The Imagining

Podcasts to Prose, learning from the research : signing off until season 2

February 10, 2024 Matt Cooper Season 1 Episode 18
Podcasts to Prose, learning from the research : signing off until season 2
The Imagining
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The Imagining
Podcasts to Prose, learning from the research : signing off until season 2
Feb 10, 2024 Season 1 Episode 18
Matt Cooper

As we near the close of a chapter in our podcast journey, I can't help but share what's been stirring behind the scenes: a shift from podcasting to writing. It's a pivot that's come with its fair share of hurdles, and in this penultimate episode, I go into whats behind my decision. We tackle creating content that resonates, without falling prey to analytics. Balancing the art of building a genuine community and engagement metrics has been a challenge.

We chat about the magic of fairy tales. Jess joins me to discuss how figures like C.S. Lewis and Tolkien use narrative to tackle the complexities of life, mental health, and personal growth. We delve into how these stories have shaped my approach to storytelling, and anyone seeking guidance or understanding.

I am moving into a time of writing instead of focusing on the podcast. Podcasting and writing is a vulnerable act, and I've tried to find the balance of sharing personal tales while maintaining privacy. 

Thanks for all your support, look out for season 2.

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

As we near the close of a chapter in our podcast journey, I can't help but share what's been stirring behind the scenes: a shift from podcasting to writing. It's a pivot that's come with its fair share of hurdles, and in this penultimate episode, I go into whats behind my decision. We tackle creating content that resonates, without falling prey to analytics. Balancing the art of building a genuine community and engagement metrics has been a challenge.

We chat about the magic of fairy tales. Jess joins me to discuss how figures like C.S. Lewis and Tolkien use narrative to tackle the complexities of life, mental health, and personal growth. We delve into how these stories have shaped my approach to storytelling, and anyone seeking guidance or understanding.

I am moving into a time of writing instead of focusing on the podcast. Podcasting and writing is a vulnerable act, and I've tried to find the balance of sharing personal tales while maintaining privacy. 

Thanks for all your support, look out for season 2.

Support the Show.

Speaker 1:

Hey, I'm Matt. Welcome to my podcast, the Imagining a time to explore the imagination, creativity and mental health. All of the conversations I'm having form part of the research for my new book. I hope that you have the opportunity during this time to discover something new about yourself, so I'm handing over the baton To me. Enjoy, okay. Welcome, august, to the podcast.

Speaker 2:

Welcome, Matt, to the podcast.

Speaker 1:

The Imagining Thank you. Thank you for having me. How's your journey. Yeah, I mean I came down the stairs.

Speaker 2:

Nice.

Speaker 1:

It was, it was, it was good Standard.

Speaker 2:

Made the journey. A lot Got annoyed at me cleaning the cleaning the mold off the wall.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'm not going to lie. It's a very consistent pattern around doing important things. It's always seems like your optimal moment, for it just seemed like a good moment to clean the mold. Clean the mold. Yeah, there's a pattern.

Speaker 2:

There's a patch of mold on our wall and I've been desperate to clean it.

Speaker 1:

It's uncovered every time we move the table.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, every time we do a podcast. Well, every time we do a podcast at home, the table comes out and the mold is revealed and I see it and it's like it's staring at me telling me to clean it. So I just thought I'm going to do it now. Anyway, that's by the buyer, so we're on episode 19.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

There's this episode, and then there's one more, yeah, and then you've made the decision to pause.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Why, why are you pausing? What prompted that decision?

Speaker 1:

Well, I think there's a few key components to that. First was the gentle elbow from you to stop and pause and reflect and think about my priorities and what I'm doing and just make sure that everything is sitting in line still. So what are?

Speaker 2:

your priorities.

Speaker 1:

So basically, what's happened is that running this podcast was always designed to be research for the book that I'm writing and it's been really successful, from my opinion, in terms of gathering that research for the book. The detrimental part of that research process has been that the research has taken up a large wedge of time, which would have been me writing, yeah, and I've had to do it. I've had to facilitate time and space to do research because for anyone that's ever come to write a book or do anything, that's quite a large project. You have to have a lot of information and a lot of places to pull information from and make sure that it's interesting things as well and you're not just kind of pulling from other people's lives, other people's stories, necessarily, but pulling from your own conversations.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you don't want to just regurgitate.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, exactly, and so doing. The podcast was about gathering that research, and that's been really important, but increasingly it's become a large chunk of my week has been about producing and recording this podcast and finding the guests, and it's left me with less and less time for actually writing, and this felt like an appropriate moment to pause the podcast just for a while, for a couple of months Anywhere from three to six months is what I'm thinking at the moment to focus down on writing and focus down on really engaging with the conversations that I've had, rather than just letting them fade and I think that that would be something which I feel like I was maybe on the edge of anyway, because, pre us having this conversation, I was writing down all the things that I've learned about, or the things that I can remember learning about or having a conversation with people about over the last 20 shows, and realize that actually some of that has already faded in my mind.

