Creativity: Learning To Forget How Things Work

IMG_4347

This is our granddaughter Kennady.  I spend a lot of time watching her, and obviously, since she’s only a year old, she hasn’t had much time to learn how things work. As a result, the first few times I gave her a book, she had no idea what “reading” was, so she walked on it, set it up like an A-frame house, or used it for a plate. It’s been that way with everything. Since she doesn’t yet know the way things are “supposed” to be used, she just makes it up, and has come up with some pretty remarkable uses for things like

Leaders: Be Careful Using Statistics in Your Presentations or Social Media

Ron Sellers photo 1

Today’s post is a guest piece from media researcher Ron Sellers, from Grey Matter Research.  In his presentation “Insert Brian Williams Joke Here” he brings up a very important point for leaders to try to make an impact using “the latest research.”  Before you do something embarrassing, this is worth a read:

Why Creativity Isn’t Always Sweetness and Light

photo-1421986527537-888d998adb74

One of my favorite lines in film is when Orson Welles improvised a scene while playing Harry Lime in “The Third Man” in 1949: “In Italy, for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had 500 years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The Cuckoo clock.”  As creatives, we work hard trying to

How “Clutter” Can Kill Your Creativity

on-writing-well

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.  Now, The Wall Street Journal reminds us how William Zinsser, author of the writing classic “On Writing Well” (1976) and who died May 12 at age 92, felt about clutter in our writing.  It’s worth the read:

Here’s What’s Keeping You From Accomplishing Your Dream Project

photo-1422433555807-2559a27433bd

Why aren’t you writing your book, creating your film, starting your business, launching your ministry, or otherwise making your big idea happen? Probably because of what writer Steven Pressfield calls “Resistance” – that urge to do anything other than sit down and do what you actually need to do. I’m working on my next book, and yet every morning I have an almost uncontrollable urge to do something – anything – else: check my email, re-arrange my closet, organize my desk, take a walk, or a million other things. The idea of “Resistance” is far more powerful than we think, and unless we

Why So Many Authors & Bloggers Fail

Dollarphotoclub_76282659

Today I interview professional blogger and best-selling author Frank Viola. Viola has been interviewed in TIME magazine, Enterepreneur.com, and many other publications. In addition to writing, blogging, and speaking on Christian topics, Viola consults authors, bloggers, and entrepreneurs. He is also one of the presenters of the popular Buzz Seminar Master Course.  I caught up with Viola to ask him some questions about writing books and blogging:

Should Christians See The Movie “50 Shades of Grey?”

Dollarphotoclub_77436899

Actually, no – or anyone else for that matter.  But that headline got you this far in the post, right?  Which is our lesson for today: The power of a provocative headline. Most people wade through hundreds – if not thousands – of web articles, videos, and other online content every day, so what’s the hook that will get them to read yours? One study indicates that most people take

Are Creative People More Easily Distracted Than Everyone Else?

c9e42240

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

2e9b0cb2

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

5k0CgVoIS2SUJGNZKYos__DSC2198

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: