Are Creative People More Easily Distracted Than Everyone Else?

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Over the last year, more and more books are being published that deal with how creative people handle the distractions of modern living in a hi-tech age. Maria Popova over at Brain Pickings recently reviewed the book “The Creative Brain: The Science of Genius” by neuroscientist Nancy Andreasen. Toward the end of the review she mentions the relationship between creative people and distraction:

Stop Believing Talent Is Something You’re Born (Or Not Born) With

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Far too often, we give up projects and even careers because we’re convinced we just don’t have the talent. “I wasn’t born with the gift of writing.” “I’m not a good public speaker and never will be.” “I not a born leader.” But recent research has dramatically disproven the idea that talent is innate. A new study in the journal Science by Sarah-Jane Leslie, a philosopher at Princeton University, and Andrei Cimpian, a psychologist at the University of Illinois was focused on why fewer women and African-Americans were successful in certain fields. The results of the study indicate that

The Power of Using Action Words

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Action words inspire. Action words motivate. Action words get things done. So why don’t we use them more? Long ago I discovered the power of using action words in my email correspondence, meeting notes, to-do lists, and more, and it’s not only made me more productive, it’s streamlined my life. Here’s a few places where you should consider inserting action words into your daily routine:

Writing A Screenplay? It’s Tougher Than You Think. Here’s Why:

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Although we don’t ask for them, hardly a week goes by that we don’t receive a movie script, reality show concept, or other media project at our offices in Los Angeles. When it comes to screenplays, it seems everyone is writing them, and most are convinced their first one will be a box office success. But the truth is – rarely are they worth reading at all.  That’s why I was fascinated with Steven Shapin’s comment while reviewing a book on the history of science:

4 Secrets to Help You Manage Multiple Creative Projects

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Writer’s block, boredom, hitting a wall – all are terms creative people use when they run out of ideas. One of the best ways to overcome those moments of terror is to work on multiple projects at once. In fact, multiple projects may be the best remedy for creative block. Plus, I’ve discovered that if you actually want to make a living with your creative profession, managing multiple projects becomes a necessity. But if you struggle with simultaneous creative efforts, here’s 4 keys that should help:

Which is More Creative, A Lone Wolf or a Team?

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The “lone wolf” theory of creativity (usually an artist struggling alone) has always been the romantic ideal, but is it true? We look to artistic geniuses throughout history and naturally think that real creativity happens in isolation. But as more and more research and historical information comes to light, the lone wolf theory just isn’t holding up. As Peter Bart from Variety Magazine recently pointed out:

When To Give Up On Your Ideas or Projects

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Yesterday I wrote about resilience, and how important it can be to not give up on your ideas, your projects, and your dreams – even in the face of opposition. I used my friend Producer Ken Wales as an example of someone who pitched a movie idea for years and years and eventually made it happen. But the truth is, there are situations when it’s actually better to let go of an idea and move on – even if you’ve spent years developing and writing it. The problem is –

You Are Not A Storyteller

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This two minute interview with Austrian graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister is absolutely right on.  However I hesitated posting it because of the profanity.  But the subject is so good and so timely I decided to post it anyway.  If you’re fed up like me with all the people calling themselves “storytellers” out there, then this is for you.  He doesn’t mince words, and hence the profanity.  If you’re offended, don’t watch. But if you’re not, it’s well worth two minutes:

The First Step Toward a Creative Life

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Today, while speaking at a conference in Singapore, someone asked me the secret of creative output. “Phil, how do you come up with creative material for writing and speaking – not to mention your normal production work?” I answered him by saying that the single most important question for any creative person to ask is: “What time of day am I most creative?” For me, it’s 6am to noon. When I wake up, the heavenly choir is singing, the birds are chirping, and I feel great.  So I write like mad. Everything is sharp, and I’m in a more productive mood.  But AFTER lunch?

Don’t Just Write Pastor Books, Write Serious Books

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When most pastors write books, you can bet they’re compiled from sermon notes and manuscripts. Preach a series on fear, and they end up with a book on the subject. Same with marriage, prophecy, grace, epic Bible stories – whatever. I don’t discourage that, but don’t think for a minute that’s a serious book. Writing is different than speaking, and editing sermon notes into a readable manuscript and then calling it a “book” isn’t very impressive. If you’re a pastor or ministry leader, here’s what I recommend: