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.  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

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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

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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?”

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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?

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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: