Creativity is a strange chariot. Creativity likes activity, not standing still. If I make a single observation about all the creative people I have ever known, it is that we find it hard to rest. When the chariot comes to a standstill, we start to fret. Read More
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Money is a remarkable motivator (at least for me). But it’s not likely to sustain you through the journey of writing a book. Business growth and financial freedom come from publishing. I’ve seen this again and again. But it does not fuel authors through the creative process. What does is a readiness to share your expertise. Read More
In my late 20s, I had to give up my first career as an artist for health reasons. It was a shock to my identity – I loved being an artist.
Still, I was never a traditional artist. As far as many people were concerned I wasn’t an artist at all. I made screen-printed posters, some on commission, some for myself. I worked in community groups helping others to make posters. I wasn’t a ‘true artist’, meaning I wasn’t starving amid my oil paints in a garret somewhere.
Publishing is a relationship builder. In April this year, I got a contact request via LinkedIn. With it came a note. ‘Enjoyed your article on being worthy to write a book, Kath. I’d like to connect.’ Done. I thanked Mike (it’s his real name) for the feedback and asked him to let me know if I could help in any way.
In August, Mike came back to me: ‘Hi Kath, ‘I “may” write a book, let’s have a chat on the phone.’
I’m feeling fantastic. Now. Half an hour ago, I was feeling the weight of the world upon me. Feeling ‘not good enough’ is a physical feeling as well as an emotional one. My skin zings with an uncomfortable sensitivity, and my nerves jolt me when I least expect it: whenever I relax.
Feeling fantastic is physical too. My shoulders relax, and my spine straightens. I smile to myself and at others. I take deep, satisfying breaths.
How can that happen? How can I shift from a not-good-enough mindset to radiant, energetic and joyous in 30 minutes? And why does it matter to us as authors? Read More
As a journalist, I became a finishing expert. I wrote and published about 80,000 words a year. At first, finishing a story was a huge challenge. It took me a whole day to write 700 words and more time to do the interviewing and research. I just couldn’t say goodbye to a story until I thought it was perfect.
And you know what? It was never perfect. Every story needed some editing. Sometimes my editor asked me to get more information, or check a fact, or clarify my meaning. Sometimes I’d been so busy getting the words right that I added up some numbers in the story incorrectly. Huh!
Have you ever said ‘Good morning’ to someone who didn’t respond? It’s an unsettling feeling of sorrow, even indignance when a generous, warmly-intended communiqué is ignored. There’s a parallel on our content marketing program: if we put time and effort into creating our content, and sending out our e-newsletters, what happens if we get little or no response?I see content marketing as a three-step process: we start with content, create a conversation, and this leads to connections – or, more in commercial terms: conversions.
I was at a memorial yesterday (goodbye, dear Jacqui), watching projected photos of my friend’s life, and listening to stories about her. We laughed a lot and felt our hearts crack open, as each of the speakers described Jacqui in all her specialness. And I was struck by the effortlessness with which each of us can craft a powerful story when it really matters.
Most people started their speech in the simplest and time-honoured manner, introducing themselves, and their relationship to Jacqui. Then they listed the qualities in Jacqui that had meant a lot to them with funny and poignant stories to illustrate these characteristics. And then they summed it all up and said farewell to her. Each speaker added a little to the whole picture of Jacqui and the various sides of her – mother, colleague, daughter, sister, friend – and filled in blanks for those of us who, like me, had not seen her for a while. Read More
Do you feel uncomfortable with the mere suggestion that it is possible to write a blog to a formula? Many writers do. It’s like painting by numbers or using a colouring book instead of just drawing freehand. It’s an automatic creative fail, isn’t it?
I want to let you in on a secret here. Creative people work to formulas. At least, that is where they start the creative journey. The wildest abstract painter – Jackson Pollock, the artist who painted the image for this blog – started by learning to draw live models, a tried and true step that every artist takes on the path to self-expression. (click the link, to see one of his early life drawings)
I was fascinated to see the stationery shop, Officeworks, launch a marketing campaign called Time to Write. As a content marketing campaign, which combines the benefits of information for consumers and sales opportunities for Officeworks, it’s pretty good – but not faultless. I thought I would unpack it for my Sticky community as an example of what you might do, and not do, in your own blogging campaigns.
Let’s be clear: I don’t spend my time and money blogging just because I love you (even though I do). I blog because in order to build a community of interest (that’s you) in my ideas and approach, to build my reputation as an author’s mentor, to establish my credibility and authority, and to find clients.
So I am not going to chuck rocks at Officeworks for a campaign designed to sell notebooks, pencils and pens. Their commercial focus is not a problem in my view. Setting that aside then, let’s unpack the campaign. Read More