writer is Joy Inside You and a Connection with Readers. My Interview with Monica Bhide
Today I want to share the inspiring story of Monica Bhide, who followed her dream to becoming a successful writer. Her journey is filled with amazing wisdom for what it takes to find your voice, get published, and truly have an impact in the lives of readers.
Michael La RonnMake Every Moment a Creative Moment, with Author Michael La Ronn
Author Michael La Ronn has already written three books this year, and he will likely write three more before the year is done. Today I want to explore how he is able to fill his life with creativity, infusing writing into all he does.

Jarrett LernerGenerosity, Social Media, and Living Your Mission as a Writer, With Author/Illustrator Jarrett Lerner
When I first noticed author/illustrator Jarrett Lerner, he was using his Twitter account to constantly celebrate other authors and books. His generosity got him noticed. The result? 20,000+ followers. His first book was published in 2017, his second in 2020, and he has 9 more books in the works to be published within the next two years. In today’s conversation, I talk to Jarrett about what it means to live your mission as a writer, and what that daily work of creating and sharing looks like.

“What Can I Create?” The Powerful Question to Navigate Change, with Jenny Blake
Today I talk to author Jenny Blake about how to navigate change and uncertainty. Her book, Pivot, The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One, showcases her process for this, but our chat goes deeper. When everything shut down in March, her entire speaking and workshop business got “wiped out.” This is an honest conversation not just about managing the strategy of having a creative career, but how to manage the emotions of it as well.

Focus on What You Can Control. A Book Launch Case Study with Leigh Stein
How can you launch a book in a constantly changing world? Author Leigh Stein is finding out. She has been focusing on what she can control, remixing strategic plans, and devising new ideas filled with creativity and connection. We dig into it all in today’s conversation. This interview is part 2 of my book launch case study with Leigh as she prepares for the June 30 launch of her book: Self Care: A Novel.

Giving Away Your Creative Power (and How To Get It Back), With Shannon Connery, PhD
In today’s episode, I speak with Shannon Connery, PhD about how many writers and artists give away their power to create and share. We dig into the narratives that tend to limit our potential, leaving us with excuses instead of creative actions. Shannon shares several stories to illustrate the point, digs into the psychology of what is going, and most importantly, shares how to fix it! Her advice: lead with your goals and values.

Jennifer LoudenThe “Why Bother?” Book Launch, With Jennifer Louden
Today, author Jennifer Louden takes us through her new book, Why Bother?: Discover the Desire for What’s Next, and the six-step process she guides you through to find your own path with your creative work. She also goes behind the scenes of her book launch, sharing how she got more than 170 five-star reviews on Amazon in less than a week, how she is focusing her marketing efforts, and the biggest mistakes authors make in their book launch.

Kevin SmoklerEmbracing Vinyl Records in a Digital Age, with Kevin Smokler
I’ve known author Kevin Smokler for years. Recently, he did something astounding: he helped create an amazing documentary film called Vinyl Nation. In today’s episode, I chat with Kevin about how he took that left turn creatively, and his advice for collaboration with people you admire. We also dig into the topic of the film: why did vinyl records come back into fashion, and how does that inform how we come together around music, art, and writing.

Jay AldersAnxiety, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship, With Artist Jay Alders
So many writers and artists I speak with struggle to deal with anxiety. This is especially true when one also earns all or part of their income through their creative work. Today I chat with artist Jay Alders about how he manages the mental health side of working as a full-time artist, raising a young family, and supporting the work of his wife who has her own mission and business as well.

A Radically Honest Conversation on Marketing, with Tad Hargrave
So many writers and artist struggle to consider how they can best market what they create. How they can develop a fanbase that leads to a sense of fulfillment and sales. I invited Tad Hargrave onto the podcast to have a candid conversation about marketing — what works, what doesn’t, and why so many of us are uncomfortable with it.

Betsy Brockett“Where is the real authentic me? Because she got lost somewhere along the way.” The Rewilding of Betsy Brockett
I’ve been asking Betsy Brockett if I could interview her for awhile now. She finally said yes. What she shared in our interview was her journey not just to create, but to find who she is. The themes that we explore about Betsy’s journey align to what so many writers and artist struggle with. What we create is wrapped up with the identity of who we are. How we share can be complicated because we may seek external validation, instead of internal fulfillment. This conversation opens it all up in a magical way.

Tony Bonds“At least it’s my own desk, in my own garage.” The Creative Shift of Tony Bonds
Tony Bonds just took a big creative leap. He left his day job in order to do his creative business full-time, to double-down on his dream. I recorded my interview with him via online video, from his new office. That would be his garage, complete with messy shelves, exposed pipes, and baby carriages hanging from the rafters. This is where so much creative work happens – in less than ideal places, amidst a ton of risk. But as Tony put it: “At least it’s my own desk, in my own garage.”

