Sunday, November 29, 2020

Rebuilding a Creative Routine in the Middle of the Apocalypse | Part 1: Admitting You Need to Rebuild

I cannot tell you how many mornings I have woken up with big creative plans over the past several months. Or how many times I've told myself: "This is the day I get my writing routine back."

One of my favorite pics from a trip to CA. I find it peaceful and inspiring.

I've looked for every starting point to ground myself--NaNoWriMo being the latest one. None of them have worked. I've read countless "process" blogs and books, attempting to regain the kind of creative routine that once was so organic for me. And I've attributed my inability to do that to a lack of willpower, shaming myself for being unable to write consistently.

With all of my writing friends, with my workmates, and with my family members, I am quick to remind them that we are living through then apocalypse right now, and they need to adjust their self-expectations. I point out that with everything happening right now, we can't expect to have the same level of productivity, and we have to put more emphasis on self-care, as we navigate the chaos.

But when I say "we," I don't mean "me." I don't give myself that same grace.

I know I'm not alone in this struggle. I've talked with creative friends who are dealing with the same issue, and I've seen countless posts about it on social media in the creative communities I follow.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I can share my process for trying to get out of this rut, in the hope that it may resonate with someone else who is also struggling. I'm going to explore different aspects of this process in multiple posts, but today I want to start with the idea that in order to fix the problem you have to admit there is a problem. 

More specifically for me, I needed to admit that my creative routine is completely broken. It's not in need of a tune-up, or just a little tweaking. It's non-existent right now.

I think it's important to recognize this, because it breaks the illusion that this will be an easy or quick fix. It also gets at what I think is a huge problem for creative people--the idea that your progress as a creator is continuous, or that it's a straight line.

At one point I was writing prolifically, and had a really good creative routine in place. Because of that, there is a constant thinking error I make when trying to "get it back." And that is the idea that I can just go back to doing everything the way I did before, and I will fall right back into my routine.

But that doesn't take into account everything that has changed since I had that really consistent routine. Like, the apocalypse, for one thing. Or the fact that I had a different job, with completely different hours, in a completely different field. Or the fact that I was not in school, as I am now. Or the fact that my kids were at different points in their lives and their schedules did not affect my routines in the way they do now.

You get the point. But for some reason, I often don't.

That snapshot in time is gone. My old routine does not fit my current situation. So, even if the apocalypse wasn't doing a number on my mental health, I couldn't just slip back into the same routine.

I need a new routine. A new structure. A new process. And accepting that makes it easier to stop shaming myself for not adhering to the old routine.

In the next installment, I'm going to talk about thinking smaller.

If you are reading this, and you are also rebuilding your creative routine, I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Power Chords Podcast: Track 62--AC/DC and Blue Oyster Cult

Opening Act:
AC/DC’s Power Up is #1
New Exodus album news 
Anthrax to Release Among the Living Comic 
UFO Box set being released 
Stryper podcast news 

Ear Candy: 
Blue Oyster Cult - The Symbol Remains (2020) 
AC/DC - Power Up (2020) 

6 Degrees of Frankie B. 

Comin’ Atcha Live: 
Stryper - Even the Devil Believes (Spirithouse Studios) 

Rockversation: Bill Leverty 
Matt spoke with the guitarist and founder member of FireHouse about the history of the band, how they’re still playing great music today, and his latest solo album, Divided We Fall. 

Bonus Track: Blue Oyster Cult - Tainted Blood 
From the new album The Symbol Remains, out now. 

Thanks for listening! If you're subscribing on iTunes or Google play, please leave us a review, as it will help spread the word about the show! You can find more news, reviews, and discussion at You can also hit us up on twitter at, and email us at

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Convos With Creative People | Ed Greenwood: Talking Forgotten Realms 4e at DDXP 2008

Convos with Creative People is a podcast about creative paths and processes. Each episode  features interviews with creators of all genres and mediums, and discussions on writing, art, design, marketing, music, podcasting, and more. Hosted by me, Brian LeTendre.

In this episode I reach all the way back into the 2008 archives of the Secret Identity podcast, for a conversation with the creator of the Forgotten Realms, Ed Greenwood. 

Way back in April of 2008, my friends Alana Abbott, Max Saltonstall and I traveled to the Dungeons and Dragons Experience (DDXP) convention, to get a preview of the upcoming 4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons. We got to meet, interview, and play games with some of the architects of 4e, and it was an amazing time. 

One of the highlights of the show was getting to sit down with the legend himself, Ed Greenwood, the creator of the Forgotten Realms. We got to talk about the Realms being the base setting for the new edition, what was new and different with the Realms in 4e, and some of the projects Ed was working on at the time.

Maybe my favorite part of this interview from a creative standpoint, was hearing Ed’s take on the Living Forgotten Realms initiative, and how it contributed to the richness of the stories being told around that world. Fantastic stuff.

As I said in the intro for this episode, these old interviews are great to revisit, and provide a time capsule of what was happening at any given point. This time in particular was a very exciting one for D&D and the Forgotten Realms, and it’s fascinating to see what part of WOTC’s plans for 4e came to fruition, what didn’t, and how that informed a lot of what we see with 5e today.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this interview from 2008! 

Here are links to some of the things Ed and I talked about, as well as things I mentioned in the intro:

Blackstaff Tower (Book 1 in the Waterdeep series):

Forgotten Realms Player’s Guide (4e):

Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster’s Forgotten Realms:

Living Forgotten Realms Campaign Archive: 

History of Winter Fantasy/DDXP: 

Ed Greenwood on Twitter: 

Article about the launch of Gleemax:

Article about the shutting down of Gleemax: 

As always, you can follow me and keep up with my creative projects on Twitter @seebrianwrite.