Speaker 1:

I've forgotten some of the things that at one point I was really excited about, including. I've forgotten the conversations and some of the notes that I've made based upon them conversations. So you need to go back, and so I need to yeah, I need to spend some serious time engaging with it and really taking it forward the conversations that I've got and actually utilizing it as research for the book that I'm writing. So that's the main reason that I'm part of.

Speaker 2:

The conversation we had in the car on Wednesday night was how I had noticed you got a little bit distracted by growth. Obviously, that is just a thing that happens, like when you're putting content out there, whether it's like a podcast or social media stuff. Those numbers, those views, those downloads, those, whatever it is they, they were just always there, aren't they?

Speaker 2:

there's no way to avoid it. So how is that something you wanted to? Did you want to grow in terms of numbers, or did like. How did that happen? Because I challenged you on it and I was like it feels like you're starting to focus on that more than you originally wanted to.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean I guess that it's. It's a trap which is easily fallen into. I mean, half of half of my thinking was around building a community and an audience that resonated with the ideas and the language that. I've been trying to discover.

Speaker 2:

And that's a positive thing, and that's a good thing.

Speaker 1:

And obviously I want to write for people to gift them with, hopefully, something that's helpful and useful.

Speaker 1:

And part of that is finding the people that it would be useful to, and so many times I've seen people produce things books, training videos, all manner of resources they make the thing and then there's no one there they don't actually know anyone that would benefit from it. So in that sense, it's been really helpful to track and understand a little bit of who's engaging with the content that I'm producing, because it's given me an idea of who's this book for, who's resonating with the language, is helping me understand people a bit better and I don't want to run away from that or kind of push it back. Under the guise of tracking metrics is just a negative thing.

Speaker 1:

And it's bad for your mental health. The flip side of that, as we're all too aware, is that if that becomes a reason rather than a outcome, you know it's a brilliant, wonderful, worthy outcome of doing something, but it can't be a reason, and I guess, slowly, there was some things that I was doing that were slipping into already and doing this for the growth of my channel or for the growth of the podcast.

Speaker 1:

And not, I'm doing this because I want to understand this topic better so I can help people and serve people better and help kind of grow the vision that's inside of me better. Suddenly it's like oh you know, if I do this, then more people will watch it, instead of oh, actually I didn't. That wasn't based around me learning anything. That was just based around me trying to get more people to view stuff or watch stuff. So it, so. It doesn't serve the original purpose.

Speaker 2:

That's fair.

Speaker 1:

So trying to balance them two out, and I think having a break is just one way of going okay. Well, let's just put that on the back burner, get comfortable again with not seeing like a couple of thousand people watching my stuff every day, or whatever it may be.

Speaker 2:

And who knows like. Sometimes, when you give something like room to breathe, it's not going to disappear. The content's still out there, so people could stumble across it and you can still engage with it, even if you're not putting new stuff out there. Sometimes let's the old stuff breathe and have space to grow organically. So obviously, the book that we're speaking about doesn't have a title, as far as I'm aware.

Speaker 1:

No, no, I think it kind of has a theme.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, like it's not going to be good.

Speaker 1:

No one of the key pieces of bias that I got around writing was if you give it a title too early, then it means you write a book called into the title as opposed to writing the book that needs to be written. And then when it needs to be written, I mean the book, that is kind of instinctually being driven and also the research is supporting you writing, whereas if you have a title before, you've already decided your outcome before doing the journey, and I didn't want to do that.

Speaker 2:

I guess it depends how you're motivated, isn't?

Speaker 1:

it yeah.

Speaker 2:

Sometimes a title can help you stay true to the topic and not get distracted.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Anyway so the book you don't have, the book that doesn't have a name, the book of no name.

Speaker 1:

The book of no name.

Speaker 2:

And maybe that'll be its name.

Speaker 1:

No, it's not its name. It's like some early 2000s Christians band name.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, the band of no name, the band of no name. You know that thing the book of no name and the book of no name. You obviously you just said that this podcast has been part of discovering the audience for the book, but obviously you started writing the book before the podcast. Yeah, you've written six fairy tales, six, five.

Speaker 1:

I'm on number five. You're on number five.

Speaker 2:

You've written five fairy tales which are part of the book. So why did you start writing the book before the podcast? Because obviously you were prompted to write the fairy tales and you were then prompted by the fairy tales to do the research, and then you were prompted by that thought to do the podcast. So it's kind of snowballed into what it is now.

Speaker 1:

For sure.

Speaker 2:

What prompted you to write these fairy tales? Who inspired you to write them? Let's go right back to the beginning.

Speaker 1:

Well, I guess just to connect it with the audience thing first. I think that just starting out, obviously the podcast was about discovering my audience Right in the very beginning. The initial audience, which I still think exists, was built around anyone that feels like they're having to navigate chaos a lot in their day to day lives, but anyone that aspires to create more beauty. That was, that was and I know that's like potentially a way too broad audience, so I actually niched it down into some specific people who I won't name on here because that would be unfair, as in you mean, you've got individuals in your mind.

