Writing Journal 61: Sell Your Ideas

Writing Journal 61: Sell Your Ideas

My writing journal for Sunday, October 12, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

Happy Sunday — another short writing day. I manage to write another 2,300 words of the mystery novel. It’s still zooming along. No idea why… Every project hits a wall sooner or later, but this is going so well, I don’t trust it.

To stop me getting over-confident, the two nonfiction books — I’m writing them in tandem — bogged down. I managed just 350 words, and they were a struggle. I’ll need to do some brainstorming on a whiteboard. Maybe writing them together wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had.

Breakfast for Honey, and for me, then email. I’ve still got a backlog, so luckily email was light this morning.

Last night’s coaching calls went well. I love doing them; they’re fun. I write up a call summary, and create a plan for each client. Julia will send them the material with their MP3s.

It’s time to leave for my Sunday commitments.

Sell your ideas

As you may know, I’m a writing coach. I love it, because I love writing, and enjoy helping people to overcome their challenges, whether those challenges are huge, or minor.

Although it’s easier than it’s ever been to sell your creativity, in any form— whether your creativity expresses itself in paintings, cute crafts, books, short stories, or teaching materials — it’s hard for creatives to pull the trigger, and SHIP.  As Seth Godin said:

“The only purpose of starting is to finish, and while the projects we do are never really finished, they must ship.”

I have challenges with shipping, too. I used to be the queen of procrastination. While I’m better at recognizing my own BS than I used to be, I still make excuses for not shipping. I’ve a suspicion that that’s why I like ghostwriting. I like being accountable to someone else. It means that like it or not, I need to ship.

8-Hour Wins: Create and Sell Products in Just 8 HoursTo help you to SHIP, I’ve formalized a training that I give students. It’s basically a checklist that I use for myself. I’ve tested it on students who have 1,001 perfectly reasonable (and totally BS) reasons they can’t complete projects and ship.

Here it is: 8-Hour Wins: Create and Sell Products in Just 8 Hours.

Back again: time for Sunday content and blog management

Sunday’s always my big blog management and content creation day. I review all my blogs, and clients’ blogs, and brainstorm content. I aim to have at least ten to 20 draft posts in most blogs at any one time. Although some of the drafts will be deleted, most will be written, edited, and published.

It’s October, and we’re heading into the hottest period of the year for B2C companies. They’re rolling out their pre-holiday sales. It involves dusting off their customer lists, and creating promotions for the period right through into 2015. For some the after-Christmas sales are barely over, when it’s time for the hearts and flowers of Valentine’s Day.

Keeping track of lots of blogs isn’t a picnic, especially at this time of the year. I like to get content plans for 2015 organized before November, because you can’t plan in the middle of the chaos, which defines late November to January.

So, in addition to planning content for this week and the next few weeks, I schedule in some idea-creation for clients’ 2015 content. A lot depends on how much a client is budgeting for content marketing. That means: research, reports and scopes. And proposals. I schedule those in for the next few weeks.

By the time all that’s out of the way, the day is done. Time for my daily and weekly review. Tonight, I’ll catch up on planning my new blog, and drafting some content.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 57: Creative Dreams to Creative Business

Writing Journal 57: Creative Dreams to Creative Business

My writing journal for Wednesday, October 8, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

I’ve got a couple of meetings this morning, so I need to spend a little less time on fiction and nonfiction, so I can prepare for the meetings, and then be on my way.

Creative Dreams to Creative Business

We’ve had a wonderful response to our new Creative Business program. I’m glad, for two reasons.

Your Creative Business: Coaching to Turn Your Creativity into ProfitsThe first reason: I’ve always been aware that business is a challenge for creatives. My very first couple of blogs, way back in 1999, were about business for creatives. I published the “Creative Small Biz” ezine for several years, and it was hugely popular. I think it was ahead of its time however, because we focused on old-school marketing, and Internet marketing.

Internet marketing was painful in those days, right up to around 2004, when things got better. I have VERY painful memories of installing the first versions of WordPress, well over a decade ago — 2003? Can’t remember. I do remember uploading it to websites and messing around with the config files for several hours get it to work. When one-click installs came along they were a blessing.

Today, you can ignore tech; everything’s point and click. I’m thrilled to be helping creatives to do business, because everything is easy now. You can install an online store to sell your creative products, whatever they may be, with just a couple of clicks. Marketing’s a dream too — there are endless alternatives.

The second reason I’m glad is that truly creative people can lose their dreams when no one buys their books, listens to their music, or buys their art. To a creative person, not creating is like not eating. I used to say that while writing made me miserable (this hasn’t happened in years, I’ve learned a few tricks), I’m bereft and more miserable when I don’t write. The knowledge that I’m helping others to live their dreams is hugely satisfying.

