Talking with Creative Types

I had a surreal moment this week when Writers of the Future posted the most recent 4th Quarter winners, and I read my name on the list of Semi-Finalists. Even though I found out a while ago and have the nifty badge here on the site, I don’t totally believe it – impostor syndrome, I guess. I can’t imagine what’ll happen if I’m ever one of the Finalists. I should find out 🙂

This week I was also thinking about how much fun I have talking with creative people about creative things. Mainly I talk to other writers, but I love talking to creative people of any stripe – artists, musicians, and other performers, and people in fields that require very different creativity, like some wickedly smart scientists I know. Give me a cup of tea and someone intelligent and interesting to talk to about creative stuff, and I’m good to do that all day. (I secretly hold out hope of one day hosting a radio show or podcast where I can do just that … okay, not so secret now.)

The best kinds of conversations are with creative people who, like me, enjoy a casual conversation that can go in any of a dozen directions. My writing partner and I seem to do that a lot, communicating across the vast gulf between Ottawa and California because I can’t get my stupid TARDIS to work. A lot of the time it comes down to talking about the feckless nature of cats. Because they are very feckless. Once you look up what that word means, you’ll understand.

In my head, I’m going over the conversations I’ve had with my fellow “creatives” over the past few weeks. I debated whether creating art is more like cocaine, heroin or LSD with an artist friend of mine, eventually deciding that it’s up to individual perception, I think (since neither of us have tried any of these substances, we could only take that conversation so far). A bunch of us debated the fickle nature of wedding planning at New Years, agreeing that spending too much on a wedding is insane but then disagreeing on who to invite and whether you have to listen to your family’s input (which obviously affects your budget). My brother and I actually discussed yesterday how frequently a guy should be expected to rinse out and reuse a glass before actually washing it, and then went on to discuss the value of higher education (or something like that – we talk about a lot of stuff in one sitting, and sometimes it blurs afterward).

My point is that talking with creatives is awesomely fun. That’s part of the reason why going to writing events is such a treat – you get to meet up with people who are hopefully as eccentric as you and talk about anything you want. One thing I think we lack in our media are programs that engage in casual, unscripted conversations with creative people – especially writers. I was a huge fan of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson because he famously talked about whatever he felt like with his guests, instead of the pre-discussed topics assigned by publicists and producers. The only thing missing from that show (and a lot of shows) is that there were few authors as guests – or artists, for that matter. Maybe because we writers are mostly introverts.

Okay, so now I have a grand plan to become a host of some show interviewing creative people in an unscripted format. Let’s aim for me to have that accomplished by the time I’m forty. Meanwhile, I should go do something productive – like re-watch this largely unscripted talk with John Cleese!



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