Wednesday, May 27, 2015
I share some of my best strategies to avoid writer's block and to get into flow. Check out these links as well http://bit.ly/writers-block-steps LinkedIn - http://bit.ly/writers-block-bye
via John Chang's Sound Cloud
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
There are lots of amazing TED talks on a variety of topics. Here are my #topthree favorites on creativity.
Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love, talks about how the Ancients may have gotten it right about Creativity –
Sir Ken Robinson shares how our Education system may be killing Creativity in our children –
J.J. Abrams talks about his infamous “Mystery Box” and its role in inspiring his Creativity..
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Sunday, May 24, 2015
If someone like Michael Hyatt struggles daily with writer’s block what hope do mere mortals like the rest of us have?
Well, don’t give up just yet. Here are my three favorite strategies to banish writer’s block for-EVER!
First, you have to address mindset. Unless you begin with the end in mind – and a successful picture at that, you’re starting off with a huge handicap.
Even if you’re not a big fan of the Law of Attraction and visualization stuff, let’s face it. Science has shown that the mind can’t tell the difference between experiencing something “real” and something imagined.
Most of all, what are you doing as a writer? You’re sharing moments and ideas with your readers – helping them to go through what you want them to experience.
Second, now that we got out of the way you’re definitely not going to like this one. “Writers write.” Period.
It took me a while to grasp the significance of this but all the writers who nurture fledgling writers say this – Lamott, King, Pressfield, on and on.
There’s simply no avoiding the reality that you MUST practice your craft. Daily. Not once in a while, or when the mood strikes you. Hone your craft and seek out opportunities to do it better. Then do it again. And again.
Creativity is absolutely a muscle that you must exercise daily. And speaking of exercise.
Get away from the laptop. Go. Take a walk. Do yoga. Or practice tai chi or chi gong. Check out these short exercises which are my favorite in the morning and often during the day. They are easy, quick and effective – my favorite combo!
Most importantly, it’s not about building Arnold Schwarzenegger size muscles or jamming like a world-class athlete like Michael Jordan. It’s about feeling good – I can’t stress enough the importance of overcoming the stereotypical hard drinking Hemingway image clacking away with a bottle of bourbon next to the typewriter.
If you follow Julia Cameron’s Artist Way, she shares how important the ritual she calls the Artist’s Date is. (Coincidentally, her daily practice of writing three pages first thing in the morning is what got me started years ago..)
What Cameron is sharing is the importance of feeling good with ourselves in developing our creativity. I’ve definitely experienced this in my life – both on the dance floor as a tango teacher and artist, and off as a writer / entrepreneur.
So, let me know if you have a favorite tip on how to stop writer’s block from stopping your creative juices from flowing! Comment below or contact me directly.
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Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Sunday, May 17, 2015
We’re on our lunch break on the last day of the Internet Prophets Live event. It’s been a great three days with more than the typical pitchfest where speakers sell – sell – SELL their info products.
I’ve been to a lot of these events over the years. And skipping discussions about the total ripoff’s – you know which ones I’m talking about – the standard disclaimer applies, right? “Your results may vary..”
Even if you’re not a blogger or internet marketer, we all need to upgrade our knowledge. When I danced tango, I would take workshops and attend festivals that had teachers I wanted to learn from.
And often at some point the pitch was “money is not the problem,,” Actually, it is – or more precisely it’s how you look at it.
Most of us think in terms of making money vs. spending it. A creative entrepreneur looks at ways they can invest it. Until you have this mindset no matter what your billable rate is, you will always be capped by the number of hours in the day, which last I checked is 24 hrs – for all of us.
Someone once pointed out that it’s about converting cash to assets to cash, and so on. This is the only way that you get out of the feast or famine mindset.
Otherwise you will never have the money to get the training you need to improve your website copy for your sales pages. Or you will never have the money to upgrade your camera or laptop. Or you will always wonder how will things ever be different.
This is something that no one really talks about.
If you’re struggling to just pay the bills, it’s not just really hard to think about investing thousands of dollars in some guru’s coaching program. You’ve tapped out credit cards – even borrowing from friends and family is not any option.
So, it’s time to dust off some of those assets – that expensive binder from that marketing course, those accounts giving you access to coding classes, or even games you never play or books you won’t read since it’s on Kindle now..
And convert them to assets – because you need cash for that Fiverr gig so you can get a decent logo done or hiring that freelancer to tweak your website.
Assets that will make you more money – because guess what? Money loves momentum. And the world needs your unique gift.
What will you do to take yourself to the next level as a creative entrepreneur?
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Monday, May 4, 2015
I glanced at the label, not sure why I bothered. Everything was in German – a language that even a pre-schooler had more mastery than me. “Bio” turned out to mean “organic.”
Somehow I volunteered to make dinner for one vegetarian friend and three more hungry companions.
Ok, chicken for four, and one.. tofu? Hmm.. the firm texture might stand-in for white meat. Could batter it the same way and make it work?
So, not only am I in a foreign country barely able to read or speak.. I’m trying to improvise a recipe. Luckily, I’ve made this recipe enough times that I had the basics down. Batter the meat, fry ‘til golden brown and bake, finish with melted cheese and sauce then serve with pasta.
Well, if I blow it, there’s always pasta..
As I’ve talked about, my love of Italian food led to a thirst for learning about the country. (Here’s more on that – http://ift.tt/1OW5UhE )
Along with my massive report we also had project booths for an international fair. We were supposed to design a display of things about the country, including a food item. I decided to bake an almond flavored bread that I made into the familiar boot shape of Italy. For mountains running down the seam I used almond slices that were sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar.
Not all my experiments were successful. Once I tried to make my version of “Irish stew” by cooking potatoes with a mix of available sauces. I was the only one willing to try that one!
Still, over time I found recipes that taught me patterns – like the scales that musicians play or writers use to create stories that keep us spellbound.
I learned elements that in a pinch I could use when only the barest of ingredients were available. For example, the “Holy Trinity” of Asian cooking is garlic, ginger, and green onion. just these three alone can turn a bland piece of meat into something elegant.
When I started to dance tango, I was eager to jump to the cool, “advance” stuff. As mentioned in this previous blog post – http://ift.tt/1z4H5Zn we get tired of walking exercises.
Years later, when I ended up teaching beginners at our weekly event,
I would point out how you just needed to master a few fundamental steps to create interesting patterns and most of all be musical.
“Is it okay?” I asked nervously.
“It’s good!” my friend declared.
I breathed a sigh of relief, and we all tucked into the chicken / tofu parmesan, passing the generous bowl of pasta around.
- Passion inspires action – it was my passion for Italian food that led to curiosity and the desire to learn more. That continued into other food explorations anytime I visited a new part of town.
- Experience provides inspiration – just opening myself up to new sights, sounds, tastes ignited sparks for creativity. Sometimes it’d be a new Food Network video. Other times it might be something I found on jycmba on Pinterest.
- Learning to adapt teaches us to be open to possibilities – missing an ingredient or needing to adjust a recipe sometimes creates the circumstances for us to experiment. And more often we discover that we would’ve otherwise miss.
How have you learned ways to be creative through other skills or passions?
Join me in chatting with Chris Hill tomorrow and hear his creative journey from the corporate world to the kitchen. More details here –
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