Speaker 1:

There's individual, yeah, there's individual people that I know that if only then people were to read this, then that would be completely worthwhile. If only then people listen to the podcast, then that would be good enough, because I think that I'm writing it for these couple of individuals, myself included. I'm trying to answer my own problems as well, so I include myself in that, but there's definitely a few people which the ideas resonate with, or I want the ideas to resonate with more. So that's the initial audience.

Speaker 1:

In regards to the fairy tales, I think that my background over the last five years, six years, has been working with young people and children a lot around this idea of storytelling and as part of that I've really tried to understand what an effective story is and what an effective story does. And for me, the real tell us of that, the real center of the idea, is that it deposits an opportunity for you to think about something in your own life which otherwise maybe you wouldn't have had the space to that. For me, that's the deepest part of that story resonates with me as the reason why we tell them and fairy tales were this resonated with me because of their ability to do that of deposit a very simple truth which then allows your brain to fill in the gaps, and they're such distinct, powerful ways of communicating simple ideas, but simple ideas that are made up of, like, huge amounts of compressed wisdom. I think that that is when I think about simple ideas and writing simply. That's what I want to do.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to compress wisdom so tightly and so well that you only need to explain it as simple words, and I think if you can compress wisdom and ideas and morals and ways of thinking and models of thinking so compactly into a fairy tale, it means that it can be transported around and retold and told and told and told again, and I guess that's the beauty of the fairy tales that we're all talking about, and I guess that's the beauty of the fairy tales that we're all familiar with. You know where we would find our current models of model behavior mainly, rather than, rather than thinking behavior. I know that some of us overlaps within that. And then, secondly, the fairy tale thing comes from a great admiration for the heroes of folk tales, if you like CS Lewis, tolkien, even JK Rowling, even though she's more recent, rob McDonnell, not Robert Donald.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, rob McDonnell, isn't that your new boss? That's my new boss.

Speaker 1:

George McDonnell Plugged for Rob. Yeah, I know, yeah, plugged for Rob.

Speaker 2:

Was it George McDonnell Right?

Speaker 1:

He wrote Fantasties and the Golden Key and like he was like the predecessor of fairy tale writing to.

Speaker 2:

I know that.

Speaker 1:

CS Lewis and Tolkien both referenced him as the forefather of their work, so where you might have someone like JK Rowling, though for a parry Potter reference in Tolkien and CS Lewis the big inspiration Right. They would reference George and some of his writing, and he was a priest in a church and it was. I think that at the time there was a lot of this George McDonnell. There's a lot of misunderstandings around how to live life and it felt like it was very dry and he used stories to bring to life these, these wisdoms, and even whether you would resonate with them as fairy tales or not.

Speaker 1:

you know, parables are a big, big part of my treasure trove of life, in the sense that Jesus, who is the Messiah of the faith that I follow, used story, parable, fairy tale to illustrate the most important things, condense wisdom, write down into a story that people could understand.

Speaker 1:

So that's, that's the real reason. Plus, I think that it also. I think there's just a lot of stuff out there around mental health, particularly around chaos, around self actualizing, and it still sometimes sits in this higher academic level. That's quite hard to pull down into real life and quite hard to resonate with for someone that doesn't really read or doesn't have time to get through a whole book. So there's something in the delivery of fairy tales where you can tell a story in less than five minutes.

Speaker 2:

So you've been inspired by these great giants of storytelling and fantasy writing, but and you've referenced how they have gleaned wisdom They've taken these big concepts and they've distilled it down into little nuggets of wisdom. Where have you got your wisdom, your these things that you're trying to distill into fairy tales?

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And like, don't get me wrong, these fairy tales are like. I've read them. They're insanely beautiful and clever and they do what you are hoping to do and I think they are going to resonate with a huge amount of people. But where have you got these nuggets of wisdom from? Like? I'm presuming you've had to go on a bit of a journey of self reflection to get them. Are they things that you've learned or are they things that you've observed through life?

Speaker 1:

So it's a bit of a collection, obviously, of different places and different parts of my life. Some come from my academic history. So, for example, one of the fairy tales I'm writing is about a mountain who has to come in, or has to reconcile with the fact that the mountain is actually a volcano and he never knew it, and the story is written based upon the themes of this theory. I can't remember who came up with the theory, but there's something called the Illness Narratives, which is all about how we journey through pain. It's a very complex and like quite exhaustive theory about the human condition and how we journey through things that are really painful for us, and I learned about that during my time on my degree and I thought it was really helpful and that's been turned into a flow to life.

Speaker 2:

So you remember that all from that all that time ago. You remember that yeah.

Speaker 1:

I mean the truth of when we learned that theory. I mean, you were there with me, but you probably don't remember when we learned it.

Speaker 2:

I only remember it because you just brought it up.

Speaker 1:

And because I think I've already talked about it multiple times, and when you say it in Illness Narratives, I'm like, oh yeah, that's that thing. So I remember it, particularly because during the time when we were learning about it, our lecture was actually in a morgue in the hospital and there's nothing more.

Speaker 1:

I mean, yeah, that's going to stick in your memory, yeah it sticks around when someone's talking to you about how we deal with pain when you are surrounded by dead people. I don't mean that to sound like I don't have respect, so just what do you mean?

Speaker 2:

We were, that's true. Yeah, yeah, we were. Yeah we were in a morgue.

Speaker 1:

So there's parts which are like that.

Speaker 1:

Then there's other bits which are more deeply personal to me, and so the example of that would be I've always felt that my imagination is more responsible for the best and the worst of me, the worst of me being there's been days where I've just been paralysed by a fear of the future and just been bombarded with intrusive thoughts over and over and over and over again, which is for anyone that's not familiar with intrusive thoughts.

Speaker 1:

It's basically, it is part of the OCD family. It's a compulsion to think about what if scenario is, and they're often quite terrifying and horrible and it's really quite a scary thing to exist in. But it's a deeply imaginative activity of your brain that, relatively, you struggle to have control over, and I take tablets to help me to deal with that. But that's definitely an activity of my imagination as much as something like trying to build my own company was, or making films is, or the activity of trying to compliment you in the morning is trying to, as much as the activity of thinking of something of something nice to say and encouraging word or a gift that I could buy you, or even I read something online about the flowers that you choose to buy your partner for Valentine's Day is an act of imagination, a beautiful act of imagination.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and when choosing roses is not that imaginative.

Speaker 1:

One could argue that unless, unless the person that you love is deeply loves roses.

Speaker 1:

I guess you put all of these things that acts of imagination, and, but for me it's always felt like the imagination was either. Being this really horrific experience which I have no control over, all this proactive, beautiful thing where I'm creating nice things and trying to change the world and trying to reconcile them together is has been a deep mystery that I've been trying to unravel. Is that? How can this same part of me, the same muscle, if you like, be responsible for both such good and such bad, such beauty, such anxiety?

Speaker 1:

and I wrote a fairy tale which was all about the relationship between day and night and that's my favorite one when they come together, it's like twilight and basically it's how the good and the bad of who we are. I mean this the oldest story in history is the story of balance the balance between we need night to rest and to be still.

Speaker 2:

It's what pretty much every movie is based on good triumph and evil or vice versa.

Speaker 1:

Well, although in this particular story I think it's not necessarily good over evil, because I think that night time and anxiety obviously serves a purpose in equal measure to the creation of beauty. Because, you need relative anxiety to protect you from doing stupid things, so that's a good thing. You don't want your imagination to stop working when it comes to what would happen if I did jumped off a bridge what would happen if I drove into that tree. Like you, need your imagination to protect you to mitigate from them circumstances.

Speaker 1:

You equally don't want to think that your ideas are so beautiful that you become an egotistical maniac like Hitler, who just believed that he's way of the world was the most beautiful way of the world. So it's neither. Might isn't or anxiety isn't inherently bad, and beauty has its limits as well.

Speaker 2:

I think we often think it is, though, don't we? We hear the word anxiety I've got anxiety, or I feel anxious, or like I, struggle with anxiety, and we immediately think of somebody in the corner of a room shaking, having a panic attack, paralyzed by fear. We don't often think of it as something that can be good or can protect us, or can be the root of something beautiful if managed well and if given space and a canvas to paint on.

Speaker 1:

For sure, and I think that that's part of the discovery process of the writing I'm doing, in the sense that I've tried to, or I'm trying to, distinguish some breakdown, this kind of root anxiety, into multiple areas. So you would have anxiety in the sense of debilitating mental health issues, which takes you on a journey of you are paralyzed to some degree by how your mind is currently thinking. But it also breaks down into preparing yourself for danger, which is a good thing. It also breaks down into the chaotic, which isn't in none of itself inherently bad, because in the chaos there's building blocks for new things Out of the ashes.

Speaker 1:

You know comes beauty, the the new thing arises, like a phoenix. So trying to distill anxiety into these various subwords Feels like it's important for me, because if my imagination is responsible for so much of the activity of anxiety, that's trying to distinguish what are the actual bits that I want to get rid of, or what are the actual bits that are unhelpful to me, and what are the actual bits where I don't want to just neglect all senses of anxiety, because we all know the eternal Optimist out there who doesn't engage with their anxiety. Yes, and it feels like they're living a lie and I don't want to completely push out everything in the name of. I just want to create beautiful things, because you become disengaged with the world and.

Speaker 1:

You know, you isolate yourself from pain and that's never ended well either.

Speaker 2:

Do you feel like having these conversations and the right in the book has Helped you lean more into the helpful side of your imagination and Learn more about it, so that you do you feel like that bit of your brain is more active now because you've, because you've had these conversations and you've been actively right in this book? That's a bit of a closer question, sorry. Expand.

Speaker 1:

It's an interesting question because I think at the same time as writing this there's been so many other Life changes, significant life changes, having a baby, so I don't have as much time to be anxious. I know that sounds really weird. I'm a bit more occupied.

Speaker 2:

Okay.

