Start With This

By Night Vale Presents

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Category: Arts

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Subscribers: 430
Reviews: 2


 Apr 30, 2019


 Apr 8, 2019

Description

The creators of Welcome to Night Vale Jeffrey Cranor and Joseph Fink believe the only bad writing is not writing. Start With This is a podcast gone creativity playground designed to put your ideas in motion. Each episode centers around a writing topic. Then they give listeners two short assignments: something to consume and something to create. Make something—anything. Then make something else.


Episode Date
Anxiety
35:10

Have you ever had a big deadline and all of a sudden you have to listen to that new audiobook? In this episode, we talk about how anxiety about your writing can lead to moments like this. Then we discuss ways to motivate yourself from steering into the skid, to doing achievable tasks, as well as how taking care of your body and mind affects your creative work. 

Consume: Listen to Mark Can’t Rap with British poet Mark Grist 

Create: Set a calendar alert for 5 days in a row to spend 10 mins writing non-stop. 

Each day, write about a different body part. At the end of the 5 days, put each of the sections together and look at the experimental novel you’ve created.

Join the SWT Membership community to share your work, give feedback, and connect with other artists:
https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis

See Start With This live in Boston on October 20. Tickets on sale now:
http://startwiththispodcast.com

Help spread the word about our show by wearing our logo:

https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththis

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Julia Melfi (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). 

Theme written by Joseph Fink. Currently performed by listener Mike Lynch. If you'd like your own cover of the theme song featured on this show, email us at startwiththis@nightvalepresents.com or share it in our membership community.

Produced by Night Vale Presents. 

http://www.startwiththispodcast.com
http://www.nightvalepresents.com

Sep 06, 2019
I Have an Idea for a Podcast
37:32

The heart of a good podcast isn’t in expensive mics or a nice  studio— it’s in the idea. We talk through four litmus tests to test the strength of your idea: specificity, novelty, practicality, and repeatability. Honing in on these elements will help you uncover what’s exciting about your idea, and what will make it successful. While this episode focuses on podcasting, these tests are good to consider for any artistic idea.

Consume: Listen to The Worst Idea of All Time and think about how it’s specific, novel, practical, and repeatable.

Create: Take a podcast (or any artistic idea) idea you have and walk through the four litmus tests.
Specificity: Write the one sentence elevator pitch for your podcast.
Novelty: Write one sentence about what makes your podcast different.
Repeatability: Write one to two sentences to describe what Episode 40 would sound like, or what the arc of your limited series would be.
Practicality: Make a list of equipment, people, and how much time you’ll need for each episode

Join the SWT Membership community to share your work, give feedback, and connect with other artists:
https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis

See Start With This live in Boston on October 20. Tickets on sale now:
http://startwiththispodcast.com

Help spread the word about our show by wearing our logo:
https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththis

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Julia Melfi (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo).

Theme written by Joseph Fink. Currently performed by listener Mike Lynch. If you'd like your own cover of the theme song featured on this show, email us at startwiththis@nightvalepresents.com or share it in our membership community.

Produced by Night Vale Presents.

http://www.startwiththispodcast.com
http://www.nightvalepresents.com

Aug 23, 2019
BONUS: Q&A #2 Preview
05:45

Here’s a short preview of our second members-only bonus Q&A episode. To hear the whole thing and to ask your own follow-up questions, join our community: http://patreon.com/startwiththis

Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Julia Melfi (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Produced by Night Vale Presents.

http://www.startwiththispodcast.com 
http://www.nightvalepresents.com

Aug 16, 2019
Rhythm & Rhyme
32:07

Poetry can be intimidating. It’s more technical than prose, and there’s an extensive world of theory and study behind it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t play around with it in your writing, and even be good at it! In this episode, Jeffrey and Joseph talk about how we naturally use poetic elements in our everyday speech, and how it can lend structure to get to the heart of what you’re describing.

Consume: Read Ballad in A by Cathy Park Hong. Try to read it aloud if you can!

