In a Video Age, Why Reading Still Matters

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You don’t need another lecture on the importance of reading books. You get it, but honestly, who has the time anymore? Plus, we can catch most books when they become movies on Netflix, or I can check the summaries from websites, right? Wrong. Speaking and working in England this month has reminded me just how

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What’s Your Best Time To Create?

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Science tells us that we’re driven by cycles, which I believe impacts our creativity. Although we can force ourselves to do almost anything, I think we do our best work at specific times of the day. For me, it’s morning. From about 6am to noon I do my best writing. After that I can do email, phone calls, meetings, or other work related tasks, but for my best writing, it has to be in the morning. Last week in London, I picked up the book “For Writers Only” by Soppy Burnham. She ran down the list of times of day when a number of great creators were at their peak:

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Where Is Your Creative Space?

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If you’re a serious creative person, you need to find the place where you do your best work. In a coffee shop, in your bedroom, in the basement, on the patio – wherever your creative juices start flowing. For me, I need complete silence. My perfect location is probably a bank vault – no music, TV, email, or other distractions.  My office is also

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Do You Have The Courage To Speak Up About Your Ideas?

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We don’t normally think of the bravery of creative artists these days. In other areas, while the media may consider Bruce Jenner coming out as a woman “brave,” most people reserve that honor for men and women who are willing to put their lives on the line – like soldiers, police, or firefighters. And certainly anyone else who makes the ultimate sacrifice in the service of others. But throughout history, those with creative ideas have put their lives

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Creatives: Work When You Don’t Feel Like It

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Write, design, paint, create music – whatever you do, do it everyday. Get into the habit, and never wait for inspiration. Artist Chuck Close said, “Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, your output will be limited and you’re not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.”

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Why Plan B Matters for Creative People

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Every parent, upon hearing that a son or daughter wants to become a filmmaker, writer, musician, dancer, or other artist, feels compelled to encourage them to have a “Plan B.” “Take a business minor.” “Get your real estate license.” “Marry a doctor.” We’ve heard it so often it’s become a joke for creative people. But the truth is,

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Telling Me “It’s Just Who I Am” Doesn’t Work

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Whenever I teach creative people, one of the most common responses I hear is “I can’t change because this is just who I am.” They’re trying to tell me they are wired a certain way and as a result, can’t learn to write a different way, change the way they express themselves, or look at a challenge from another perspective. I agree that each of us are “wired” with certain strengths and personality traits, but too often, we use the “It’s just the way I am” response as a

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