The Creative Bubble: Campfire Session with Dyana Valentine

Welcome to the newest addition to Illuminated Mind: The Campfire Sessions. After getting back from a camping trip about a year ago with a bunch of awesome people, I was left thinking about all of the incredible conversations we had around the campfire. Kim Wood was one of those people, and she said to me: “Jonathan, you know what would be really awesome? If we could have conversations like that more often.” And I thought, Hell yeah, let’s do it.

Even though this series of discussions won’t be happening over a “real” campfire any time soon, I have to credit Kim for the idea.

So the way this works is I get on video and talk with cool people about interesting things. It might be projects they’re working on, a world-changing idea, or just talking shop about business. Half of the video gets posted here, the other half on their blog.

The reason I’m doing this instead of the traditional interview format is because:

  1. I’m really not very good at interviews, and they tend to get boring to me really quickly.
  2. I want to increase cross-blog conversation. Interviews tend to just stick to one place and not much pollination happens between sites.
  3. Interviews tend to be “here’s an expert that’s going to tell you how X is done,” while my goal for the campfire discussions is more “here’s two people jamming about X, want to join in?”
  4. I really love doing videos and I want to improve my video presence. I figure this is one way to force myself to get better. Showing up and doing something over and over is a strategy that’s worked well for me.

So without further ado, here is the first campfire session with Dyana Valentine, talking about the creative bubble. She’s an incredible coach and just all around magnetic person that helps self-starters finish. I was first turned on to Dyana when I saw her in Danielle’s Fire Starter Sessions, and again with her Pitch Perfect program.

You can check out part two of the session on Dyana’s blog here.

The campfire discussions are about conversation. So, we want to know what you think. How do you get into your creative groove?

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Comment & Add Your Voice

Dandy December 14, 2010 at 10:48 am

I really enjoyed this video. I took away some great ideas from it! I love your metaphorical campfire! Thanks!



Jonathan December 14, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Have a seat, you’re welcome to warm yourself here. :)

Dyana Valentine December 14, 2010 at 12:49 pm

I loved doing this with you Jonathan, for several reasons:
it was easy going and fun (we did about 3 minutes of technical prep and share/post ideas and went for it);
we went off on campfire tangents that we wouldn’t have found otherwise; and
it is the conversation that keeps giving–I had a thought this morning about what it would be like to get a cool bunch of folks outside, with a real fire and just shoot it and see what happens. Hmmm, project two? Thanks for the love, Dandy–would love to hear what your fave takeaways are and how you use them:)


Jonathan December 14, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Hell yes, we’re going to make it happen. We just need a beach with bonfires…

Contrarian December 14, 2010 at 1:08 pm

… of course we burst our own creative bubbles because our minds are constantly buzzing and humming with non-stop chatter and noise that prevents us from hearing that small quiet voice deep inside all of us. This is where true creative genius flows from. As Blaise Pascal said, “The sum of humanities problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone”


Dyana Valentine December 14, 2010 at 8:14 pm

great quote–and an ability I work at cultivating. I tend to go 110mph or I’m asleep, so a great reminder. Stepping back into silence always yields the right, and often surprising, solution.

Clay Collins December 14, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Dude, great idea. P.S. I fucking love this blog and your idea for the fireside conversations.



Tony Ryan December 14, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Lovin’ this guys. Such a clever idea to split up the interview into two parts and put them on both blogs. VERY cool…


Tanya Geisler December 15, 2010 at 10:12 am

Nicely done, guys…I really love the way in which this is done. A gorgeous sharing of common issues and how you both work your solutions. And practically-speaking, here’s what I’m taking away:

Jonathan, I love the idea of noticing and naming a theme for the month (I am in the process of coming up with my 3 word theme for 2011, but why the hell couldn’t I do so for each month? Yeesh!) So thanks for that. (BTW, it’s great to see you on video…I have a WAY better sense of you now!)

And Dy, the idea of a “fresh wall” feels tantalizingly tasty. Makes me think it’s time to sniff some of my ideas and see if they’re past their prime.

Off to view part 2.


Dyana Valentine December 19, 2010 at 9:26 am

thanks for coming by, Tanya. I can’t wait to hear your 2011 theme (and monthlies). YES, please, consider those pastprime ideas mental clutter–bust them out–let them hit the recycling bin and see if they come back to you. Bold action, I know, but your brain is a beautiful tool–let it play with what matters and keep it clear and fancy.

Farnoosh December 16, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Jonathan, my first time seeing you on video and also seeing Dyana whom, funny enough, someone just this week mentioned to me as one of her favorite people….so seeing the two of you touch on this intangible topic and articulate it so beautifully and simplifying it so well yet giving it all the substance it needs was extremely useful and almost meditative to me. I loved it! You have a new reader and fan in me! Many thanks!!


Dyana Valentine December 19, 2010 at 9:28 am

ohhh, Farnoosh: you are a tease–who’s your pal (and mine)? Thanks for the kind words and the support. I like the idea of a meditative moment–watching the thoughts and ideas float by. Ideation by osmosis. Relish your day and report back as your substance emerges.

Meimuna Garad December 29, 2010 at 12:09 pm

I am in love with this campfire idea! There were questions in my mind that were answered that I didn’t even know I had until I watched this. I got some great ideas about how to acknowledge the flurry of ideas and thoughts that come off of doing something while staying focused on that something. I don’t think it would have clicked for me, had this been anything other than a discussion.


Dyana Valentine December 14, 2010 at 8:12 pm

uhhh, well there’s Dockweiler! Looks like we have a pretty juicy, willing crowd here–who’s in LA?


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