An aura has formed around the creative process that obscures what it is and how it works, often with a layer of mystical woo-woo.
If you don’t wear black turtlenecks*, if you’re not running with the wolves, if you don’t hear the muses whispering in your ear, if the universe isn’t speaking to you or through you or laughing with you or maybe at you
if you’re not jolted awake at 3 am with yet another dazzling epiphany, if you would rather stick needles in your eyes than knit or read the New Yorker or rock contemplatively in a rocking chair while writing in your art journal and sipping herbal tea
if you’ve never been to Burning Man, if sunsets bore you, if you don’t believe in angel guardians, if you’ve never owned one of those little dreamcatcher things hanging in windows, if the only conversation you’ve ever had with your Spirit was about that guy you kept promising yourself you wouldn’t sleep with while continuing to sleep with him
if you’re good at sports, if you’ve never written bad poetry in high school, if you’ve never dated anyone who wrote bad poetry in high school, if you’re not even sure why people write poetry of any kind…can you still be creative?
Damn straight. click for more
Sheryl Sandberg gave a talk to some Facebook employees. She informed the audience that she had time for two more questions. Hands continued to wave, so she continued the Q & A.
Afterward she went back to her desk and found a young woman waiting for her. Sandberg asked if she’d learned anything from the talk, and the young woman said, “I learned to keep my hand up.” Sandberg asked what she meant, and the woman told her, “After you took those two final questions, I put my hand down and all the other women put their hands down. A bunch of men kept their hands up and then you took more questions.”
The men ignored the question limit and went for it, keeping their hands in the air. What did they have to lose? Nothing…
…Sandberg admits she didn’t notice that only women had taken their hands down, because after all, why would she have noticed what wasn’t there? click for more
I went through a period in my life when people kept telling me how ‘strong’ I was. You must be very strong. You’re such a strong woman. You’re strong!
It got annoying.
And not because I disagreed with the premise.
I just didn’t understand why this wasn’t the assumption to begin with.
The bar for my behavior seemed set rather low. All I had to do to exceed expectations was to refuse to live down to them. click for more
Oh You with the Wondrous Taste to be Reading this Blog:
Below is my working synopsis for the novel I’m working on called THE DECADENTS.
I would like to call upon the wisdom of the tribe to help me develop a punchy one- or two-sentence description that I can use at cocktail parties when people ask me what this damn book is about.
So give it a shot.
Enter a logline in the comment section below.
If I choose yours, I will give you a $100 Amazon gift certificate and name a character in the novel after you.
Contest ends whenever someone delivers up the perfect logline — or I come up with one on my own, or give up on the whole exercise, in which case I will give a $50 Amazon gift certificate to the entry that amuses (or bemuses) me the most. click for more
There is this idea from the 1990’s that the most powerful brands need to ‘own’ a word.
BMW: ‘driving’ (or ‘performance’)
Mini Cooper: ‘oddly adorable’ (okay, that’s two words, and that might just be me.) click for more
One of my favorite books on writing is Amnon Buchbinder’s THE WAY OF THE SCREENWRITER:
Stories are answers to human needs.
…story’s purpose is to nudge us towards greater consciousness. Story wants us to perceive beyond the surface of things. Story wants us to understand that life’s mystery is a call to develop our ability to perceive and respond to it.
…The characters may speak, but the power lies in what is not said. A character’s actions may be described, but the real subject is the motive behind it. A chain of events transpires, but the most important link may be kept in reserve until a crucial moment.
I like how Buchbinder uses the idea of “the spell” and “the mask” when describing character growth. click for more
“None of us are authentic,” argues Chris Brogan, “because we all filter.”
But is that what it requires to be authentic? A total lack of filter?
Do you have to reveal deep personal secrets – like the time your parents caught you masturbating and pretty much traumatized you for life, or that nasty little DUI from four years ago, or that inconvenient sexual fascination with your brother’s wife, or the fact that you don’t really like your kids, or that tendency to shoplift things just because you can, or that time you ‘accidentally’ flashed your neighbor (twice), or the secret wish that your ailing relative would just hurry up and die already…?
What if you don’t have any deep dark secrets – should you make some up?
Just how much of yourself should you reveal?
Oh, and by the way, why should anybody care? click for more
Here’s an example of word-of-mouth in action: a friend of blogger and brand editor Abby Kerr told her about a book called THE BIG LEAP, by Gay Hendricks. Abby read it and blogged about it, which is how I discovered it, and now I am blogging about it to you.
Because I liked the section about superpowers (the same section that Abby highlighted).
Your superpower is your unique ability
your special gift
your magical something that you excel at that is helpful to the people around you.
I would also add that it is easy. In fact, it is so easy for you to do, so natural click for more
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