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Show Notes: John Stephen Walsh

the mighty humanzee
By The Mighty Humanzee

This is episode was a special one for many reasons, one is that I love story telling and John is a master craftsman.

What a great session with John.  John is the type of guy who can get on my wavelength, and punch through the clutter that my mind can conjure during the fray.  “Write to the end, get it out and force yourself!”  So many times I have heard that sage advice from him during our exchanges on Twitter.  You see, not only is John a great writer, he is a good thinker and has accumulated many techniques that he has shared on his blog or through his Twitter feed that supercharge your productive thinking.  These tips are practical.  That’s hard to do. 

When the mind is on the hunt to divulge that best thought you have to the rest of the world, grandiose mechanisms can take over.  With the adrenaline pumping when creativity first hits, you can easily end up in a valley of frustration, or worse, a constant feedback loop of “no I can perfect this, I need more.  Wait, I’ll start over to get the flow back but this time I’ll …”.  

Some many times John has told me “pick a soundtrack, pick a song, and write a complete scene, get that thought out, but put a time constraint on your efforts.  In an hour you have a complete thought!”.  That’s the key I’ve tried to master from him.  His blog has so many good tips for honing your writing skills, and using these protocols for planning podcasts and editing are what triggered the basis for our discussion regarding their use in other endeavors.  These techniques help you achieve your goals, they will make you better at what you do, you’ll paint great “thought balloons” for groups of people to galvanize around.

Here are my original notes from our show planning session:

Theory:  Applying storytelling and writers techniques of plot development and characterization to the development of ideas of self expression leads to actualizing your goals.


I have seen friends and associates grow and change because they have started to write their ideas out, whether for political activism, podcasting, and for myself trying to complete a project.  In the end, creating a thought balloon that represents your goal is the first milestone creating an achievable plan.


For example, for presentations I love choosing a parable and analogies from movies or lyrics that drive home the point.  A distinct, visceral thought balloon.

What does the act of forcing yourself to write do for your ability to:


  • Organize your ideas
  • Reconsider relationships between concepts that may not seem interrelated at first glance
  • Evaluate your audience and how your concepts you wish to communicate may not be in sync with their understanding of a topic.
  • Create a feedback cycle that allows you to examine your own understanding of your ideas, themes, or goals.  For example, my audience may not understand enough background in order for me to lead them to a conclusion.  How do I get them up to a level of understanding that starts their journey toward the destination I have in mind?

Impediments to self expression

Forcing yourself to perform instead of talking about performing.  In other words, to run the ball better you need to run the ball.


Writing Instead of Blogging About Writing


Lacking a backlog of ideas

Fear of failing and self doubt can lead to doldrums and floundering.  Developing an inventory or catalog of ideas is important to looking at problems from different perspectives.


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