Here are this week’s top links on creativity and writing that I distributed this week by Twitter and Facebook. Now that I’ve wrapped this up, I’m going to return to absorbing the insightful — and frank — critique I just got back from my instructor on my first-ever MFA writing packet. As I make myself a martini (gin, not vodka, and stirred, not shaken, very dry, three olives) I’ll celebrate the fact that he did at least praise me for meeting the packet submission deadline.
“Always On Innovation,” Dennis Stauffer, Blogging Innovation: Don’t fall into the trap of viewing the pursuit of creativity as an element of a larger project; it is integral to that project.
- “Boost Your Productivity; Cripple Your Technology,” Matthew Might, LifeHacker: Yes, word processing has facilitated faster writing, and PhotoShop more rapid developing techniques, but technology also invites distraction.
- “Creativity Sells,” Ian Kerrigan, Forbes: Remember the commercial with the kid in the Darth Vader mask who uses the “Force” and his dad’s car starts? What car were they advertising? Ian argues creative ads sell even when we lay folks may think they only provide entertainment value.
- “musician and artist pointers for branding,” Stan Stewart, Muz4Now: Speaking of selling, how good are you as an artist at “selling” your brand?
- “Practical Tips on Writing a Book from 23 Brilliant Authors,” Steve Silberman, PlosBlogs: Steve is a new discovery, and based on this post I like him and wish him well in his pursuit of writing a 100,000-word book. Based on the length of this post I don’t think he has to worry about producing 100,000 words. That said, there is some great wisdom in here; just carve out some time to read it.
- “Finding Your Voice,” Leo Babauta, Zen Habits: “Creators of any kind must find their voice,” Leo tells us, then provides seven tips on how to do so.
- “The 3 Questions Every Blogger Must Ask Themselves,” Shari Lopatin, Rogue Writer: These are really great questions, and as a fan of Shari’s blog, I can say it’s clear she’s asked them of herself.
- “What’s the Magic Number? How Often Should Writers Blog?” Kristin Lamb, Kristin Lamb’s Blog: Loyal readers know I wrestled with this issue very recently. I’ve shifted from 3 times a week to 2, Kristin is a better time-manager than me and does 3. Like Shari’s post above, this is a useful post for any blogger.
- “Should You Really Call Yourself a Consultant?” James Chartrand, Men With Pens: I include this blunt assessment because I know many of my readers are writing and creativity consultants, and I just gave my freelance consulting business a reboot this week. One word of advice “James” (a pen name) offers? Keep your mouth shut when you don’t know something.
Now before anyone gets the wrong idea, my instructor was actually pretty encouraging, and I agree with every criticism he shared. I’m paying good money for this MFA so I welcome frank feedback, and he was gentler than some newsroom editors I’ve encountered over the years. And I’m always open to an excuse for pouring a martini. So on to the next packet!