We are all writers in some form.
Writing is such a brilliant creative outlet – whether you’re a journalist, blog writer, advertiser or just writing sassy emails to your office co-workers – writing is a core part of our lives.
People like to talk about writing as though its this magical process filled with moments of genius and innovation – which it can be.
But most of our time spent writing is spent sitting in front of a laptop, thinking about what to write.
So when you do decide to finally write a novel you’ve always dreamed off, or start up your own blog you tend to hit a roadblock.
Am I right?
Writing certainly isn’t as glamorous as it seems.
I’ve written before about how to break free from writers block, but today I want to share with you a powerful tool that can help expand your creativity and stop writer’s block before it even hits.
It’s called Speare and it’s designed to help you write in small bits to help pull together an entire project more quickly.
Rather than list all the benefits here I thought I would ask the app, Kent Sisco, to chat with me about them on my YouTube Channel.
In the video Kent and I chat all things writing and how in many ways, it all comes back to classic productivity methods.
Kent is actually a reader of this blog and read my book Listful Thinking too!
We met because he signed up for my online course Lights Camera Expert, which is designed to help experts, authors and entrepreneurs get and keep media attention.
He did the work and showed up to our live group calls and that’s how I got to know about the amazing productivity tool he created.
Plus he got himself some great media attention too! Being productive can come in handy for so many tasks 🙂
Writers from all backgrounds use Speare.
It’s not just for books or blogs but it’s even used by pastors!
Speare is designed for anyone with a passion for the written word – it’s name comes from Shakespeare after all!
It’s graduation season, which leads to plenty of people thinking about their long-term goals, not just college students. Often when we reminisce on the goals we had at graduation we focus on all the things we haven’t done.
But are we being too hard on ourselves?
Mindy Kaling thinks so!
When speaking at the graduation ceremony at Dartmouth College Mindy’s final advice to the graduating class was to “let it go.”
We may have a dozen goals in our head when we graduate and some of them may happen and some might not. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed or strayed from your path, just that life often doesn’t go the way you planned.
In previous posts I’ve talked of the importance of evaluating your long-term goals. It’s okay to accept that a goal might no longer be what you want or that you need to put it on the back burner while you focus on more important things. A perfect example of this is a woman I interviewed, author Karen Rizzo, she continually put “Learn Italian” on her list and guess what – never happened.
When evaluating long-term goals there are a few things to take into consideration:
Priorities – What we think is a top priority and what we actually spend most of our time and energy on can be two very different things. Depending on where we are in life our biggest priority can be different things, focusing on family, career or even our health.
Does your top priority line up with your daily habits? Check out the book Essentialism for ways to do this better. Maybe you want to get a new job, but you haven’t been to a networking event in months. Or you’re trying to take a step back with work, but still find yourself emailing at 10pm! Make sure your actions line up with your priorities. If they don’t then it might be time to reassess.
Diminishing Returns – The law of diminishing returns is used to refer to a point at which the level of profits or benefits gained is less than the amount of money or energy invested.
Essentially the more effort you put into something the less you get out of it. How annoying is that?
It’s good to remember though, when you feel like you’ve been pushing a goal or idea for too long – maybe it’s time to ease up a bit?
For example, how many times have you heard people say they found their romantic partner once they stopped looking? The same can be said for many other goals. I know a few people who have been stuck in the ‘research’ phase of writing a book, because they keep finding more and more information pulling them in different directions. At some point you just have to draw a line in the sand and start writing!
When it comes to your goals it’s as Mindy Kaling said –
“Don’t trust any one story of how to become successful.”
Find the path that works for you, it doesn’t have to look like what your 21-year-old self imagined.
In just a few days my bud and business partner Terri Trespicio and I will be headed to the Speak to Sell conference with Lisa Sasevich in Florida. Whoo hoo – can’t wait for some sun! It’s been a long winter.
After the conference my husband and I are heading to Miami for a few days of vacation and a chance for us to check out for a little bit! (Plus to celebrate our wedding anniversary – 9 years!)
As exciting as this all is, it means I’ve got several lists going all at once.
- Lists for the conference
- Lists for my vacation (altho I’ll still be working)
- Lists for everything I have to catch up on before I go
I feel a bit like I’m drowning in lists.
It’s times like these that I have to step away from my usual tactic of just getting things done and zoom out a bit. – Otherwise I get too wrapped up in the small stuff and lose sight of the bigger picture.
A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to do a workshop training with Ali Brown. She’s an amazing coach for entrepreneurs and she interviewed me for her podcast “Glambition Radio” about my book “Listful Thinking” a while back.
One of the things she taught in this creativity workshop was how to shift your focus. And it involved buying magazines! (My guilty pleasure!)
The idea is to go to a store and get yourself a magazine you would never normally read, which for me could be on something like golf or surfing or the National Geographic. But for you it could be anything that you wouldn’t consider yourself to be interested in.
Now when you read that magazine you have to be a completely objective outsider. The actual content is not that important to you so you can focus on the way they get their message across. How do they engage with their readers.
So how does this help your list making efforts?
It can give you loads of idea for your own creative output and how you actually get things done. Can you be more creative about the way that you outsource? But also – stepping outside of our usual routine (it’s scary, I know) can actually spark great ideas and allow you to get more done. It will actually make you more productive and help utilize parts of your brain that might have been a bit sleepy til now.
They say you can travel all around world, but you can never escape yourself. Well that’s not strictly true. The magazine exercise allows you to take a break from your own mind and usual way of thinking and take a vacation in someone else’s hobby for a bit – and who knows what you might take away!
Try it out and let me know what you think in the comments below.