Life in the Box: Creative Path


When you are creative, you face many decisions, the most important of which is—what do you want to create and share with others? It doesn’t matter whether you use music, paint brushes, dance steps or words; what matters is using your individual talents in a way that is true to you and will make the world and/or other people all the stronger for it.

Back when I worked in television, I noticed that one of the most sought-after powers in a television station is the power to decide local content. What will we make together? What is in the interest, convenience, and necessity of our viewers, and who decides that? For about 16 years, I was on a team of six producers who were able to decide content for one half-hour show per week.

That was only a small slice of time to fill, but our discussions of what to put in those 28 minutes of air time took hours of research as well as many heated group discussions. We weighed the strength of “the medium” to convey messages to both heart and intellect. We agreed to look for “unusual voices” and opinions outside of the stuffed shirts and “authorities” but to also check our assumptions with those same experts. We agreed to try to make the world a better place. 

Those old discussions have tempered me in such a way that now, as a blogger/columnist for Escape Into Life, I authentically weigh what I can and cannot do with whatever words and space has been freely given to me. I take it seriously.

At this turning point in our nation, with the inauguration of Donald Trump, I feel the pressure to DO something. What?

Here’s my thinking at this point:

  • I will continue to look at politics from a non-politician’s point of view, with the intent of clarifying and organizing my thoughts (and yours) on the current chaos. Looking for patterns is one of my strengths, I have been told.
  • I will write a bit about media and coverage; not the usual critiques but rather—what are those producers thinking?  And what are some good and bad practices that we as viewers can observe as media consumers?
  • I will continue occasional how-to articles for photography enthusiasts; my local camera club has been inspiring me in many ways.
  • I will write columns to lift the load for us weary liberals. We take everything so seriously—we must take breaks. Sometimes there is incredible power in a laugh or snort. Grin and bear it? Not all the time, but in my mind none of us bears the entire world on our shoulders, and a smile is politics-free. Sometimes.

That’s my story. For now. Glad to have you along for the ride!

Nancy Heather Brown is a retired, Emmy Award-winning television producer whose career has included interviewing, writing, and editing for a span of four decades. Today, she enjoys learning new things and reflecting upon the creative process and the world of ideas both inside and outside the box. All opinions are her own, and are not necessarily the opinions of Escape Into Life.  

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