Learning Always 003 – Todd Brison and the Creative’s Curse

Today’s guest on Learning Always is a creative with a curse.

Todd Brison may have tens of thousands of readers over at Medium, but that doesn’t mean he’s about to slack on his learning journey.

His book, The Creative’s Curse, talks about a subtle problem that can eat away at you. That is, unless you learn to live with that curse and let it inspire you.

I had a great time chatting with Todd and he shares many great takeaways on how you can be more creative, be more productive, and embrace learning to suit your own personality.

Welcome to Episode 003 of “Learning, Always”.


What You’ll Learn About on Today’s Show

  • How to develop a creative process that works for you.
  • Why you don’t need to know absolutely everything before you start.
  • The power of consistency.
  • The importance of being inspired by others, but then finding your own take on things.
  • And much more…

Shownotes & Timestamps

02:20 – “Something good is going to happen.” – Todd’s mantra that kept him going. He put in months of work before reaching a position he was happy with. And he’s still pushing now that something good actually is happening.
03:20 – Todd feels like he’s working a second full-time job. But by doing what he’s best at, it doesn’t feel draining.
03:50 – Talking of being drained, hear what Todd thinks about being introvert or extrovert. “What charges your battery?”
05:45 – On the Creative’s Curse.
07:10 – Why you have to be self-aware in order to make the most of your time and productivity.
08:50 – Why productivity and procrastination can get confused. Hear Todd’s magic tip on getting amazing words of wisdom without wasting time.
10:50 – Todd is currently inspired by Eric Thomas – http://etinspires.com/
Wikipedia entry on Eric Thomas
12:00 – Don’t forget about your other commitments in order to live a full life.
13:00 – Listen to all the advice and do nothing, or take on a couple of advice nuggets and action them with intent?
13:50 – The Showrunner podcast and why I’m challenging myself to do so a lot of new stuff at the same time, despite their useful advice.
15:20 – Todd explains why consistency and momentum are so important. The pressure is on to be everywhere, but it’s more important to start with something sustainable and build on it.
17:50 – On fear getting in the way of the learning process. We don’t fear learning so much, but we do like to seek comfort. What will you do to get out of your comfort zone every day?
19:00 – Todd says why he’s scared to slow down.
20:00 – How short-form writing became a form of learning about others and turned into a book.
21:30 – Listening to other people asking questions is a great tool against writer’s block.
22:40 – Why repurposing isn’t cheating. It’s spreading your message as far as possible.
Anchor.fm – “Radio by the people”
Declan Wilson – Todd and I mention Declan, who we both got to know through different routes. I recently interviewed Declan for Learning Always too. That edition coming soon!
25:30 – Does it really matter where you are consistent?
26:00 – Building real relationships far outweighs getting a huge number of random followers.
27:50 – Todd explains why he thinks everything you publish is about personality. It’s not so much about doing something new, it’s more about *being* something new. Be you. “Here is my truth at this point in time.”
30:40 – Why Todd is the “Pom-Pom King“.
32:00 – The annoying inner voice screaming that everything needs to be perfect.
Ira Glass on “The Gap” – Video by Daniel Sax
33:30 – You’re not Stephen King. And that’s just fine.
35:40 – Even live conversations don’t have to be a first rough draft. So much happens behind the scenes in every medium of art.
I mention episode 92 of Chris Brogan’s The Owner’s Mind. Brogan interviews Jim Levine, who runs a top literary agency in the US. Levine explains that even the biggest and most prolific authors turn out drafts that go through a huge amount of rewriting and editing.
37:35 – Todd’s analogy of the painter who creates a masterpiece from a mess.
39:10 – Todd owns a dog. Or does the dog own Todd?
41:40 – The balance between a long-term plan and winging it at every new opportunity.
43:40 – Leaning to the short-term on a day-to-day basis, but maintaining an overarching framework to stay grounded.
45:00 – I don’t want to lose ideas; I want to have them ready when the right time comes.
46:00 – The One Thing I Know About You (on Todd’s Medium)
46:20 – “Ideation and execution are often separate.”


You can find Todd Brison at the following places:



I am a writer, who also runs TheUniversityBlog. If that site isn't enough of a clue, I have a love of all things Higher Education. I'm also interested in learning about learning about learning about learning...let's get meta!

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