2012 Twenty Questions Interviews : Michael W. Roberts
20 Questions Interview
with Michael W. Roberts
Writer and Storyteller
1. What's your name?
Michael W. Roberts.
2. Where are you from?
New Orleans, Louisiana.
3. Who are you today?
I'm a writer, a marketer, a dad, and a husband.
4. What do you do? (Elevator speech)
I help people discover their creativity on a blog called Revive Your Creativity. We specifically focus on writing and storytelling as means of expressing our creativity.
5. What's your story (how did you get here)?
I've been around creative people all of my life, so it's always been a core part of who I am. I used to work for the arts department in a couple of churches, and one of my favorite activities there were the retreats that we could take for our art teams (musicians, actors, etc.). Even in artistically gifted people, I saw the timidity involved when people tried to talk about their own creativity. Since that time, I've had several conversations in which discussed their desire to share stories, but fear held them back. I want to be a part of getting those stories out into the world.
6. Why is creativity important to you?
Creativity is one of the most fulfilling ways I experience spirituality and life. I feel the most alive when experiencing a film like The Constant Gardener. There is an honesty and vitality in such stories that cannot be conveyed any other way.
7. When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?
I've been performing all my life, but I really decided to give it my full attention in middle school.
8. How did you embrace it?
At the time, my main pursuit was music. I was sure that I was going to a singer / songwriter when I grew up, but plans change.
9. How did that feel?
At the time, it was very exhilarating and stressful at the same time. There's a lot of pressure on kids to "know what they want to be" when they grow up, but it's a process that you figure out throughout life. It's not just a one-time decision.
At the same time, I'm a goal-setter. Having an ambition to dedicate my time and energy towards excited me.
10. Where has your journey taken you?
There and back again. I've tried on several different forms of creativity in my hobbies and in my career. I've learned a lot about what works best for me and my family during that time.
11. What challenges have you faced?
Trying new things means that some stuff isn't going to work, and plans that don't come to fruition can be greatly disappointing. Learning who I'm not has been a frustrating experience at times, yet the knowing is worth the bumps along the way.
12. What worked for you?
Through the years, these four things worked best for me: having a supportive family, being willing to explore new options, maintaining a passion for stories, and keeping a stubborn persistence.
13. What didn't work for you?
Here is what did not work for me: spending my passion and time on tasks that did not utilize my strengths. It is the kind of mistake that is easy to spot in hindsight but difficult to see at the time.
14. What three tips can you share with those starting on a similar path?
- Don't lock yourself into one path to the point that you are not willing to consider other options.
- Look for your areas of interests that naturally combine your strengths and your passions: the more crossover between the two, the better.
- Enjoy the process. If you can't enjoy it, don't make yourself (and those around you) miserable.
15. What are you working on now?
The Revive Your Creativity website just launched, so I am spending a lot of time developing new content and learning about the members of this new community. I've also got my first serialized storytelling piece out on the Kindle, and it's called "Until the Debt's Been Paid." Part 2 of the storyline, called "The Indebted Army," is set to release very shortly.
16. What's coming up for you in the next year?
I'm looking forward to seeing how the community of Revive Your Creativity will grow, and I've been encouraged by the way that we've started off. Also, I'm thrilled by the way that indie authors are able to experiment with storytelling on affordable mobile readers, so I'll be trying lots of new projects there.
17. What else do you desire/dream to do?
Keep trying new things. I'd love to write a screenplay and see it turned into a movie. I want to write books, and I want to write stories that appear in other media.
18. How will you make that happen?
The first step is to keep on creating, and, by that, I mean to keep getting projects finished and out the door. I've learned so much from people's varying opinions on completed stories. The second step is to keep meeting new people by taking an interest in what they are doing. Offering genuine compliments and feedback to others fosters new relationships with creatives in a powerful way.
19. What question would you like to be asked (or are just itching to answer) that's not on this list?
Where do you find inspiration?
My inspiration comes from a number of sources. I love watching movies and reading comics, and my time spent running allows ideas to breathe and become coherent.
20. What's your Web site address?
You can join the community at ReviveYourCreativity.com.