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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Stop Taking Meeting Notes And Start Writing Action Steps

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Possibly because of a tragic final exam experience in college, I’ve become an obsessive note taker. I have a couple of note apps on my iPhone, I have two notebooks in my briefcase, and I carry small index cards and a tiny pen in my pocket everywhere except bed (but I also have a notepad and pencil on my nightstand.) After client meetings, I used to walk away with pages of notes. But a few years ago I realized

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Did Christian Artists Sell-Out To Become “Family Friendly?”

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If you’ve ever spent much time in art museums – particularly in Europe – you know that much of the greatest Christian art of the past was anything BUT “family friendly.” Caravaggio’s David with the Head of Goliath for instance. Powerful painting, raw, and violent. The most amazing thing about the piece is that it’s a self-portrait, and yet Caravaggio painted himself not as the hero, but as Goliath. As if he understood

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