The Jaguar and its Allies – Truly Inspired #9


The Truly Inspired Series

Trinity Alps 1

Trinity Alps:

A shot of some of the mountains in Northern California, where I currently live.

1] Blog Name

The Jaguar and its Allies

2] Genre

Creative nonfiction. Initially everything I posted had to do with big cat conservation or human psychology, and how the latter field can benefit the former. Now I have expanded to include archaeology and science-related travel.

3] Blog Age

Two and a half years.

3] At what age did you start to write and what was your motivation for doing so?

I initially started writing in grade school, in response to academic tyranny. In other words, I had to write for class assignments. I did not start writing for fun until my second or third year of college, when I took a Creative Writing course. When I handed in my portfolio at the end of the semester, my professor encouraged me to, “Keep writing.”

Bob's Ranch View

Mattole Ranch View:

The topics I write about have changed along with my life. Seen here is a photograph from my first travel-related series of posts.

4] Does writing/creativity come naturally to you or do you struggle to invent something inspirational each day/week/month?

It comes naturally to me. I have so many ideas of what I would like to create, but continued academic tyranny and the constant struggle for money prevent me from exploring most of them.

5] How prolific are you in your craft?

Not nearly as prolific as I would like to be.

6] Are your writings displayed elsewhere or just WordPress? If so where?

Just WordPress, for now. I would love to expand to other platforms – possibly even paid ones. Finding a way to make even a small amount of money through writing might allow me to pursue the topics I am interested in more fully.

Photo Class Photo

Photo Class Photo:

One of the shots from my first ever photography course, which presented me with my first chance to use a ‘real’ (DSLR) camera.

7] Do you ever suffer from writers/creators block? How do you combat it?

Thus far I have never suffered from writers’ block. Again, the problem is not that I lack inspiration; it is that I lack the time and resources to do much with my inspiration.

8] What is your preferred creative form?


At the moment writing is my preferred creative form. However, this past semester I took my first photography class. I loved it, and cannot wait until I have camera of my own to practice with. I also dabbled with filmmaking in high school, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I might try to revisit that art form in the future.

9] How do you arrive at your decision to write/create/invent about what you have chosen as a subject for the piece/s?

My decisions of what to write about are usually based on what I am interested in at the moment. If there is a topic I am curious about, such as social identity, then I use my writing as an excuse to learn about it.

My creative decisions are also driven by the opportunities that are presented to me. For in-stance, last summer I had a chance to go to Belize and perform archaeological excavations on Mayan ruins. So now I am writing about archaeology.

10] Do you need an ambience to work with, such as music, quiet, scented candles, yoga, exercise, reading, film or something else?

Coffee shops represent the perfect atmosphere for me.

Slow Train Couches

Slow Train Café:

My absolute favourite place to write is the Slow Train Café in Oberlin, Ohio, pictured here.

11] What helps you to create your content?

[People/conversation/family/health/magazines/newspapers/controversy/funny moments/life experiences]

I owe a huge debt to the authors of scientific papers, as those are my primary sources of information. I am also highly dependent upon photographers who share their pictures under Creative Commons licenses. Without them my content would be insufferably drab.

12] Is your content driven by your journey or your story, or by the journeys and stories of others?

Initially it was overwhelmingly driven by the journeys of others, because I was mostly writing about other peoples’ scientific research. Now, however, I primarily write about my own journey.

13] Are there any specific things which enable your creative juices to flow more steadily?

[Overtired/insomnia/mental health/eating/drinking/smoking/surrounded by colour/abstract thoughts and thinking]

Exercise and good sleep. I cannot overstate how much easier it is for me to be creative when I am exercising regularly and getting 8+ hours of sleep every night.

Mask Temple Close-Up

Mask Temple Detail:

When I found an opportunity to perform archaeological work in Belize, I took it. I am currently recounting my experiences on The Jaguar and its Allies.

14] How long from start to finish would/can your content take you to complete?

Collaborative articles can take months to complete. Solitary, research-based pieces sometimes take two to three weeks to finish. This is because I have to collect scientific articles, read them, and then synthesize them using (mostly) accessible language. Travel-oriented pieces take about 3-4 days to finish.

15] Are you pleased with your finished pieces? How do you feel when you receive acknowledgement from another?

I am never entirely happy with my finished pieces, but there are some that are acceptable. When I receive acknowledgement from others, my first response is to act bashful and modest. But inwardly I am usually delighted.

Finally, what advice would you award writers or creators looking to express themselves and to then display their works to the world?

Take care of yourself physically and mentally. It is much easier to think, write, and do just about everything when your body and mind are healthy.

Indian Hollow Stream

Indian Hollow Stream:

Also, do not forget to get outside! There is too much beauty in the world to spend all of our time indoors. This photo was taken at Indian Hollow Reservation in Grafton, Ohio. 

I would like to say a huge thank you to Josh Green  for his wonderful inclusion of the photographs to allow us, the readership to delve as deep as he in his adventuring, journeying, story-telling and of course look into his insights of Inspiration.


Should any readers like to participate in the Truly Inspired series then please drop me a line direct and l will email you the questionnaire – we are all inspired in some way and others love to read about that, so don’t be shy …

8 thoughts on “The Jaguar and its Allies – Truly Inspired #9

  1. Reblogged this on The Jaguar and commented:
    The amount of support I have been getting from other bloggers lately is astounding. My friend Bloke from A Guy Called Bloke recently asked me to participate in his Truly Inspired series. This series of guest posts is all about the creative process. It deals with how artists and writers generate their content, what helps them to be creative, and more.

    I am pleased to announce that the post is now up! Feel free to head over to Bloke’s blog and check it out. Even if you do not want to read my guest post, please visit Bloke’s blog! It is full of excellent poetry that is easy to understand, instead of being overloaded with metaphors. It is definitely worth a read.

    I would like to thank Bloke for asking me to participate in his Truly Inspired series. It was a lot of fun!

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