Speaker 1:

With just I just need. There's things that need to be done, so that's part of this. Last year. There's I Changed the tablets or changed your mount, the. Was it the quantity of the dosage of?

Speaker 2:

tablet that I'm on.

Speaker 1:

That was in January last year. That accounts for a changes as well. So they're both big things that have happened in the last year which Feed into this. However, one of the big benefits has been is I've turned something which has been debilitating and really hard to deal with into a Subject which can help other people, into an idea which is Is now, in a funny way, kind of useful to me In terms of reflecting on how life could be better for our communities, and how it could be better for me is that it's it's become more integrated with a sense of Journey and through my life, as opposed to I'm living great and then the really bad thing happens and I stopped living and then I carry on again when I'm feeling healthy again, whereas now it feels like the whole thing is a little bit more integrated.

Speaker 1:

Okay because of writing.

Speaker 2:

So it's less stop-starting. Yeah you see it as like a Turning a page rather than the book?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think that, all of that being said, there's certain bits of the book which I'm feeling, which I haven't Started writing because I'm too scared to write it.

Speaker 2:

Hmm, which bits I.

Speaker 1:

Think there's bits particularly around and To me, obviously with you sits in the first chapter. So the first chapter is I mean I've written up a bit, it's like there's this a section of the first chapter, so the after I tell this fairy tale in the first chapter. There's Then this opening paragraph, which is all about how the imagination is responsible for tables, teapots and terrorism.

Speaker 1:

Mm-hmm and it's trying to explode, the idea that it's so responsible for so many acts, and it it's not objectively good or bad, it's a tool. I Then Think about you know, the research that I've done, the conversations that I've had, the Facebook polling that I've done, blah, blah, blah. Inherently, you arrive a bit where you go. Okay, matt, what has that meant in your life? Mm-hmm. What's the that? The teapot. If we argue the teapot is the good thing, it's easy to have a good things. What's the terrorism in your brain? Right.

Speaker 1:

What's what's the what's the thing that is really burdening your brain? What's the thing that steals your thoughts for bad purposes?

Speaker 2:

So you're scared because it's like hugely vulnerable, because I said massively vulnerable, and Trying to find that line between.

Speaker 1:

This is helpful, sharing who I am and that's sharing too much that I'm just gonna feel deeply uncomfortable every time.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, the book goes out like over sharing is not good, so yeah trying to find that line the balance yeah.

Speaker 1:

It's hard. Yeah, and being vulnerable is always gonna suck.

Speaker 2:

But you have to be vulnerable. Vulnerable in order to be creative. Yeah. Otherwise, people are gonna read the book and they're gonna feel like you're holding something back for sure, and then they themselves are also gonna hold something back and not engage with it fully, because they're like well, he's all being vulnerable, so I'm not gonna be either and equally.

Speaker 1:

It's like like if you push the vulnerable thing too much, there's that deep fear within all of us. I'm like great in the first chapter, they'd all just discover that I'm just a terrible human being with a terrible thought life. That's, that's a fear that we all have yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, when you put yourself on the paper ice. I think evidence would prove at this point that vulnerability leads to connection more often than not, and Perfectionism and closing up and only showing people you good side. In the short term it's probably a better strategy, yeah, but you are so right like vulnerability is not getting naked in front of the whole world Like that is not vulnerability like, just get naked in front of you, right.

Speaker 2:

Like vulnerability. Is you distracted me now? Sorry? It can control myself vulnerability is like it's not even getting naked like. Vulnerability is like just Revealing the right bits of yourself to them. I've got lost now with the naked, the naked.

Speaker 1:

That's it like when we studied youth work. That was a big part about the vulnerability thing of going. Let people into a story yeah but Not everyone is your best friend.

Speaker 2:

Yes, absolutely like when we were youth workers. I remember someone telling me this like there's a bit of you that, when he so say, young person comes to me and is like, oh, I'm going through this thing, like I hate my body, I feel really like I don't know. They come share, like a thing that's going on in their lives and IE, I've got really low self-esteem, maybe I'm self-harming. Whatever's going on, for that young person is like like really hard, really true, the gut instinct of you is to go. You know what, when I, when I struggled with this thing, or like when I self-harmed yeah, like to tap into a

Speaker 2:

bit of your story that resonates with what they're going through, which in itself isn't like hugely bad, but it can come across as like minimizing of their pain a little bit. But I I remember someone telling me like, if you're gonna like never speak from an open wound, so Basically, if a yeah say, for example young person came to me and was like my parents are getting divorced and I'm like devastated about it, I need to talk to someone, say my parents had also just decided to also get divorced and I'm like also going through that and it's really raw for me. I am not in a good place to talk to a young person or talk extensively.

Speaker 2:

I guess yeah, having the one off to give advice to give advice and empathize with that young person, like I, potentially, am feeling too raw to talk about that also myself, and so don't talk from an open wound, but you can talk from a wound that maybe is scabbed over a few years ago. So say, my parents also got divorced and I was like 10 and I'm now like in my 20s.