Dan BlankThe Transformation Your Writing and Art Promises
This week I’m considering how you can help others experience the transformation that your writing and art promises. All of us seem to be in the midst of a creative shift, whether we intended it or not. What is inspiring me this week are those who are reaching out to share, to connect, and to find new ways for others to experience the transformation of writing and art.

Megan CartyLeveling Up Your Art and Business, with Megan Carty
Today artist Megan Carty shares strategies and insights into how she has been leveling up her art and her business. She gives an unfiltered look into specific ways she is doubling down on her business, and what she has learned in growing her career. She also goes into detail as to how she grew her following with this advice: “It’s all about relationships on social media. I stopped posting and started engaging.” This interview is packed with useful and inspiring advice.

Christine Koh“I wanted to be creative, independent, and make stuff.” My Interview with Christine Koh
Christine Koh took a risk that so many people dream of. She left a successful career iorder to create and make stuff. Today she takes you behind the scenes of that process, “the good, the bad, and the ugly” as she says! Christine Koh is a music and brain scientist turned multimedia creative. Since leaving academia in 2006, Christine has launched a successful parenting blog, design company, podcast, book, and so much more!

Leigh SteinBehind the Book Launch of a Novel, My Interview with Leigh Stein
Today I take you inside the book launch plans of author Leigh Stein. She and I worked together last year in preparation for the launch of her new book, Self Care: A Novel. We take you step-by-step into the process she went through to identify her ideal readers and develop her marketing plan. We also talk about the need to plan way ahead. We worked together nearly a full year ahead of launch.

Anna Raff
“I Silenced a Part of Myself for a Long Time.” My Interview with Illustrator Anna Raff
How do you make a major creative shift in order to do the work you love? Today, award-winning children’s book illustrator Anna Raff shares how she did exactly that. This is how she described what she learned when, mid-career, she began taking classes again: “I realized I was missing out and silenced a part of myself for a long time.” I also love her advice on how what you create and share needs to be focused on who you are: “If you are sharing work that is an extension of you, it will be your best work.”

Teru ClavelThe Reality Behind a Book Launch, My Interview with Author Teru Clavel
Last summer, Teru Clavel released her first book: World Class: One Mother’s Journey Halfway Around the Globe in Search of the Best Education for Her Children. It was published by a major publisher, was well reviewed in major media, she appeared on the TODAY Show plus other TV and radio, and was interviewed on dozens of podcasts. In this episode she gets radically honest about the book launch process – what worked and what she learned along the way.

Shannon ConneryFilling Your Life with Creativity After the Bottom Drops Out. My Interview with Shannon Connery.
How does one find the time and energy to embrace creativity after the bottom has dropped out of their life? Today I am excited to share a powerful interview with Shannon Connery,PhD who gets radically honest about what it means to build a life filled with intention, creativity, and happiness.
Jennie NashYou Have to Risk it All: Inside the Harrowing Creative Shift of Jennie Nash
One of my favorite quotes is from Bono reflecting on the transition U2 made in their music from the 1980s to 1990s: “You have to reject one expression of the band first, before you get to the next expression. And in between you have nothing. You have to risk it all.” Today I share an extraordinarily honest interview with book coach Jennie Nash who is making a profound creative shift with her business. Her story applicable to every writer or artist who dares to create and release it to the world.

Dan Blank Social Media For Writers
Writers have felt an intense pressure over the past decade to jump into social media. I’ve worked with thousands of writers on this, so I understand why many are for it, many are against it, and most are stuck somewhere between the two. They are interested, but apprehensive. They ask, “Will it actually lead to book sales?” The answer? Nope. But social media does so much more for writers. In today’s podcast I want to discuss the benefits of social media for writers.

Aura LewisHow a Major Career Shift Led to 8 Book Deals. My Interview with Illustrator & Author Aura Lewis
Illustrator and author Aura Lewis shares her story of making a huge career shift to focus on the arts, how she developed her first book, got a book deal, and then in the last year signed deals for 6 additional books!

Lessons From 10-Years of Running a Full-Time Creative Business
I’m celebrating 10 years of running my business, WeGrowMedia, full-time. In that decade, I have worked with thousands of writers and made space for creativity in my daily life. Today I want to reflect on what that decade has taught me, and how I am using that to set my goals for this year, and for the next decade.

Dan BlankWhy You Should Join a Mastermind Group
Today I review what I have learned in running a mastermind group for writers and artists for the past four years, and why you should consider joining one yourself. I have found that these groups offer the accountability, mentoring, and community that is so valuable for anyone who is trying to establish a creative habit, or find growth in their careers as writers or artists.

