Episode Date September 28, 2021
Featured Guest Jessica Abel
Featured Book "How to Write an Autobiographical Novel" by Alexander Chee

Episode Summary

Jessica Abel reading from Alexander Chee’s How to Write an Autobiographical Novel and discussing creativity as a career.

Shell ran their first scenario planning session in 1971, and they’ve been sharing some of their insights since then. In their new LENS report from 2013, they talk about three central paradoxes to our world: the prosperity paradox, the leadership paradox, and the connectivity paradox. Here’s the connectivity paradox. On one hand, we’ve never been more connected, and that has, in an extraordinary way, unleashed the ability to connect. And in the same moment, that same connectivity has destroyed the value of IP. While it’s easy to be a creative, it’s hard to fund a life as one. How do you find a way to live a life as someone who creates?

I first came across Jessica Abel’s work upon discovering her book, Out on the Wire. The graphic novel is a must-read for anyone interested in the art of storytelling. And though I’ve written my fair share of books, I don’t really know what it takes to create a full-length graphic novel like Jessica does. In this episode, Jessica gives an inside look on life as a cartoonist, coach, and consultant.

Jessica reads two pages from ‘How to Write an Autobiographical Novel’ by Alexander Chee. [reading begins at 5:30]

Hear us discuss:

  • Creativity as a career: Are you sacrificing joy? [8:50]
  • The line between external and internal validation. [12:08]
  • What is required for creative focus?: “I thought, ‘I can’t do an okay job on drawing. I can’t just be okay, I have to give it my all. I have to spend the time necessary to do it right, or I’m not gonna get up a level.’” [15:07]
  • “You have to say no to your own ideas. Learn that saying ‘no’ is saying ‘yes.’” [18:45]
  • What strong autonomy looks and feels like. [24:32]

Join our free membership site, The Duke Humfrey’s, and get access to full transcripts, past episodes, exclusive downloads and more. You’ll find it all at www.MBS.works/podcast

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Jessica Abel | Website | LinkedIn | Instagram | Twitter

Jessica Abel’s book | Out on the Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio

Alexander Chee | How to Write an Autobiographical Novel

Follow Michael on | Instagram | Twitter | YouTubeLinkedIn | Facebook

Michael Bungay Stanier

Michael Bungay Stanier

I'm the author of five books that have collectively sold more than a million copies. I'm the founder of Box of Crayons, a learning and development company that helps organizations move from advice-driven to curiosity-led. I'm the host of the *2 Pages with MBS* podcast.

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