Growing Creativity

Something we all need to know. Not necessarily for our just our writing but for all aspects of ourselves:

bigstock-Creativityby Venture Visuals


A few months ago I was packing for a climbing trip. As I was sorting through gear I grabbed my camera and after hesitating for a second, I thought “Do I really want to work on this trip?” I realized then that something terrible was happening. My brain was beginning to associate creativity with work and the daily grind! As the Director of Photography at Venture Visuals, it is essential that I be working creatively. However, just because creativity is a part of my craft doesn’t mean that my zeal for creating should be diminished.

Like most creative professionals, you probably got into your field because you love what you do. Up to the point of pursuing it professionally, you were free to create for yourself. The challenge with working in any creative field ‘professionally’ (whether it’s graphic design, writing, photography, etc.) is this: Now you are suddenly creating for others under tight deadlines with a lot of outside direction. This isn’t a bad thing (I would actually argue that it’s ultimately beneficial for your growth as an artist), but it is different from creating for yourself. This position forces you to be creative out of necessity – and if you’re not careful, being forcefully creative can be mentally exhausting.


‘Doing what you love, and loving what you do’ can be paradoxical. When you’re forced to ‘perform’ with your craft, your natural passion and creative guidance can be diluted. Burnout – we’ve all experienced it in one form or another, and that’s exactly what I was beginning to experience that day as I was packing for my climbing trip.

For me this reinforced one very significant idea. An idea that I’ver heard several times expressed in various ways – ‘The importance of personal projects in maintaining creativity’. The concept is this: Personal projects provide for you an outlet to rediscover your love of whatever creative field you are involved in… not as a profession, but as a passion. These personal projects should not be just another thing on your professional to-do list, they should be reserved for free time – that very time you would spend reading a good book, going on a hike, or spending an afternoon at the beach.

Here are 3 tips I apply in my own life to help foster creativity and avoid burnout:

  1. Personal Work
  2. The 20 % Rule
  3. Finding Inspiration

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Less Than a Month Left to Enter the People’s Pilot – Aarghh!


Time to upload your entries – Pronto!

Reality Troy DeVolld Now Available for Showbiz-Reality Show Consults

Troy is one of our favorite peeps. Super smart son of a bitch knows everything:

Podcast / Consulting / Small Thoughts
by Troy DeVolld

20120902113259-remembergraphicHi, all!

Just finished editing the first episode of the REMEMBER, WE’RE NOT HERE podcast with the remarkable Joey Ortega of Howie Mandel’s Alevy Productions.  Watch the blog for an announcement of the start date.  Future guests are being lined up, and it’ll be a perfect compliment to the blog.  Sometimes general, sometimes VERY inside baseball, I hope there’ll be something in it for everyone.

I’m also not currently on a show, and while I’m using the downtime to develop new ideas to try to sell, please know that I’m also making myself available for consults again.  If you are interested in a phone consult on your career, series concept, or “other,” drop me a line at realitytvtroy[at]

In closing, here are a few small thoughts I’ve had recently that don’t quite warrant complete blog entries:

  • Be loyal, but don’t be stupid.
  • If you and an employer part ways, try to keep it positive.  You may not be remembered for why you left, but you will most certainly be remembered for how you left.
  • Unrealistic expectations are the norm in reality television now.  Before you beat yourself up, remember — if you can’t meet an impossible deadline, it’s because the deadline was impossible.  Often, this is a result of a network approving a lower budget than is actually needed to execute the show.  Do your best, but if you are working a hundred hours a week at a flat salary to push the show out the door, it’s okay to want to go somewhere else.  What’s not okay is for you to stay and complain about the situation all day, further polluting an already toxic and depressing situation.

munchman: SAILOR MOON is coming back on the air – soon!


C’mon. You know you’re gonna watch this. You gotta. It’s fucking Sailor fucking Moon!

According to the P.R. we got over here at TVWriter™ Central (Southern California Division), Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal (yeah, it’s not the most wieldy of names – got a problem with that?) will hit the airwaves July 5th on the Niconico Video Service with new episodes on the first and third Saturdays of each month.

Yer Friendly Neighborhood munchman can’t speak for you, but my Significant Other (yeppers, I’ve got one, and she’s pretty damn close to human) is ecstatic. Cuz back in the day, she was Sailor Moon. Well, actually, she managed to get herself through high school by being undercover as Sailor Mercury, but, hey, close enough.

More about the show, including its voice cast and character models, here at ye olde Anime News Network. It’s one of the great fanboy homes away from home so you should know all about the site anyway.

July 5th. Be there.


J. August Richards on Marvel, Whedon, Acting & Other Great Showbiz Stuff

Even if you aren’t a fan of J. August Richards and/or his acting work on ANGEL, AGENTS OF SHIELD, etc., you’ll love this article. It is, quite simply, one of the best showbiz interviews ever. And no, it wasn’t written for Variety, or Deadline, or even Vulture, TVWriter™ found it in a local paper in Maryland. Will C. Franklin of Gazette Net – consider us huge fans:


Prince George’s native Richards talks about Marvel, ‘Agents of SHIELD’ and Deathlok
by Will C. Franklin

Before his Mike Peterson became the deadly Deathlok on ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” before his role as the assassin Mr. Blank on the hit CW show “Arrow,” and even before working with Joss Whedon to become a vampire-slaying hero in “Angel,” J. August Richards was just a boy from Prince George’s County who loved comic books and acting.

The acting part came naturally. The comic books came every weekend.

Richards’s long, winding path from Prince George’s County to Hollywood started before he was born, when his parents moved from Panama to Bladensburg.

“I believe we were the second black family to move into that neighborhood,” Richards said. “For me, I had a very diverse upbringing in the area with being exposed to a lot of different people.”

His family made sure there was a lot of culture surrounding Richards in his formative years.

“I grew up in a Spanish-speaking household and it was really very culturally all over the place for me as a child growing up there,” Richards said. “It was very different, but I love the area and I love coming back there as often as I can.”

Growing up, Richards wanted to be an actor. His family, in particular his mother, had other plans for him.

“My mom wanted me to be either a lawyer or a priest,” Richards said. “You kind of hit the jackpot as a Latin American mother if you raise a priest. They had great hopes for me because I had very incredible grades and I was always being put into these talented and gifted programs.”

With top-notch grades, his family was stunned when he said he wanted to be an actor.

“The idea to them was like, ‘What a waste! Why would you want to be an actor?! You have great grades, you’re really intelligent. Why on Earth would you want to be an actor?’” Richards said.

The why was simple — he loved performing and he loved television. When Richards was 14, he convinced his mother to let him go to an acting camp in New York because he knew the casting director for “The Cosby Show” would be there.

Richards met with the director, read for him and was invited to come to NYC to audition for the show.

“I did and I got a part,” Richards said. “From then on, my entire family was like, ‘Um … I think he can actually do this.’ They got on board once I got on ‘The Cosby Show.’”

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