Self-determination, growth mindset, and a passion for writing. My conversation with Brigette Thornes was a chance to go over what really goes into being an author, self-publishing, and taking the leap(s) of faith necessary to put your art out there for people to see. If you’ve thought about writing a book or started one and never finished it, check out her well-earned and encouraging advice, like: write what you don’t know!

A little bit about Brigette: Currently living in Michigan, she’s a fiction writer, teacher, and working toward a Master’s in Social Work. Geared for young adults, her self-published trilogy…


Accessibility lead and senior UX Designer at Openfield — a firm specializing in EdTech solutions — Julee Peterson is distinctly clued-in on improving how digital products work. Talking with her was a great opportunity for me to hear from a devotee of her field with a MS in UX and Design, as well as a background in art direction and digital design. Whatever the question was, the answer most often came back to empathy: the soft skill that should be a driving force in creating great UX.

A little bit about Julee: Author of articles on universal design, inclusion, and…


Talking to Tyler Hill about what he knows best — photography, video, and production — was a great opportunity for me to sit back and hear some sensible, smart, and sharp-witted takes on the creative life. My biggest payoff was realizing how teaching media production has allowed him to step back and philosophize about the broader industry. Tyler also helped to clarify the differences between an untutored poser and a dedicated, thoughtful pro.

A little bit about Tyler: A traditionalist and devotedly ethical creative, he has worked production in the advertising biz and for himself, as a scrappy do-it-all entrepreneur…


When I sat down with Caitlin Crews to talk about the creative life, I had no idea we were going to cover so much territory — it was a challenge to decide which things to put in and what to leave out of this interview. Really, super tough. In the end, it seemed natural to focus on knowing yourself and the recent discoveries brought into focus by the unprecedented challenges of 2020.

A little bit about Caitlin: She’s a creative specialist with a Master’s in Arts and Cultural Management from Pratt Institute and, currently, the design elements outreach (templates lead)…


The new year is upon us. You could say it’s inevitable. After a topsy-turvy 12 months that shall remain nameless, you’re probably feeling a bit like me: A little out of tune, wondering how to get your bearings.

Hopefully, you’ve got some goals. Maybe it’s writing that screenplay, publishing that manuscript, finishing that story, creating that trailer, taking that series of photos, or starting that podcast.

If not, that’s OK too. I’m here to say it — you don’t have to know yet, you just have to be ready to explore.

In the Tip section of The New York Times


“Gratitude is a fruit of great cultivation.” — Samuel Johnson

An expert on gratitude, I am not. Can’t even pretend to be. I think I’m getting better at it. According to Wency Leung (@wencyleung) at The Globe and Mail, that might not be all that surprising since some scientists believe we improve at being thankful as we get older.

So, why do I know or hear about people of all ages who are bitter and frustrated? Why do I still seem to struggle to put things in perspective and realize all the good that’s going on in my life? Or…


Back in August, The Hustle Daily had a feature called Lights, camera… algorithm?” that described how GPT-3 (an artificial intelligence language model created by OpenAI — a company backed by Elon Musk) might replace film directors…and software engineers…and actors. Yeah, pretty much everyone involved in making a film.

That sounds pretty cool. But I can sense you’re a bit upset.

It was actually something else in the article that got my attention — an almost whispered remark about how a college student used GPT-3 to write blog posts that took him to the top of Hacker News (whatever that is…seriously…


Alissa Woodward is an experiential advertising copywriter who lost her job during the early days of the pandemic. While I’m happy to report that she recently found a position and started at a new agency, she filled me in on what her experience was like and how she kept going.

A little bit about Alissa: When she was a kid, she wanted to be a pastry chef and was obsessed with the show “Cake Boss.” While her plans for a career evolved (just a little), she capitalized on her next-level ambition, finishing college early— eager to start her professional career…


Medium is all about good ideas finding you. With that in mind, I’ve created 5+1 — an alternative to the long-winded, time-consuming creative podcasts.

Every month, I’m going to invite someone to sit down to discuss the creative life. I’ll have set up the questions ahead of time. I can’t ask any follow-ups, can’t insert my own opinion, can’t start over, can’t add another question. OK — I might. Some flexibility, please! It’s supposed to be a fun way to get out of the rut of conversations that go on and on. …


Why are we still writing sincerely at the end of emails and letters to potential customers and our valued clients? Something about it just feels stiff and outdated.

According to Merriam-Webster, sincerely goes back a loooonnnng time. In fact, it dates back to 1560, while genuinely, a close synonym, didn’t appear until 1613. Both words are rooted in Latin, but it seems that a 60-year head start has made it the word of choice for almost 500 years!

Officially, we call using sincerely in a letter or email a complimentary close. And I know you must be thinking, what would…

Charles Parsons

UX Writer by day. Obsessive reader, film critic, fiction writer, friend to poets, cats, and environmental crusaders at all times. Opinions are my own.

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