Creativity

An open letter to an aspiring artist (how to make money doing what you love, and motivate yourself to finish the work).

Creativindie is slowly coming into its own and providing exactly the kind of help for artists and authors that it’s intended to. It’s so exciting that people are actually visiting my blog and getting in touch with me! I got a letter from Jen today, who’s struggling to find a way to get her foot in the door and do …

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Why “Saving Mr. Banks” should be required viewing for self-publishing authors

I’ve just started watching “Saving Mr. Banks” – the story of how Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) acquired the book rights of Mary Poppins from the author P. L. Travers (Emma Thompson). At the beginning of the story, P. L. Travers is a control freak, absolutely paranoid that her creation will be modified, changed, ruined. Disney has been chasing her for 20 …

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The horrible hidden truth behind the Secret Life of Walter Mitty that’s keeping you from your dreams

On the surface, the Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a movie with values I can get behind. A boring photo-processor daydreams about epic adventures because he’s too scared and socially awkward to actually do anything. He’s made fun of, ignored and taken for granted. He’s supporting his mom and his dead-beat actress sister; a duty he took on at …

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Cheating to win won’t help your book sales: Judging the Author’s Database 2013 Book Cover Design Contest

This month I was asked to be a guest judge on the Author’s Database 2013 indie book cover design contest. It was an interesting experience, both in seeing the quality of what’s out there, and becoming more familiar with my own guidelines for quality cover design. There was a wide variety, and I was supposed to choose a first, second …

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Best 25 books on creativity and innovation from the world’s leadings experts

Developing my own philosophy of Creativindie and working on a manifesto for this site, I’ve been reading all the books on creativity that I can find. Some offer valuable tips. Others are inspirational but mostly useless in terms of making your own success through creative talents. These books range between academic researchers with real evidence, and seat-of-the-pants artists who got …

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A simple and bizarre trick to help you write and edit your book (by switching between creativity and laser-focused attention)

I know one of the biggest challenges for writers is A) coming up with creative ideas for their writing and B) going back through their writing to self-edit, rewrite, improve and restructure. These are vastly different skills which need vastly different mind-sets. But there’s a simple and easy trick you can use to switch between them. I’m reading Imagine, How …

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Copyright laws for book cover art: stock photography licenses and other things you should know

I mainly use stock photography for my book cover designs, but if I can’t find anything, I search long and hard to find an alternative. With book cover art, you need to be careful to get permission so you aren’t breaking copyright. But at the same time, copyright laws are confusing and open to creative interpretation. Here are some things …

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How to beat cripping insecurity, doubt and failure: lessons from Steven Pressfield

If you’re an artist, author or entrepreneur, you’ve probably heard of Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art and more recently, Do The Work. His books have become manifestos for creatives because they rephrase the artistic life in terms of battle and violence, and help people overcome their fears, doubts and worries. According to Steven, resistance is an “intelligent, …

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The Cult of Failure: How screwing everything up became the new ideal, and why that may not be a good thing

I’ve been noticing a trend for awhile. I’ve commented on it before. At first it was subtle. It began with the explosion of “Lifestyle Businesses” – a few guys quit their jobs and told everybody else, “Hey, you guys should quit your jobs too, it’s awesome!” They set themselves up as “Lifestyle Coaches” or wrote books or offered services or …

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