Mind at Work: Writer Carolyn Green

Whenever possible, we like to sit down with one of our creative minds at VSA to find out what inspires them. In a world where there’s constantly pressure to “produce, produce, produce,” it’s important to stop and reflect on the special people, places and things that actually drive our creativity.

Today, VSA Writer Carolyn Green sheds light on the four things that inspire her and help her do what she does.

1. Second City

Last winter, I decided to follow in the footsteps of my lady hero, Tina Fey, and start taking classes at the Second City Training Center. I’ve been involved with the Second City writing program for about six months now, and it’s been LIFE-CHANGING. The techniques for sketch comedy writing transfer directly to client work, helping me to brainstorm and organize my thoughts in new, wildly useful ways. Plus, everyone knows the writing team in Chicago is the wittiest team at VSA — having a little comedy experience is helping me keep up.

2. Forth Chicago

Forth Chicago is another one of my side hustles/creative outlets. It’s an all-women organization headed up by a writer, a photographer, a designer, and an event planner, and I serve as one of their social media and event planning interns. This means that I get to help put on ‘intentional’ events for creative, entrepreneurial, super cool ladies here in Chicago. Being privy to these conversations and being exposed to the Forth Chicago team’s collective brain power gives me so much energy, and teaches me not to limit myself when it comes to big ideas.

3. Central Oregon

Though I grew up just outside Portland, Oregon, my mom’s side of the family has had a cabin in Central Oregon (close to Bend) for over half a century. Whenever I’m tired, stressed, or waiting for the train on another sub-zero Chicago day, my mind goes here. I’m lucky that I get to travel to Oregon at least twice a year to unplug, raft, hike, bike or ski, depending on the season. Checking back into that active, but relaxed, Oregon lifestyle always reminds me that having very full days is a very good thing.

4. Extra-fine point Sharpie

There’s a reason they call it extra fine. When I’m taking notes or mapping out a brainstorm sesh, I always feel more inspired when I use an extra-fine point Sharpie. Shout-out to Art Corbiere, VSA’s Office & Facility Manager, for keeping the Chicago closet so well-stocked. Tools of the trade, baby.