Plan Your Next
Plan Your Next
Just tell a story

Just tell a story

Plan Your Next #74

👋 Good morning from Los Angeles! I'm Nate Kadlac, and this is #74 of Plan Your Next. A Sunday newsletter that connects design, creativity, and how you prepare for your next thing.

What’s new this week?

🎤 I had the pleasure to speak with Kasra, a 14-year-old from Illinois who was curious about Approachable Design. You can listen to our 9-minute conversation here.

💪 I’m realizing this week how creatively refreshed I feel as I dive headfirst into a new freelance project. Having a clean slate does wonders.

📕 Debating whether to take Write of Passage for the 3rd time.

Every great piece of art tells a story. Every great film you’ve ever seen is trying to tell a story. And every story is prefaced by another story.

I’ll never get tired of appreciating this story cycle.

When I view art, I’m immediately at the center of two stories fighting for my attention. The first is the story between the art and my interpretation of it. The second is the story of the artist, and what compelled them to create the piece in the first place.

I’m fascinated by these competing stories, knowing the stories are like layers of an onion.

I watched the documentary, “Val” this week. It’s the self-told story of actor Val Kilmer, who has lost his voice due to throat cancer. Like the rest of us, he’s filled with stories. Stories of his brother—and best friend—who died at the age of 15. Stories of being the youngest person at the time to be accepted into Julliard School’s Drama Division. Stories of being viewed as an uncooperative actor. Stories of suddenly losing his voice during his one-man show of Mark Twain.

Except in this story, he sensed the urgency to have his story told because he quite literally couldn’t tell it himself. His son Jack narrated the entire film in Val’s voice.

Writer Packy McCormick recently described a conversation with friends on why the Olympics had such bad ratings this time.

“A few friends were talking about why the Olympics’ ratings were so bad. Sure, it was weird not having fans, and sure, America’s best athlete competed less than expected, but the real challenge was, we didn’t know any of the other athletes’ stories. In the past, there would have been months of build-up, with profiles on America’s athletes all over ESPN and The Today Show and in the local newspaper. We all would have been watching the same shows, and those shows would have told stories that convinced us to care.”—Packy McCormick

Without stories, there’s nothing to grab onto.

YouTuber Casey Neistat described his travel videos as the easiest stories ever told.

“If you want a 3-act narrative. Fly somewhere.

A plane ride has 3 acts. Get to the airport, take the flight, arrive at your destination.

Setup, conflict, resolution.”—Casey Neistat

Whether you’re interviewing for a new job, pitching an idea to investors, or marketing a software product, make it memorable by telling a story.

⚡️ Two hits for next week

A Masterclass on being an artist
I’ve mentioned how much of a fan I am of Van Neistat, but this long-form interview with another hero, Rich Roll, was off the charts. They dig into storytelling, writing, art, the struggle of doing what you love, and the making of A Spirited Man.

Loved his bit after watching all of the Masterclasses on writing:

“They all kind of say the same thing. You’ve got to sit in that chair, and you’ve got no idea. And then when you do have the idea, you have no idea where it came from. It didn’t come from you, it’s something that came to you because you put the 3 hours in, or however many hours you put in.”

The Tokyo Toilet Project
17 toilets in Tokyo are redesigned with the help of 16 creators. I love the contactless toilet design. Damn, I miss Japan.

The Tokyo Toilet Project

👋 See you next Sunday

If you’ve forgotten who I am, here’s a little bit about me. As always, my calendar is open to chat about your next adventure, crazy idea, or if you’re feeling creatively stuck.

Have a great week,


Twitter: @kadlac

Plan Your Next
Plan Your Next
I'm Nate Kadlac, designer of Plan Your Next. A weekly newsletter that connects design, creativity, and how you prepare for your next thing.