joshua chamberlain is a writer, director, musician, and visual artist. He's the author of numerous short stories, plays, and poems.

a collection of small proverbs I've collected over the years, about writing, making art, and living well...

  1. "so what?"

  2. make big plays TODAY!

  3. "I'm doing this thing because I believe in it."

  4. every scene is a chase scene

  5. Unity, Coherence, Development

  6. suffer the consequences

  7. Each paragraph is a single shot. Paragraph breaks are cuts.

  8. Your best work is the stuff you're embarrassed to share.

  9. go to a different discipline

  10. other people's expectations are not your responsibility

  11. why do YOU need to tell this story?

  12. action > reaction > action > reaction

  13. the secret to stealing is you have to steal around

  14. fire the judge

  15. we read to discover what happens next

  16. does it serve the work?

  17. your characters are their ACTIONS

  18. People love to pretend

  19. "Be patient..."


  21. "you're good. get better..."

  22. nothing moves forward without conflict

  23. process, not product

  24. what are you trying to say?

  25. the stories are what make us. we will overcome. we will endure.

  26. You are loved and capable of loving.

  27. You don't get a life--you build a life.

  28. Life is a gamble. Bet on yourself.

Everyone I talk to needed this time.

It seems we all needed to sit with ourselves. To stop rushing around. To keep quiet long enough to hear ourselves.

Austin Kleon articulated this idea beautifully in the context of advice. He writes, "I think, in all times, but especially in these, if you sit quietly for long enough, you can hear that voice inside you that tells you exactly what you need to do."

I think everyone needed this time. I know I did.

I recently got to particulate in a virtual book tour event with Mikel Jollet, frontman of The Airborne Toxic Event and author of the new memoir, Hollywood Park.

I've been an Airborne fan for years and seen them play live many times, but listening to Jollett speak was special in ways I can't quite articulate.

During the two hours he spent as a floating head on my computer screen (the result of COVID-induced safety measures, of course), he read excerpts from his memoir, played a few songs, and wove together the story of his relationship with his father, a drug-addled ex-convict doing his best.

Throughout the evening, I was reminded time and time again why I was drawn to Jollett's work from the start. He's a world-class storyteller, whether the vehicle is his songwriting, his prose, or his anecdotes.

Jollett recently gave an incredible interview with Finneas O'Connell, which touched on many of the themes from the event: memory, childhood trauma, and art-making as gift giving.

If you want to be an artist, then make some fucking art that means something to you, that speaks to your world and makes your world feel bigger and scares you a little bit.

Cheers to that.

©2018 by joshua chamberlain |  photos by gabrielle boltz of gabriell.e.lizabeth studios | created with