Speaker 2:

Yeah maybe, depending on how you've dealt with that and whether you've healed from it a little bit, you are in a better position to talk from it. So I completely get what you mean, like you don't want to talk from an open wound and put yourself in a position where you're opening yourself up to.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, even more wounded. Yeah, and I'm not saying that there is any of these things, and another rule that I think that I've largely Implemented is anything I haven't spoken to my mom about I, I don't wanna.

Speaker 2:

Right, because that's hard. If, like your parents or your close family and friends, or even me, like read something about you and is like they don't know. I had no idea that was a.

Speaker 1:

Thing and especially when it's down to your pain. Yeah, that's and I if, if, don't get me wrong I think writing as a way of explaining the things to close people to you is a good thing to do if that helps you. But when you're looking to publish a book, yeah, yeah, and put out there, you don't want them to find out the same time as everyone else.

Speaker 2:

Yeah so we're we're heading into season two of the podcast, like when you've had a break and you've been able to reflect. You're gonna relaunch the podcast, hopefully, and you've already recorded some of those episodes that are gonna.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

What do people have to look forward to? Do you feel like you're gonna continue the same conversations or, excuse me, are you gonna be looking at different topics Like what do people have to look forward to?

Speaker 1:

so From a production point of view.

Speaker 1:

I really want to make it a bit more of a Multimedia experience, in the sense that I would really love to include some music in the episodes. I'd really love to include little snippets from other, like public speakers and radio clips and stuff like that into it to make it a bit more of an engaging audio experience, because that's been something that I haven't been able to do because I've been recording. So record it in the week, release it in during the week, whereas this way around it would be good to have a few have a really good long run up at it which is spread out, which would give me time to edit it a bit more deliberately and give some more attention and thought to how the production is.

Speaker 1:

Secondly, I am wanting to build the questions off of what I've learned so far from the last 20 episodes, from more writing. If I'm honest, going back to that very original question of why you're taking a break, another reason would be I feel like I haven't really got any new questions and I don't want to keep asking the same ones, so I would really like to find some new questions not new questions, as in write them down and ask specific questions.

Speaker 1:

I would just like to move into a different bit of research a different bit of the phase of my thinking, kind of grow it from what it's been now, and that's going to take me doing more research, more thinking more and just kind of gradually move a bit forward so that I don't keep going around doing the same loop. I mean, one, it will become boring for other people, and two, it'll just become pointless and boring for me yeah, so.

Speaker 2:

I've really liked to change that so you've got the fairy tales, you've got a bit of this, you've got this research that you've done in the form of podcasts and conversations. So, how do you what as an author, aspiring author? How, what's your process? Like, how do you? Where do you write best? Like, do you write in your head before you write down? Do you write pen and paper? Like, what's your process?

Speaker 1:

so interestingly I I probably write not word for word, mind I write a great deal in my head, so when I actually come to write in you've kind of already written it.

Speaker 1:

I've already written it and the actual point on paper a bit is just is just that I'm I've. I've rarely come to a, to a piece of paper or to my laptop with nothing to write, because I've already done the thinking. And that's been the biggest change in the process and starting starting writing the book is that originally, when I started, I was like, right, I'm gonna write a book and you sit down and you just start thinking about how to write a book and very quickly you realize that you've got nothing to write about, whereas if you have already thought about it and given it structure or not given it structure, you've found like a well with wisdom or information to draw from. Then it's so much easier to write because you're just putting on things that you've already got. So there's partly that I write a lot in my head, partly free structure. So the way that I quite like to write is by writing chapters in sentences, like the main sentences, if you like.

Speaker 2:

So for every chapter you would have maybe six to eight sentences and then sentences form the bedrock of the sections of okay, so you're trying to steal the big themes down into like a sentence to give you a rough, yeah, and I think that that's in keeping with what I'm using fairytale is the more you can compress wisdom.

Speaker 1:

So basically, in theory, I'd love people to be able to. Obviously, you could read the whole book, word, every word. If that's proving a tricky task, just read the first sentence of every sub sub chapter. If that's proving too much, just read the first sentence of every chapter. If that's proving too much, just read the first chapter. Say that you always. You can always distill the wisdom down to its simplest form in words. I don't know what that simplest form is yet, because it takes the expanding on it.

Speaker 1:

So often what you find is that you write the first sentence, you then expand on that by writing more and then you rewrite the first sentence in order to better capture and condense what you were in below it, because because of that thing I said again about the, the fairytales, I would love to be able to have a few sentences or a few words, even that I could utter, and then it would deposit something inside of you which could then expand and take on life of itself, be a seed of an idea rather than an oak tree. So the book will be an oak tree, but if you want to, you could just take the seed and let it not so tiny seeds grow in you and that's been how I've read.

Speaker 1:

You know I've read multiple different books, mainly like mainly struggling my way through all of them because I'm not a super quick reader. But if I really think about it, there's just been like little seeds, little ideas that are part of whole books and it's just been like a couple sentences that have then gone on to change my life, not the whole book.

Speaker 2:

So you know, writing a few of them, sentences, seems like an appealing idea and also a useful idea and you were saying earlier how you've got, when you were reflecting before we filmed today, how you've been thinking about the previous episodes and thinking about what you learned from them. Can you share a few of things?

Speaker 1:

yeah, let me just grab my this notebook's called it's my John Lewis waterproof notebook has a call octopus on it you should show it to the camera to the camera can they see? Yeah, if you're listening, then um you can't see.

Speaker 2:

It's got a call.

Speaker 1:

Octopus on the front so I've written, I've wrote out 10 things that capture so far what I feel the the biggest learning points have been and that's quite a lot that's quite a lot. Next week's episode, the kind of fine episode of season one who's that? With. That's just gonna be. I'm gonna be taking clips from different parts of the podcast and maybe I'll just play them on their own.

Speaker 2:

Maybe I'll reflect on them a little bit as I listen not sure yet it's going to be sad if some of your guests don't make it into the top 10 well, they can't all make it well, no, because so.

Speaker 1:

I don't. Well, it depends how short the clips are, doesn't it? But yeah, don't be offended if you don't make it. It doesn't mean that you ain't good enough. But I'm just going to fire some of the quick learning points that.

Speaker 2:

I've got from this season that I'm definitely almost definitely gonna be included and these are the ones that you remembered, because you're saying that you struggle to remember some yeah, these are just ones that have come off the top of my head, right from what is still in my brain okay there's, there's likely there's probably others yeah a whole lot more, but here's some of the top points.

Speaker 1:

The first one is around culture's impact on the imagination. You could exchange culture for context. The second one is around I. Do you want me to explain them a little bit?

Speaker 2:

more. I don't think you need to know. No, because otherwise we'll be here for another half an hour. Yeah exactly.

Speaker 1:

The second one is around the importance of safety, family and community nice when you're thinking about being creative or taking the risk of being creative and imaginative. Thirdly, boundaries, the boundaries of imagination. A lot of people talk about the imagination like it's a boundless place, which it is, but that might not necessarily be helpful. Fourth, what are you laughing about?

Speaker 2:

I don't know if it kind of feels like you are explaining them, but you're not, you're just. You're just expanding slightly to the expanded slightly.

Speaker 1:

Yeah exactly fourth. Yeah, values are a good filter for what comes out of the imagination into the real world nice five. You need to plot your route towards your destination. That's from your dad's episode, isn't it that's from my dad's episode and also the episode of Oli, which is talking about pick a destination that you can see and you can reach, which is on the way to a destination which you can't see, yeah, and feels so unachievable. Yeah, six Creators have a responsibility to liberate.

Speaker 2:

Who.

Speaker 1:

Everyone.

Speaker 2:

Right.

Speaker 1:

From the treadmill of life, the conveyor belt.

Speaker 2:

The conveyor belt that was from Ammell's. Yeah, ammell's podcast.

Speaker 1:

That's from Ammell's podcast Number seven. Fashion is a brilliant therapy for the imagination.

Speaker 2:

Really That'd be one of your top ones. Yeah, that would definitely be one of my top ones For you personally, because I know people would listen to that and be like well. Well, I think that Because some people don't care what they wear.

Speaker 1:

No, they don't care what they wear, but that in and of itself can be therapy for the imagination. So fashion is still therapy. At that point, okay, and I think, to condense it down, maybe even further than that, because that maybe, if you go behind that, it's about saying, instead of letting your internals inform your externals all the time, sometimes use your externals to inform your internals.

Speaker 2:

Right, dress how you want to feel.

Speaker 1:

Dress how you want to feel.

Speaker 2:

I did that the other day, you did do that the other day. I literally felt like poo. I did.

Speaker 1:

I probably have poo on you as well, probably at some spot on me. Sick yeah I felt like poo.

Speaker 2:

I didn't want to get out of bed, I didn't want to go anywhere. What did I do? I had a shower, got dressed, put a nice outfit on, put a makeup on, did my hair, and it made me feel better. It did. It made me want to have a good day.

Speaker 1:

Is that it? But you did that not because you wanted to.

Speaker 2:

No, I didn't want to. You did that because you wanted to tell your insides to do yeah.

Speaker 1:

And I think there's elements of that which are quite common. The understood that that's a good thing, but I kind of want to expand on it a little bit. Okay, borden.

Speaker 2:

What number are we on?

Speaker 1:

Number eight yeah, Borden is oppressive but potentially gives us an opportunity.

Speaker 2:

Me and you like.

Speaker 1:

That's why I've had it, but potentially gives us an opportunity. I did that.

Speaker 2:

That we disagree on this. Don't me.

Speaker 1:

We do and we'll come back to it in a minute. So Number nine yeah. Purpose drives imaginative activity.

Speaker 2:

Purpose drives imaginative activity.

Speaker 1:

Or helps you get through really negative imaginative activity. And 10. Crisis can be one of the greatest callings to greatness.

Speaker 2:

Crisis can be one of the greatest callings to greatness.

Speaker 1:

So they're my original thoughts that.

Speaker 2:

I just scribbled down. Just the top of your head.

Speaker 1:

This morning.

Speaker 2:

Of the top of my head.

Speaker 1:

So, and some of them, I think, like with all of like, with every idea, and everyone that's ever tried to write something down or film a video, you, it's easier to become concerned and obsessed with the idea of having original thoughts, which is important to some extent.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but as that man says, what's his name? Malcolm, what's his name.

Speaker 1:

I don't know what you're going to say Like an artist. Yeah, that's the original thing.

Speaker 2:

What's his name? Is it Malcolm? No I feel like three or four of your favorite people are called.

Speaker 1:

Austin Cleon. Nothing like that Definitely not Every offer that I like here, just like yeah, that other Malcolm.

Speaker 2:

The other, malcolm that wrote that book, or Rob or George. There's a couple of yeah, george, isn't Malcolm.

Speaker 1:

No, I know but there's like two authors that I like called Malcolm.

Speaker 2:

Austin, that's on the top of my head.

Speaker 1:

Austin is definitely not Malcolm.

Speaker 2:

As Austin Cleon says, I'm still like an artist.

Speaker 1:

Still like an artist.

Speaker 2:

So that's what you're doing. Yes, that's well yes, it's being inspired.

Speaker 1:

By other artists, by other thinking, by other artistic endeavors and trying to carve out, I guess, my own unique offering within that tree of stories, if you call it for every story, there's another 10 stories that can be told, and try to find my place within that and see if my perspective offers something of value to other people.

Speaker 2:

Nice. I have one more question how has becoming a dad, a father, shaped your perspective on why this book is important, or has it not?

Speaker 1:

It's the first time someone's asked me that question.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but you've probably thought about it before knowing you.

Speaker 1:

I'm not sure I have thought about it before.

Speaker 2:

Yes, I've thought of a question I haven't thought about.

Speaker 1:

I wonder whether this was one of my values probably beforehand anyway and it's not something which I'm always good at, but definitely something that I'm trying to be good at. I would really like my writing to be gentle, because I want my son to read a book that's written by me that could be around long after I'm gone, and I want him to go wow, my dad was gentle in the way that he spoke.

Speaker 2:

It's gone.

Speaker 1:

That's all right.

Speaker 2:

It's back, it's off.

Speaker 1:

It's off, the camera's gone on one of them.

Speaker 2:

We're carrying on talking, though.

Speaker 1:

So that's what I'd like.

Speaker 2:

That's lovely.

Speaker 1:

Just as camera's gone so I'm going to close out on this episode and just say thank you so much for helping me explore my thinking.

Speaker 2:

You're welcome. Did I ask good questions you?

Speaker 1:

asked great questions and I'm really excited to ask you some questions in the new season, in season two, based upon some new discoveries, some new learning, If you want to. What's the call to action?

Speaker 2:

Bias of coffee.

Speaker 1:

If you want to buy us a coffee.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you can subscribe to Buzzsprout and fund the Imagine in.

Speaker 1:

That's true If you want to support the Imagine in podcast.

Speaker 2:

You don't have to because we know money's tight for everyone.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's very true. No pressure If you want to support the Imagine in podcast and the writing of the book with no name and Bias of coffee. And Bias of coffee, then you can do that by following through on one of the links that's linked wherever you're listening. If you want to also support us, but not give money, then you can follow us on Spotify or Apple Music. You can subscribe to the YouTube channel.

Speaker 2:

You can share a podcast episode with a friend.

Speaker 1:

You can share a podcast episode with a friend. You can just give me the joy of just listening with someone listening to it and giving the time to listen to it, and I know Matt won't ever say this and you know you can't see me.

Speaker 2:

You can see Matt right now, which is weird, but he has worked incredibly hard on this and I'm so proud of you, like it's so incredibly proud of you, for having the courage to even start this, because it's scary, right, yeah. And also having the courage to pause and reflect. Like I'm really proud of you for taking that, because it's not easy, especially when you've built up momentum. Scary, right, taking a pause because you're like, oh, it's all my progress going to go. But if you've been impacted by any of the episodes or any of it, like do send Matt a direct message or a comment, because I know that it would mean the world to him to have your encouragement, because he's a words of affirmation guy and it will, yeah, it'll be nice if he can get a few little words of affirmation from his listeners from his friends.

Speaker 1:

Thank you.

Speaker 2:

Also, if you don't want to, you can't, you don't have to.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so I guess this is just a. This is a piece out for season one. You may hear my voice in the last episode, you may not, so thank you, it's been good. Thank you so much for tuning in and listening to this episode of the imagining. I hope that you've had the opportunity to discover something new about yourself. If you wouldn't mind and you enjoyed listening, then I would be really appreciative if you subscribed on whatever channel you're listening on.

Pause Podcast, Focus on Writing
Fairy Tales and Wisdom's Power
Navigating Vulnerability and Growth in Writing
Distilling Wisdom Into Sentences
Gratitude and Farewell From Season One