Feedback: When to Listen to it and When to Ignore It

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Since many of my readers are creatives, I’ve had a number of them ask me how to respond to criticism.  Anyone who’s creative and pushing the boundaries will have critics, so the question becomes, how should we react?  Can I learn from it?  Who should I ignore?  So I asked my friend and writer Simon Dillon, who’s based in the UK, and who’s work includes children’s adventure stories and novels for grown-ups for advice.  Here’s his take:  

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Why Your Crisis Is The Key To Your Creativity

"There is scarcely any passion without struggle." - Albert Camus

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More and more studies are confirming that a crisis actually boosts creativity. It’s easy to see why we all live in a state of constant frustration. CNN reports that we consume about 74 gigabytes — nine DVDs worth — of data every day. And that’s not counting personal problems, career challenges, and other obstacles. But the Wall Street Journal confirms that “having your world turned upside down sparks creative thinking.” How?

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How “Clutter” Can Kill Your Creativity

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I’ve written many times on this blog about the danger of “clutter.”  Clutter comes in all forms – from the media voices screaming for our attention, to the messy desk in front of us (where was that file again?) to the million other options that keep us from pursuing our creative calling.  That’s why it’s good to re-read how William Zinsser, author of the writing classic “On Writing Well” (1976) felt about clutter in our writing.  It’s worth the read:

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Creatives: Don’t Be Distracted By Your Tools

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Creative people love great tools. I just bought a new HD display screen for my computer, so I get it. Michelangelo spent enormous time and effort to find the best materials to mix into paint. Great artists throughout history were obsessed with the right brushes, the best marble, new typewriters, fine musical instruments, and the latest motion picture film. Today, it’s

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It’s Not About Passion, It’s About Hunger

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We’ve all heard so much about “passion.” People want to be passionate about their work, so they search for a career or calling they can feel passionate about. However, I’m not a big “passion” person because passion is transitory, temporary, and often shallow. It has too many ups and downs. Passion is great, but it simply won’t get you very far. So what do I recommend? 

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Why We Should Be Careful Following Trends

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A word needs to be said to pastors, writers, artists, and other leaders who jump on the bandwagon of “Christian cultural trends.” I’ve seen it most of my life, and I can tell you it doesn’t help in the court of public witness. I remember in the late 60’s when we got on the “Late Great Planet Earth” trend. The incredible success of that book was followed by a long (I mean really long) line of prophecy copycats, few of which offered anything unique and different.  Since that time we’ve had the HUGE trends of

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