Creativity

7 things about writing I learned from Jonathan Franzen

I spent the day at the Budapest Book Fair listening to Jonathan Franzen talk about birds and writing, and making jokes that nobody laughed at because they were waiting for the translation to come through their headphones. I jotted down a few pearls of wisdom that should be useful to writers everywhere. #1. Writing is an experience, not a performance This …

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How to become a bestselling famous novelist (truth and formula in fiction writing)

I got sucked into a novel yesterday, which I rarely do. The writing is great. Opening sentence: “In strewn banners that lay like streamers from a longago parade the sun’s fading seraphim rays gleamed onto the hood of the old Ford and ribboned the steel with the meek orange of a June tomato straining at the vine.” But it’s not …

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Chef and Frank: The Two Best Movies of 2014 on Art and Creativity (and how they propagate unhealthy stereotypes)

The world is changing quickly, and a large part of that change is the shift from standard 9 to 5 career jobs to life-affirming, self-fulfilling creative small businesses. But the edge between creative expression and commercial success is a harrowing journey demanding delicate and dangerous balance. Can our love for creation persist amid client demands and expectations? Should we be …

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Do we live in a post-plagiarism word?

Today I read two articles. The first is the plagiarism case indie author Rachel Ann Nunes raised against Tiffanie Rushton, an elementary school teacher. Tiffanie allegedly took Rachel’s self-published book, added some sex scenes and republished it as her own. Rachel has already spent $20,000 in court fees and is using PRweb.com to get the word out so she can raise $100,000 …

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This My Little Pony episode perfectly defines the client-designer relationship

My friend Amy (@ALSVossler) emailed recently to tell me about a My Little Pony episode she’d been watching. I’ll let her give you the details: “I found myself thinking, “Oh my goodness! This is Derek Murphy’s life in My Little Pony format!” “The premise is that a dress designer generously agrees to make fancy formal dresses for her five friends (for …

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What to do when you completely lose your mind (an honest review of the World Domination Summit 2014)

I spent the last four days in Portland attending the World Domination Summit (a congregation of people living remarkable lives in a conventional world). It’s my second time – immediately after the first one I attended (2013) I bought tickets for myself and my mother to return this year. Since I wrote a little about my experiences last year, I …

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Building your hot air balloon – a metaphor for creative success

Most of the people I know who are working online are selling hot air. In other words, they fill people with hope, motivation and inspiration. They get them charged up and excited. They tell them “You can do anything you want, if you just BELIEVE in it!” They say, “Just follow your passion and the money will take care of …

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How to draw camels (aka – how to do something fun and creative that gets shared and helps promote your REAL projects)

Stumbled across this fun site tonight: it’s basically a book about how to draw camels: http://howtodrawcamels.com/   Except, that’s not all. The author does a bunch of interesting stuff, and some important social work, in Western Africa. But rather than starting a personal blog about himself or his projects, he chose to do something funny and remarkable. Something that is …

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