Dan BlankGoing Back to the Well
I spend the last quarter of every year going back to the well. Back to my source of creative inspiration in order to find ways to better live my mission as a writer and creator. Today I take you inside my process for how I create specific plans for the next year.

Dan BlankThe Introvert’s Guide to Book Marketing and Author Platform
Today I reflect on marketing practices that I feel are not only highly effective, but well suited to introverts. With so much of the work I do with writers, I find that people are apprehensive to “put themselves out there.” I try to make the entire process more approachable, and dare I say, fulfilling.

Brian SherrillQuitting Your Day Job for Your Creative Work, with Brian Sherrill
Brian Sherrill was miserable in his day job, and one day, he sat down and listed out all of the things he enjoyed in life. On that list was his love of playing guitar and mandolin, and of social media and the internet. In this conversation, Brian and I talk about how he got from that moment to earning a full-time living by writing a musical composition each week and teaching people how to play it on guitar. If you ever consider if you can radically change your life to focus on your craft, listen in!

Elise Blaha Cripe“Writing a book seems magical.” My Interview with Elise Blaha Cripe
Two years ago, I first interviewed Elise Blaha Cripe about how she developed her career as a creative professional. Someone who spends every day creating, shares her process with her tens of thousands of followers, and who has developed her own products. Her new book is about to be published, Big Dreams, Daily Joys: A Step-by-Step Guide to Crushing Your Goals, so I reached out to her to discuss the process of writing and launching her book, and the advice she has for making creative goals a part of your every day life.

Kelly McGonigal“This book launch, I’m going out there as my full self.” My interview with Kelly McGonigal
Today, psychologist and author Kelly McGonigal is going to share with you a radically different vision of what it means for an author to connect with readers and prepare for a book launch. Her new book, The Joy of Movement, comes out in December, and she shares specifics on what she is doing and why. She also shares what having a viral TED talk with twenty million views, did (and didn’t) do for her career. Oh, she will also explain why she turned down an invitation from Richard Branson!

Jennifer LoudenChoosing Your Own Path as a Writer, My Interview with Jennifer Louden
Bestselling author Jennifer Louden is about to upend your idea of what success as a writer looks like. She’s been a bestseller, she’s been on Oprah, and she’s been a successful author for more than 25 years. But the wisdom she picked up along the way will surprise you. We dig into topics of book marketing, navigating your writing career, the creative process and so much more.

Jessica LaheyHuman-Centered Book Marketing Strategies & Tactics: My Interview With Jessica Lahey
What happens when a celebrity with 11 million followers tells them all that she loves your book? Today, author Jessica Lahey and I discuss that exact situation, and dig deep into the tactics and strategies of book marketing.

Eve BridburgHow Boston’s GrubStreet Went From Teaching 8 Writers Per Year, to 6,000+, with Eve Bridburg
Each year, Boston’s GrubStreet offers more than 600 courses and programs for writers. They began in 1997 with 8 students, and today, they serve more than 6,000 writers per year. In this episode, I talk to GrubStreet Founder and Executive Director Eve Bridburg. We dig into how she and the GrubStreet team make decisions, take risks, and challenge themselves to expand how they can serve writers throughout the Boston Community.


Featured episodes:

Rebecca GreenNavigating Creative Burnout, with Illustrator & Author Rebecca Green
How do you navigate creative burnout? That is something that illustrator/author Rebecca Green has been working through. With more than 225,000 Instagram followers, and a thriving career filled with art, books, and other projects, youl would think that managing creative focus would be easier for her. But it isn’t. She goes deep in our conversation to discuss the reality of what it means to find balance and fulfillment while pursuing your creative vision.

Meera Lee PatelEmbracing Possibility, with Illustrator and Writer Meera Lee Patel
Meera Lee Patel and I dig into her journey as an artist, and how she made a profound creative shift to become a full-time artist and writer. Her latest book, My Friend Fear, is an amazing work that turns fear into something beautiful. She talks about the turning point for no longer ruling her life by fear. She says: “Being scared is not a good enough reason to do things.”

Dani Shapiro“Not only does it not get any easier, it actually gets harder.” My Interview with Author Dani Shapiro
Writers and artists often seek to reach a place Where it is easier to create, easier to feel validated, easier to reach your audience, easier to get your next book deal, or client, or exhibit, or the like; to where it is easier to earn money from your craft. Author Dani Shapiro responds with this, “Not only does it not get any easier, it actually gets harder.” In our interview, she talks about the emotional side of the creative process in a way that I think every writer and artist needs to hear.

Angela Tucker“It’s not just what film you want to make, it’s what film can you make.” My interview with filmmaker Angela Tucker
In this interview, Angela and I talk about the realities of crossing that gap from one’s creative vision to making it a reality. What jumped out at me was how incremental everything is in her work. From both the creative side to the funding side, her work moves forward one small commitment at a time. She also talked about how how large projects start with small conversations and experiments.

Tina Roth EisenbergWhy Caring is at the Heart of Creating. My Interview with Tina Roth Eisenberg
How can one woman not only manage five huge projects/businesses, but do so in a way that empowers other creative professionals to grow their craft and earn more revenue? Today, I talk to Tina Roth Eisenberg, who runs temporary tattoo company Tattly, a monthly meetup series CreativeMornings, a to-do list app called TeuxDeux, a collaborative workspace called Friends Work Here, and the popular design blog

Debbie Ridpath Ohi“One thing I would tell my younger self is to not be afraid to take risks.” My Interview with Children’s Book Writer and Illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi
In our chat, we discuss how Debbie took a huge risk in leaving her safe corporate job to pursue a creative career, how she deals with both positive and negative feedback, and why you should regularly move a little bit outside of your comfort zone in order to move your creative work and career forward.

Elise Blaha CripeFinding Fulfillment and Success as a Creative Professional, With Elise Blaha Cripe
How do you forge your own path to success with your creative work? Elise Blaha Cripe tells us how she turned a blog into platform, a podcast, and a series of products that has helped her thrive. But more than that, I was blown away by her reflection on what she has built, after 10+ years: “I have felt more and more fulfilled by the work that I am doing.”

Ellen HendriksenSocial Anxiety and Sharing Your Creative Work. My Interview with Ellen Hendriksen, PhD
Psychologist Ellen Hendriksen helps millions calm their anxiety and be their authentic selves. In our chat, we dig into topics that writers and artists constantly struggle with, including: impostors syndrome, permission to create, comparison to others, seeking validation, sharing your work publicly, collaboration, and entrepreneurship.

Jake Parker“Whatever You Are Doing, Be Fully Engaged In It.” My Interview with Illustrator and Writer Jake Parker
There was a moment in illustrator and writer Jake Parker’s career, where this is what he, his wife and five children faced: “There was a summer there where we had no money. We went through savings. We had some food storage we saved for when times get hard, and we were like, “Let’s break out the mac and cheese and beans. I was really depressed, I took serious stock of everything. I said, “This is never going to happen.” In this moment, he did something that I found astounding. He didn’t hide away, he didn’t diminish. Instead he did this: “I doubled down on sharing online and hitting my social media hard. I really figured out where jobs were coming from, and about three months after, everything started falling into place.”

Stephanie Wang-Breal“I was back to work two days after I gave birth.” On making documentary films, with Stephanie Wang-Breal
In this interview, Stephanie and I discuss the risks she has taken as she navigated her career, and the many ways that she make hard decisions that lead to more meaningful work. One thing that jumped out at me is the nature of how a documentary film is made. She begins without knowing who the characters will be, where there story will go, and if it will lead anywhere. Also, that funding can only happen after she has committed a year or more to the project, and from there, it can take an additional three years for a grant to actually come through.

Will AckermanStop Following Others, Be More Like Yourself. My Interview With Musician Will Ackerman
When I asked Will Ackerman about the journey from playing his guitar in an alcove in college, to earning all that money, this was his description of what happened: “If you begin something that is inspired entirely by heart. You are not chasing something that is indicated in the current market to be viable. Because of the love of it, you are willing to do something whether it has economic potential or not. That it is something you love. In so doing, you end up being a unique thing, that happens to hit the world between the eyes.”

Srini RaoFind More Time For Creative Work You are Proud Of, With Writer and Podcaster Srini Rao
In this episode, I speak with Srini Rao, who is the host and founder of The Unmistakable Creative podcast, and the author of Unmistakable: Why Only Is Better Than Best. In this chat we discuss how to find more time to do the creative work that you love.

The Business of Being a Writer, My Interview with Jane Friedman
Today I’m excited to share my interview with author and publishing expert Jane Friedman. In our discussion, we dig into the nuts and bolts on how to earn a living as a writer.

We frame the conversation around her new book, The Business of Being a Writer, which shatters romantic assumptions around publishing, but then arms you with practical advice on how to develop your career.

Michael LaRonnThe Man Who Writes 10 Books Per Year – My Interview with Michael La Ronn
How can one man write 10 books per year, while working a full-time job, going to law school in the evenings, and raising a young family? Today we find out. I am so excited to share my interview with author Michael La Ronn. He has published more than 40 books in the past six years: science fiction, fantasy, and nonfiction books on writing.

Many people have asked me what equipment I use to podcast, here are two posts that outline my tools and process in great detail: