I have a very long (and hopefully interesting) interview about creativity up at cecil vortex. While there’s a lot of material in it I’ve written about previously, this interview is a pretty good primer on my brain and work habits.

CV: How do you use your day-to-day life to feed your writing?

JA: When I was writing for my first TV show I found that I was sorting through life with a filter: what could be “in” the show and what would stay “out.” If I heard a song on the radio that I liked, I was mentally putting it into the bin for the show. If someone said something interesting — or something boring but in a particularly interesting way — I would literally stop to write it down.

That was probably necessary for the show, but I don’t think it’s particularly helpful for real-world sanity. I began living a large part of my life inside the show. That break from reality ultimately became one of the main story points of The Nines — what are a creator’s responsibilities to his creations? At what point was I allowed to walk away from the universe I’d created and get back to my real life?

I think I’m healthier now. I certainly always have my ears open for interesting phrases, but I don’t feel like I’m in constant collection mode.

You can check out the full thing here.