I’m a writer, journalist and idea architect. My work has appeared in Inc. Magazine and at Entrepreneur.com. A contributing editor at Indianapolis Monthly, I’ve written about media, politics and other civic issues. And I help top brands and content marketing agencies tell stories that matter.
As a researcher and development editor, I’ve contributed to several books, including Atari founder Nolan Bushnell’s Finding the Next Steve Jobs. I also teach journalism at Indiana Wesleyan University, my alma mater. A graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School, I won the Harrington Award in magazine journalism and worked a post-graduate digital reporting fellow for the Carnegie Corporation and Knight Foundation in 2010.
I offer content and editorial coaching and consulting on a limited basis. Interested? Let’s talk.
Here, you can read my latest dispatches on creativity, education, media and politics from leading publications such as Inc., Entrepreneur and Indianapolis Monthly, among others. Check out more of my work at Contently.
As the Indy Eleven prepare to take the field for a season opener on April 12, a tragedy on the sidelines remains unsolved.
Google grabbed headlines recently for its decision to make its wearable computer, Google Glass, in California. The tech giant is not alone.
An anonymous note. Digital sleuthing. Leaks and late nights. For the first time, read the story behind Indiana's biggest political scandal of 2013.
In the beginning, all Mel and Patricia Ziegler wanted was to escape the rat race. That desire transformed $1,500 into a billion-dollar brand.
Deep in Southern Indiana, businessman Robert Vicino offers the cure for paranoid doomsday-preppers: a retrofitted Cold War–era bunker.
Before he became a genre-busting, nationally syndicated public radio rockstar, Jad Abumrad was in the middle of what he calls his tragic gap.
With all the noise surrounding the new Superintendent of Public Instruction, will her agenda of slowing down reforms advance?
In 1959, Joe Holovnia had a problem. The veteran jazz bassist’s bass was no longer getting the job done.
Going all-in is sometimes the only way to go. But heed these tips before you lose it all.
The business of being Subway's star.
I’m excited to announce the launch of my first eBook! After months of interviews, writing, editing and formatting, I’m pleased to share with you On the Make: How Great Creatives Get Their Start—Beginning From Middle. Subscribe to my weekly newsletter below, and I’ll shoot you a copy.
How do great creatives make it? Get noticed for their craft? Land big breaks? They begin in the middle, in a kind of creative exile.
Featuring interviews with Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, Cinematographer Ryan Booth, Creative Director Blaine Hogan, RadioLab and MacArthur Genius Fellow Jad Abrumad, Pandora founder Tim Westergren and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Josh Riebock, On the Make offers thoughts on how to navigate these in-between, liminal phases of breaking into your craft.
As creatives, we’re all on the make. Aspiring to greatness. Pining for more exposure and bigger audiences. Amid this hustling and striving, creative exiles can shape us. They can break us. But negotiated well, they can make us.
- Adam Wren
Here’s where I show my work, as Austin Kleon puts it, sharing insights on creativity, storytelling, reporting and writing.
May 22, 2014
Mark Twain once said, “Write without pay until somebody offers to pay you. If nobody offers within three years, sawing wood is what you were intended for.”
Last year, I finished my first fully year as a self-employed writer. In the late fall of 2012, I lit out for free-agent territory.
And while more than a few people have offered to pay me for my writing since I struck out on my own, beating Twain’s threshold by a couple of years, I confess there are some days it feels like sawing wood could be in my future (and this would mean things have taken a negative turn, because I’m not even sure where people saw wood in Indianapolis, where I live—or whether that’s even still a thing people do).
On the whole, though, working as a professional writer has been good to me. If I’ve gained nothing else these last months, I’ve gained some irreplaceable knowledge about how to run what amounts to a micro-enterprise.
May 13, 2014
Dream Year Pitch Night from Derek Swanson on Vimeo.
A great idea is a spreadsheet with skin on.
That’s just one of many brilliant ideas I’ve learned from reading the work of Ben Arment, author of the forthcoming book Dream Year, a title that will be one of the marquee business books of 2014.
For me, that idea has demystified the process of bringing a dream to life.
I think Ben’s reality-tested ideas can help you, too. Whether it’s launching a startup or becoming a published writer, I’m confident Ben’s new book will help you along the sometime frustrating, perilous path of chasing a dream.
That’s why I’m going to give five people a chance to interact with Ben’s breakthrough ideas, and learn from Ben (and other dream chasers) in person.
Starting this summer, Ben is embarking on a 16-city tour to promote his book.
But instead of giving cheesy talks in laconic corners of Barnes & Nobles’ cafés, Ben is hosting a series of pitch nights, including one in Indianapolis.
You write. And you probably read a lot of blogs about writing.
You read Nieman Story Board’s “Why’s This So Good?” and Acuff and Godin and Goins and Hyatt and Traub and probably even Brain Pickings, too, when you need some writerly inspiration.
But there’s a blog that I’m going to share with you that’s simply one of the best. And you’re probably not reading it.
In fact, I’m a little nervous about sharing this with you, for fear that it’ll give you a leg up on me (I jest, of course).
It’s not published by some upstart in the publishing world, some web wunderkind.
It’s published by The New York Times. The Times.
But according to Feedly, only about 947 people read it on a regular basis—many of them Times writers, I imagine (something like 3k read Goins’ excellent blog on Feedly, for comparison’s sake).
It’s After Deadline, and it’s written by Philip E.
© 2014 Adam Wren. All Rights Reserved.
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