Then check out this short feature article on Cathy Park Hong and her use of the univocalic.

Create: Write a 4-line, rhyming, univocalic poem. That means you pick a vowel and use only that vowel when you write. It doesn’t have to be good, just done!

Join the SWT Membership community to share your work, give feedback, and connect with other artists:
https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis


See Start With This live in Boston on October 20. Tickets on sale today:
http://startwiththispodcast.com

Not sure what t-shirt to wear today? Start With This:

https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththis

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Julia Melfi (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo).

Theme written by Joseph Fink. Currently performed by listener Mike Lynch. If you'd like your own cover of the theme song featured on this show, email us at startwiththis@nightvalepresents.com or post it on our members message board.

Produced by Night Vale Presents.

http://www.startwiththispodcast.com
http://www.nightvalepresents.com

Aug 09, 2019
Getting Intimate
33:02

We think the joy of a podcast is the personal relationship you develop with the podcasters you listen to. It’s a unique medium that creates a listening experience just for you. This direct line of communication is a tool, a gift, and a responsibility. In this episode, we talk about how to create while being aware of the listener's presence. 

Consume: Listen to an episode of Sleep With Me 

Create: Write and record a 2-minute piece about your listener. In the process, keep the 5 W’s in mind as they relate to your listener: who, what, where, when, and why.

Join the SWT Membership community to share your work, give feedback, and connect with other artists:
https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis

Not sure what t-shirt to wear today? Start With This:

https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththis

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Julia Melfi (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Produced by Night Vale Presents.

http://www.startwiththispodcast.com
http://www.nightvalepresents.com

Jul 26, 2019
Silence
30:00

Silence can be terrifying— Any moment that you’re not creating sound can feel a moment when you’re not keeping your listener’s attention. But silence is incredibly attention grabbing, and if done right can be one of the most valuable tools in any artist’s arsenal. Jeffrey and Joseph talk about how, at its core, silence is a structural element of audio, and how using it adjusts your sense of time, tension, and lends rhythm to your work.

Consume: Night Vale Live Ghost Stories

Create: Record a 1-2 min piece that is at least 25% silent. Use silence in a way that would change the meaning of the piece if it were removed.  

Join the SWT Membership community to share your work, give feedback, and connect with other artists:
https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis

Not sure what t-shirt to wear today? Start With This:

https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththis

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Julia Melfi (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Produced by Night Vale Presents.

http://www.startwiththispodcast.com
http://www.nightvalepresents.com

Jul 12, 2019
Art is Disposable
31:24

When do you let a project go, and why might you want to move on in the first place? Jeffrey and Joseph discuss the fine line between knowing when to trash a project and when to recycle it into something new. The willingness to let go of the art you consume and create can be really freeing. Thinking of art as truly disposable might even encourage you to try a new medium that you may not be as familiar with. 

Consume: Listen to 20 short episodes from 20 different poets from IndieFeed: Performance Poetry.

Create: Write a 2-minute, 250-word story about a wedding reception. Refine it a bit. Now, completely delete it! Then, write a 2-minute story about a bird. Record and/or share this one

Join the SWT Membership community to see what other listeners are making: https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis

Not sure what t-shirt to wear today? Start With This:

https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththis

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Julia Melfi (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Produced by Night Vale Presents.

http://www.startwiththispodcast.com
http://www.nightvalepresents.com

Jun 28, 2019
Dialogue
33:49

Writing dialogue can be daunting because you can’t rely own your own narrative voice— the characters have to speak for themselves. Joseph and Jeffrey deconstruct the popular advice that every line of dialogue has to move the plot forward, to talk instead about how the best dialogue is the kind that serves your story.

Consume: Listen to Episode 1 of Steal The Stars, a podcast by Mac Rogers. Pay close attention to each line of dialogue and what it does for the story.

Create: Write a 200-word, two-character dialogue. If you’re writing for audio, the recorded piece should come out to about 2 minutes.

