Randy Murray: Writing, Creativity, and Productivity
Randy Murray is a man of many talents, but his passion for writing is what truly defines him. From singing and acting to playwriting and technical writing, Randy has explored multiple mediums, but writing is where he feels most at home. In this 2×4 Interview, Randy discusses his journey as a writer and shares his insights on creativity and productivity.
Randy has always considered himself a creative person, but his creativity didn’t always revolve around writing. He remembers singing as a child and how his voice filled the room. He also loved reading and dreamed of a life filled with books, possibly as a writer. In high school, Randy’s love for performing blossomed, and he traveled with a Christian music group during summers. In college, Randy switched programs from biology and chemistry to pursue his passion for theatre. He earned his MFA in playwrighting, but earning a living as a playwright proved to be nearly impossible. Randy then became a technical writer and worked in high tech for 25 years.
However, Randy discovered that the further he got from writing, the less he enjoyed it. For the last two years, he has transitioned to writing full-time. He writes every day, whether for pay, for his website First Today, Then Tomorrow, or for creative projects such as plays or novels. Randy believes that the core of his creative spirit lies in plays, but he is considering writing short fiction or novels as well.
When asked about his proudest creations, Randy cites his play “Grimaldi: King of the Clowns,” which was performed in Texas earlier this year. He also enjoys writing and publishing on First Today, Then Tomorrow, and highlights his pieces, “Look Up From Your Screen,” and “Things You Cannot Convey To A Young Writer (Or Any Other Calling).”
For those who feel like they may not be creative enough to unlock their inner artist, Randy emphasizes getting to work. He advises aspiring artists to study, get training, and practice until they get better. Randy believes that every artist has a lot of bad writing to get through before they get to the good stuff. He also suggests finding mentors who are already doing what you aspire to do and learning from them.
Randy is currently an independent business writer who works with clients, often through marketing agencies. He writes various business materials, mainly marketing, web content, books, white papers, and presentations. He also consults, speaks, trains, and occasionally manages projects.
Randy also started a small publishing company, First Today Press LLC, which published two books last year, Writing Assignments, and Keeping It Straight. This year, they plan to publish more Writing Assignments, Enough by Patrick Rhone, and books from at least four other authors. Randy is excited about his new publishing venture and hopes it can develop into a stand-alone business.
To balance his personal, professional, and digital life, Randy aims to do client work no more than 4-5 hours per day, unless there’s a deadline. The rest of his working day is devoted to his personal projects, staying connected digitally, and running errands. He keeps his weekends and evenings free for spending time with his wife, and when his daughters are around, he takes as much time off as he likes.
Randy finds that solitude and quiet are his main tools for productivity. He can write with anything but prefers writing early in the day, at his desk, alone in his office, writing on his iMac. He is an avid Apple fan and always has at least one iOS device with him, such as his iPhone and iPad. He also carries a Fischer Space Pen and a 3×5 card or a full notebook for jotting down ideas.
Randy practices Getting Things Done, but he’s not obsessed with it. He believes that the system is useful, but what’s essential is to focus on the outcome and not the process. He sets clear goals, plans, and prioritizes his tasks to ensure he achieves his desired results.
Randy Murray’s passion for writing and creativity is evident in his work. From his plays to his business writing, Randy’s love for words shines through. He has had a diverse career, but writing is where he feels the most fulfilled. Randy’s advice on creativity and productivity is simple yet effective. He believes that aspiring artists must put in the work, study, train, and practice to unlock their full potential. Randy’s success as a writer is a testament to this advice.