Back to writing…

This morning I do a couple of timer sessions on the mystery novel, and on the two nonfiction books for my coaching client. I’m writing these two books in tandem; the print version will be an expanded version of the ebook, with many diagrams and images. I manage 1,300 words on the novel, and 800 words on the ebook.

I get Honey’s breakfast, and eat my toast while responding to email.

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been procrastinating on the new website I’m setting up, so I do a little work on that. I choose a theme, and post the material I’ve written to the home page. I make a list of blog posts to get the site off the ground.

Then it’s time to rehearse my pitch for the pitch meeting. Next, I need to go back through the other client’s files, to see what I wrote for him, so I can create some suggestions for what he can do over the coming holiday sales period.

While I’m out, I’ll have lunch, and then I’ll pop into the library to do a little more research.

Back again…

The meetings ran long, as they always seem too. It’s late afternoon. Time to return phone calls before people leave their offices for the day. Then I write up the notes from the meetings, and add the tasks to my schedule.

I’ll need to do a few hours of work tonight, to catch up. With my daily review done, that’s it for the work day.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

5 Easy Ways to Become More Creative FAST

Get creative fast
Get creative fast

Want to become more creative? You’re already as creative as you need to be. All you need is space to allow that creativity to flower, and time. You also need to give yourself permission to be creative.

Few of us survive our childhood with our creativity intact. However, no matter how deeply it’s buried, your creativity is there. Relax, have fun, and you’ll be more creative.

Let’s look at five ways you can become more creative in your life and your business quickly.

1. Mind map it, whatever it is

Start by framing your creative task. What task you want to be creative at doing? Your creativity is completely natural, and if you decide you want to become more creative in one area of your life, it will flow over into other areas.

The left brain/ right brain theory has been debunked, it’s nevertheless useful. We all have various networks in our brain:

People use networks in their brains, Devi explained. “So if somebody is more artistic, let’s say, then they would more likely use … networks within the right side of the brain. So it’s about the network they use. There are networks for language, there are networks for artistic ability. There are networks for math. So depending on what networks you use, you use one side of the brain more than the other.”

If you think you’re not creative, it simply means you haven’t used the relevant networks in your brain sufficiently. The more you use those networks, the more they will grow.

Let’s say you want to become more creative in your business.

Start by creating a mind map. Mind maps are images, and images trigger your right brain’s creative network, and your subconscious mind. Your subconscious is non-verbal. It “thinks” in images. It will deliver more creativity than you can ever use.

You can create a mind map by hand, or you can use an app. Currently, my favorite mind mapping app is Inspiration.

FreeMind is a free mind mapping tool. Here’s an Inspiration mind map…

inspirationmap

Add “business creativity” to the center of your mind map.

Then, without thinking about it too much, add ways you could be more creative in your business to your mind map.

2. Use images as symbols to mine your subconscious

Images trigger your creativity and your subconscious mind. You can use images in many ways. The easiest way is to choose an image, and look at it. Pinterest has lots of images. Browse.

You can also browse photos, or image-heavy magazines. I like to browse online museums – the Rijksmuseum’s my favorite. Click the image below to access the site.

rijksmuseum

When you’re browsing images, you’re not looking for anything. You’re just looking. You’ve created your mind map, but forget that for now. Just take a few minutes, relax, and look at images.

3. Go tight, then loose: focus and de-focus

To trigger your creativity, you need to focus, and then de-focus. Think, and then muse, allow your mind to drift.

Avoid forcing anything – you can’t force yourself to be creative. You simply need to allow your innate creativity.

So when you’re browsing images, study an image carefully. Look at the flow of lines and curves in image, the shadow and the light. Then, de-focus, let your gaze go soft, and absorb the image.

Try this exercise regularly. It’s a strategy you can use at any time. It will help the creative networks in your brain to grow.

4. What’s the opposite?

Have you added some thoughts to your mind map? Add something, anything. Accept whatever springs to mind. As we’ve said, you can’t force yourself to be creative, you can only allow it.

Think about the opposite of whatever you’ve added to your mind map. Add that. Adding opposites will loosen your perceptions.

5. Sleep on it: let yourself think

Your sleeping brain is creative. You can and do think while you’re asleep. Use this. (If you want to know more about sleep thinking, read Eric Maisel’s sleep thinking book.)

Before you go to sleep, write on a note: “how can I become more creative in my business?”. You can sleep-think about anything. You’ll be amazed at the creative solutions you develop to your challenges.

The key to sleep-thinking is to muse about your question as you’re falling asleep. Just wonder about it casually, don’t force anything.

The next morning, as soon as you wake up, write for five minutes. (Yes, you can make yourself some coffee first.)

You’re creative. Everyone is. Use these five ways to bring more creativity into your life fast.

, and on Twitter: @angee

photo credit: jef safi \ ‘Parker Mojo Flying via photopin cc