The Creative Life, Explored

Your path to creative success is uncharted.  What works for others may not work for you.  What happens when the creative urge comes up against the responsibilities of everyday life?  How many rejections or setbacks must you endure before giving up?  WHY do we choose to do what we do as artists in an age where everyone with an internet connection can make the next viral sensation?

Join host Jay Smith as he discusses the creative journey with his friends, peers, colleagues, and even rivals.  Everyone has a story to tell about their journey and those tale may reveal clues to how to manage your own creative challenges.  "WHY?!" explores the basic question creatives ask when staring at the blank page, opening the latest rejection, or finding that critical error that undermines an entire project.   WHY do we do this to ourselves?  Is it passion?  Masochism?  A quixotic need to pursue the impossible dream of creative freedom?   Whether you're a new, aspiring talent or a professional somewhere up the professional ladder, "WHY?!" will feature a diverse range of voices from all backgrounds and disciplines carrying on an honest discussion about real issues, goals, and solutions.

Open, Candid, Free Form Discussion from Real Artists

Beyond the debate about one or two spaces after a period and outside the discussions over how to craft the perfect query letter, there are everyday challenges to be met in the life of a creative type.  When you're a single parent or work three jobs, how do you find the time to create?  How do you continue to put out content on days you can't speak in complete sentences much less write them?  How do you overcome that embarrassing pitch or spilling coffee over the agent just after walking through the door?

We all have horror stories.  And we've lived to tell the tale.  "WHY?!" will feature artists of different generations, backgrounds, faiths, races, socio-economic foundations, politics, and orientations to show that while our individual struggles might be different, much of what we do is exactly the same. 

Jay Smith takes his approach to the interview after armchair chats in the green rooms and convention suites of literary conferences and pop culture conventions.  The format of "WHY?!" is to talk shop about the work, the process, and the craft with those ankle, knee, or neck deep in the industry.  They will include:

Writers * Editors * Small & Large Press Publishers * Voice Actors * Audio Producers & Engineers * Podcasters * Critics * Agents * Playwrights * Stage & Film Actors * Marketing Professionals * Comedians * Cartoonists * Illustrators * Musicians * Publicists * Convention Organizers * Craftspeople * And More


Host Jay Smith holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Fiction Writing and, as he rockets toward half a century on the planet, constantly wonders what he might have done differently to be more "successful" in his career.  What does "success" mean?  Money? Fame? Freedom from debt?  Looking at his circle of social media friends, Smith decided to reach out and ask them that question.  WHY do we do what we do?  He began listing all the people who might have a good answer and who he would enjoy talking shop with. 

He stopped at 157 names.

This podcast is intended to help artists work out their own challenges while sharing informative, illuminating, and sometimes hilarious conversations about life and the creative spirit. 

Our Official Sponsor!

A story is more than just people, places, and events. It’s the revelation of how those story elements interact that creates the excitement and drama that inspires us.

Those connections illuminate the true meaning and significance of story… and that’s exactly what ARCHIVOS was designed to do.


Project: Archivos 

Each guest of "WHY?!" will help YOU create a new story by contributing one story element.  Each element will build a unique and interesting tapestry of details requiring YOU, the storyteller, to come up with a great, inventive pitch.  Check into our ARCHIVOS page as each episode adds to the story and use its unique technology to organize and connect the elements into something amazing. Details of the contest will be revealed throughout the season. 



Season One Guests


USS Susquehannock

Central PA Starfleet Chapter; talking about community, fandom, and service.


Veronica Giguere

Voice Actor, Author, Educator, Awesome Human Person


Scott A. Johnson

Horror Author, Teacher, Ghost Hunter, Creepy Little Bastard


Scott Roche

Author, Podcaster, Storyteller,

Fount of Positivity

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Dave Robison

Podcaster, Storyteller,
Patron Saint of Creative Energy


Jeff Young

Author, Editor, Bookseller,

Book Club Gang Boss


Central PA Heroes

Grown Up People in Costumes Helping People and Having Fun


Deanna Sjolander

Writer, Editor, Director-Producer, Vessel of Endless Energy

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Captain Kyle

Cosplayer, YouTube Host, Entertainer, Creative Force


J L Gribble

Author, Academic,

Literary Bad-Ass


Jim Krut

Actor, Playwright, Member: Romero Fraternity of Classic Zombies



New Guests Confirmed Daily for Season Two