How to find your voice and other inspirational resources.

12/5/2020

“It feels like my hard work has paid off, but at the same time, I still have the impostor, you know, syndrome. I still feel like I’m going to wake up, and everybody’s going to see me for the hack I am.”

VIOLA DAVIS

I felt like a misfit growing up. For years I tried to feel normal until I realized something: There’s no such thing. We all have our idiosyncratic traits. We amplify this when we create because while we want you to to see us; we don’t want you to see all the insecurities swirling around inside our head. 

My husband, Brian Freyermuth, designs video games. He’s worked on Fallout, Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, and Minecraft: Story Mode. Now he’s creating a game that teaches students how to program in JavaScript and Python. 

While he’s designing games, I’ve helped our friends in the industry find work, writing resumes and coaching them. I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t suffer from impostor syndrome. 

The key to fighting impostor syndrome is action and focus. 

Action, no matter how small, gives us the momentum to move past impostor syndrome and create something. Focusing on our past accomplishments turns a mountain of insecurity into a scalable hill. 

I want to help you overcome impostor syndrome by sharing helpful resources and inspirational material to make starting something easier. While the first step is the hardest, once you take it, creating gets easier.

Here’s what I found for you this week:

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1. Lin-Manuel Miranda gives some really cool tips on how to become a great storyteller

“For me, it always gets back to story. And I think if you set out to say: ‘I’m going to write a poem about the injustice of voter fraud. I’m going to write a musical about voter fraud and rigged elections,’ and I’m telling you it’s going to be boring. It’s going to be boring because you’re starting with themes instead of with the story.” ~ Lin-Manuel Miranda during the interview.

If you haven’t watched Hamilton or Moana, stop reading this and watch them. They’re some of the best storytelling I’ve seen, and both of them are available on Disney+. 

In this 13 minute interview with Nieman Foundation’s Ann Marie Lipinski, Lin-Manuel Miranda breaks down his blockbuster hit, Hamilton, and shows the inspiration, themes, and storytelling behind it.

Takeaways:

  • Focus on a story of a person and let them come from the story.
  • Read books, watch plays and films, and listen to music to discover your mentor. 
  • Find your voice by focusing on what you like in all forms of media, not just what you read. Pay attention to the lyrics of your favorite songs, too.

2. Lessons on taking a chance in your creativity by Ami Vitale

“Don’t make work for what you think other people want. You have to go and follow your heart and even if you fail, you’re going to learn.” ~Ami Vitale 

In this video, Ami Vitale shares her path as a photojournalist and the lessons she learned along the way. It doesn’t matter if you like photography, she will inspire you to take a chance with anything you want to create. It’s only 25 minutes long and worth your time. 

Look through the power and raw lens of award-winning photojournalist, Ami Vitale

If you’re interested in photography, she’s offering a free hour long webinar:

 Learn how to create unique images and how to develop your photographic eye during this very special presentation by Ami Vitale.

https://www.amivitale.com/events/develop-your-style-and-build-your-photography-with-ami-vitale/

Date: Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Time: 1:30

I registered for it and can’t wait!

3. Resource of the Week: ConvertKit

It doesn’t matter if you are a writer, artist, programmer, or music composer, you need a direct way to connect with people who enjoy what you make. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great, but they’re the ones who have their real contact information. What if they go the way of MySpace?

Unless you want to send out a sequence of emails, ConvertKit is free for the first 1000 subscribers. And if you get past that, Yay! It’s under $30/month for the next tier. 

Besides the plentitude of educational resources about how to use ConvertKit, they host videos of every creator you can think of giving advice on how to succeed. Watch Creator Sessions live on their YouTube channel on Fridays at 7 p.m. Pacific Time.

ConvertKit:

https://app.convertkit.com/referrals/l/ac555cfd-0698-4258-bc92-ce0163632104

4. Traveling From My Couch.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines! Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover!” ~Mark Twain.

Brian and I celebrated our 24th anniversary in Paris last January. I fell in love with the “City of Lights” and can’t wait to return. In the meantime, I started attending French online experiences. 

If you’re a history nerd like me, you’ll love The French Revolution Interactive Journey on Airbnb. We paid $19 each, and it’s 75 minutes. Thierry gave us a video tour of the French Revolution and the U.S. connection tailored to our interests. I felt like I was part of the conversation instead of an observer.

https://www.airbnb.com/experiences/1671518

5. Meet our friend and Emmy winning composer, Jim Dooley 

I met Jim when he and my husband, Brian, recorded the song, Nothing Else Matters, by Metallica for my birthday. Brian sang and Jim played the music. I love Brian’s voice. 

Last week our friend, Jim Dooley, answered Pushing Daisies fan’s questions in, “Pushing Daisies – 15 REDDIT Questions.” 

Jim composed music for a variety of games, movies, and TV shows like Netflix’s Series of Unfortunate Events. He won an Emmy for Pushing Daisies and worked with Brian on Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two. 

Brian and Jim joined forces again for Ozaria, a game that teaches JavaScript and Python. Brian wrote the story and Jim composed the music. They think educational games should be as entertaining to play as the blockbusters they’ve created over the years because learning should be fun. 

You can find Jim’s music at https://jimdooley.com

6. Ozaria is available on Hour of Code!

I have to give a shout out to Brian and CodeCombat this week. Ozaria is #6 (not any easy feat) on Hour of Code! During Computer Science Education week, Code.org selects games that teach coding to kids of all ages and skill levels to help demystify programming and make it accessible. Hour of Code is an hour of free game play. It’s played by kids at home and in the classroom. 

Here’s the link to play Ozaria: https://hourofcode.com/us/learn

I’ve volunteered for CodeCombat for over a year now because Ozaria is fun and makes it accessible to both boys and girls. I was told by teachers that I can’t program because girls aren’t good at math. Ozaria only proves that misconception wrong but makes it appealing to kids regardless of their gender. 

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Happy Creating!

Juliet