Hear it here.
“Can you be here after lunch?”
It was the creative director on the Coke account. “We need ideas by tomorrow,” she said, “so hopefully you can deliver some gems fast.”
I was 26, a newly minted writer-for-hire, and thrilled to be called. But the instant I walked into the conference room, it was clear that I wasn’t there because I was any good. I had simply been available. Two veteran freelancers had ideas already on the wall. The agency was throwing everything at the Coke campaign theme—even this babywriter they barely knew.
It was so great to get profiled in Minnetonka Magazine. Read on for my section.
The blog of Jonathan Bing.
Even with writing and creativity as my profession, I’ve always written fiction on the side. (My first Christmas present to my wife, actually, was a picture book manuscript, as we had no money for presents…) These one-off inventions grew into a pile of children’s books manuscripts—from picture books through YA—as I became fascinated with the curious craft of storytelling.
I particularly love helping people find their voice, as it took a long time for me to discover I could write. To that end, I lead k-12 classrooms in writing and storytelling, help at the local writing center and volunteer with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
The day after Prince died, I met with three friends over lunch to process the death of our neighbor and resident savant. What amazes me most is how much he created. It amazes me because I know this: the act of writing, painting, singing, sculpting and being Prince is hard.
All craft requires one thing: showing up. We need to show up often at our laptop, amp, easel, loom, piano or stage and find what’s in us at that moment. Many times, what’s in us is nothing. Or, worse, it’s crappy. Or, worse worse, we read what we wrote last month and realize we have to start over.
Picture those insane athletes, 10,000 feet up, wearing human-flying-squirrel suits, about to step off a cliff—that’s how showing up can feel and why, as artists, we avoid it.