The first line of your piece must be, “Put the milk on the table” and the last line must be,  “We are really only at the beginning.” Keep the purpose of the dialogue in mind as you write. If you’re feeling ambitious, try it again with a different reason for the dialogue.

Join the SWT Membership community to see what other listeners are making: https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis

Help spread the word about the show by wearing our logo on your torso:
https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththis

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Julia Melfi (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Produced by Night Vale Presents.

http://www.startwiththispodcast.com
http://www.nightvalepresents.com

Jun 14, 2019
Playing Games
51:08

At its core, a game is a set of fun rules. From acrostic poems to following mathematical progressions, games can take the pressure off of creating and let you have fun making your art. Jeffrey and Joseph talk about the idea of games in creative work, how playing them can provide instant structure, and how watching someone attempt to succeed is instantly captivating.

Consume: Episode 49 “Re: The Moon” of the podcast, Imaginary Advice

Create: Play the game that Ross Sutherland sets up in this episode of Imaginary Advice, “Re: The Moon.” Create three different statements about the moon following the convention, “The moon is a [adjective] [noun].” The adjectives and nouns can’t come from you. Flip through a book, use a random word generator, or use some other source. Then use those statements as the first sentence of three different paragraphs that tell a story.

Join the SWT Membership community to see what other listeners are making: https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis

Logo shirts now available on our online store:
https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththis

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Julia Melfi (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Produced by Night Vale Presents.

http://www.startwiththispodcast.com
http://www.nightvalepresents.com

May 31, 2019
Towards a Poor Podcast
29:32

How can you create something with only the most bare elements? There’s a lot you can do with just a story, a microphone, and a voice. Jeffrey and Joseph talk about the virtues of single-voice narrators, budgeting, and how to make a podcast or any kind of art in its most direct and affordable form.

Consume: Listen to the fiction podcast “Gone,” about a person who finds themself alone in the world after everyone else has vanished. It’s entirely written, narrated, and produced by Sunny Moraine.

Create: Find two items in your kitchen and figure out what noises you can make with them. Let that sound inspire you. Now write and record a 2 minute audio story (200-250 words) incorporating this sound. Or if you’re not a podcaster, use those items to inspire your written story (or visual art piece)

Join the SWT Membership community to see what other listeners are making: https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis

Get Rob Wilson’s excellent logo for the show on a t-shirt today:
https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththis

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Julia Melfi (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Produced by Night Vale Presents.

http://www.startwiththispodcast.com
http://www.nightvalepresents.com

May 17, 2019
Collaboration
33:03

Jeffrey and Joseph talk the history of their collaboration, and how working together made them better writers in their own right. Then they discuss the qualities they’re attracted to in potential collaborators, and the value they’ve found in working together.

Consume: Listen to the podcast, Our Debut Album hosted by Dave Shumka and Graham Clark of Stop Podcasting Yourself. (Start with at least the first 2 episodes)

Create: Play “Handsome Cadaver” with a co-writer to generate a 500-word audio story. Alternate sentences. Be honest with your story. Then find a performer and record them reading the script without giving any direction.

Join the SWT Membership community to see what other listeners are making: https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis

Support the show and help spread the word by wearing a logo t-shirt:
https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththis

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Julia Melfi (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Produced by Night Vale Presents.

http://www.startwiththispodcast.com
http://www.nightvalepresents.com

May 03, 2019
BONUS: Q&A Preview
11:43

Jeffrey and Joseph answer listener questions for Episode 1 (Idea to Execution) and Episode 2 (Know Your Limitations). Join the SWT Membership community to gain access to this full episode, to ask your own questions, and see what other listeners are making.

https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis

Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Julia Melfi (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Produced by Night Vale Presents.

http://www.startwiththispodcast.com
http://www.nightvalepresents.com

Apr 26, 2019
Feedback
32:26

Our art is personal so sometimes receiving feedback can feel overwhelming. In this episode, Jeffrey and Joseph talk about how to give and receive comments beyond “it was good,” or “it was bad.” They outline four steps to help get and give useful responses: give permission, set specific parameters, have a limit, and evaluate what was helpful.

Consume: Read up on Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process

Create: Write (and record if you’re a podcaster) a 2-minute piece (that’s about 200-250 words) about a fight between two people. Don’t work it too much. When you post it:

1. Ask for feedback

2. Set parameters for what feedback you want

3. Limit the feedback to an exact number of responses

4. Thank your responders once you’ve reached that number

Then go and give feedback to someone else who’s given permission for responses.

Be respectful of your own and other people’s limits.

Join the SWT Membership community to see what other listeners are making: https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis

Brand new logo t-shirts available now:
https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththis

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Julia Melfi (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Produced by Night Vale Presents.

http://www.startwiththispodcast.com
http://www.nightvalepresents.com

Apr 19, 2019
Know Your Limitations
32:38

How do you deal with the limitation of an inherently audio-only medium? Jeffrey and Joseph discuss how artistic restrictions and resource limitations can become advantages that help you jumpstart a new creative path. ****

Consume: The graphic novel, Here by Richard McGuire

If you don’t have immediate access to this book, do a quick google search to get the idea and check out this Guardian review: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/dec/17/chris-ware-here-richard-mcguire-review-graphic-novel

Create: Use a random number generator to select one thing from each list. Then write and record a 2-minute monologue incorporating each of the 3 random elements. (If you can, try setting the bluegrass song behind your piece and see what it does to the piece.)

100 Greatest Bluegrass Songs (incorporate the song title in your piece): https://digitaldreamdoor.com/pages/bestcountry/bestbluegrass_songs.html

Most Populated US Cities List (incorporate the city): http://worldpopulationreview.com/us-cities/

World’s 50 Best Foods List (incorporate at least one sentence or phrase from your food item description): http://www.cnn.com/travel/article/world-best-food-dishes/index.html

Join the SWT Membership community to see what other listeners are making: https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis

Help spread the word about the show by wearing our logo on your torso:
https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththis

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Julia Melfi (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Produced by Night Vale Presents.

http://www.startwiththispodcast.com
http://www.nightvalepresents.com

Apr 05, 2019
Idea to Execution
34:21

There’s natural talent, and then there’s practice. You can only control that last bit. Joseph and Jeffrey talk building habits of creation so that starting projects gets into your muscle memory.

Consume:

Check out Jonathan Mann’s Song A Day Youtube channel. Jonathan’s been writing and recording a song a day for over 3,000 days— it’s the ultimate example of flexing the habit of creation.

Create:

Pick an idea that you’ve had for a while. Take exactly 1 hour to work on it exclusively. This can be one continuous hour, or 30 minutes for two days, or 10 minutes for six days. Then put it out there (written or recorded) on our Membership Community, your website, or shout it to a bird from your porch. Consider this your first try of many at this idea.

Join the SWT Membership community to see what other listeners are making: https://www.patreon.com/startwiththis

Get our logo t-shirts, available in two styles:
https://topatoco.com/collections/startwiththis

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Credits: Jeffrey Cranor (host) & Joseph Fink (host), Julia Melfi (producer), Grant Stewart (editor), Vincent Cacchione (mixer). Rob Wilson (logo). Produced by Night Vale Presents.

http://www.startwiththispodcast.com
http://www.nightvalepresents.com

Mar 22, 2019
Start With This: Trailer
02:54

The creators of Welcome to Night Vale Jeffrey Cranor and Joseph Fink believe the only bad writing is not writing. Start With This is a podcast gone creativity playground designed to put your ideas in motion. Each episode centers around a topic from world building, to opening lines, and even failure. Then they give listeners two short assignments: something to consume and something to create. Join the Start With This membership forum to share your work with other listeners. You might just find a creative partner in the process. Jeffrey and Joseph want you to start creating, one assignment at a time because the best way to start writing, is to start writing. Not sure where to begin? Start With This.

Episodes air every other Friday. The first episode airs Friday, March 22nd.

Subscribe for free at startwiththispodcast.com.

Mar 08, 2019