“Most grown-ups forget what it was like to be a kid. I vowed that I would never forget.” — Matt Groening
We see the finished product.
Not the convoluted initial idea.
Not the crappy first draft.
Not the work in progress.
It’s easy to forget the art we consume didn’t always look that way.
The artists who created it initially saw a much different version — one that didn’t work.
But they chose to stare down its flaws.
Willed themselves to mold the work we love from them.
Keep that in mind the next time you assume your work isn’t good enough.
Maybe it isn’t…yet.
You’ll never know if you look away.
Now, on to this week’s ideas.
1. GET MORE ATTENTION FOR YOUR CREATIONS BY TELLING YOUR THREE STORIES
“The more you share your backstory, the more people will see similarities to their own and the more likely they are to care about your future.”
The secret to successful promotion is to tell your story — or more specifically, to tell your three stories.
In this post I break down how to get more attention for your creations by telling your three stories including the power of stories about where you’ve been, where you’re at, and where you’re going.
RELATED: Eight ways to get people to pay attention to your work.
2. HOW TO DO ONE THING AT A TIME
“Doing one thing at a time isn’t about boring yourself into efficiency. There can still be room for exploration if you create clear boundaries. Build your sandbox, and then you can play in it.”
By now I’m sure you’ve heard that multi-tasking is a myth and the key to productivity is to focus on one project at a time.
But this JotForm post explains what people rarely talk about — how to only do one thing at a time.
Featuring specific examples from Jotform’s own experiences, the post offers suggestions about how starting small, designating leaders, creating automated systems, and boxing your time can help you focus on one thing at a time.
RELATED: How to get better at one thing in one month.
3. 20 WRITING TIPS FROM JAMES BALDWIN
“One writes out of one thing only — one’s own experience. Everything depends on how relentlessly one forces from this experience the last drop, sweet or bitter, it can possibly give.”
If you’re a writer, this will inspire you. If you’re not a writer, it will change how you think about the gifts writers create for you.
Literary Hub shares 20 writing tips from James Baldwin including to spurn self-delusion, write towards truth, and write to find out something you don’t want to know.
RELATED: 22 writing tips from Stephen King.
4. HOW TO STOP SAYING “UM,” “AH,” AND “YOU KNOW”
“Pauses aren’t easy to embrace. For many speakers, even the briefest pause can feel like an interminable silence. That’s because we tend to think faster than we speak.”
Um, I’m not sure what to say about this one, you know?
Luckily, Harvard Business Review explains how to stop using filler words and replace them with more effective pauses.
To do so, it recommends you become aware of when you use filler words, practice forcing yourself to be silent, and focus on preparation for public speaking situations.
RELATED: How to become a better listener.
5. 33 WAYS TO BE INSANELY HAPPY, PRODUCTIVE, AND BALANCED
“A small to-do list of 5–10 items, if completed day in and day out, will put you far ahead of everyone else.”
There are no shortage of productivity tips out there and plenty of advice about how to be happy, but little advice which takes both into account.
Ryan Holiday does in this list of 33 ways to be insanely happy, productive, and balanced that suggests you keep texting for friends only, avoid conference calls, and don’t cut corners when you hire help.
RELATED: How to get back on track when you’re having an unproductive day.
6. THE BEST WORK TAKES TIME — JUST ASK “THE SIMPSONS”
“The best work takes twenty times longer than you’ve planned. The best work happens when everybody else goes home. The best work happens when you’re poring over the details. And the best work happens when you GET that creating something kick ass doesn’t happen on your first attempt.”
Most creators aren’t patient enough with their work.
Do you know it takes nine months to make an episode of The Simpsons?
Ashley Ambirge breaks down what goes into the making of an episode and uses it to offer a reminder that the best work takes time to produce.
As she says, “Brilliance isn’t born: it’s built.”
RELATED: How to tame a wild horse.
7. 10 PRACTICAL ANSWERS TO 10 PRACTICAL QUESTIONS
“No one in the history of mankind became happy or successful without help. Realize that you’re not alone.”
I love the concept behind this Darius Foroux post.
A reader randomly sent him a set of questions with no explanation and a simple “Thanks for your time” at the bottom of the email.
That led to this list of 10 practical answers to questions about the one quality everyone must have, one thing that should never be forgotten, and best piece of important financial advice.
I love this concept so much that if you want to send me a set of questions, I just might answer them in a future post of my own.
RELATED: 22 weird but profound life lessons.
8. HOW A FIRST-TIME AUTHOR SOLD 5,000 BOOKS IN ONE MONTH
“Writing and marketing a new book is just like running a business. You start with an idea and a lot of unproven assumptions and your goal is to prove those assumptions as quickly as possible while investing as little capital and time as possible.”
This one’s a must-read if you’re publishing a book, but also has a lot to offer anybody launching a creative product of any kind.
Taylor Pearson breaks down every step of how he sold 5,000 books in a month despite starting with only a 700-person email list and never having published a book before.
RELATED: 10 daily mindsets and habits to help you write a book.
9. A RECOMMENDED NEWSLETTER FOR PEOPLE INTERESTED IN CREATIVE WORK, PRODUCTIVITY, AND BOUNCING BACK FROM FAILURE
“I promise two things: You will find at least one kernel of inspiration and it is 100% news-free. That’s right. We’re going news-less.”
For the past couple months I’ve enjoyed reading writer Kara Cutruzzula Brass Ring Daily newsletter — it’s a quick daily read filled with inspiring and thought-provoking ideas about creative work.
I recommend you check it out and subscribe here.
RELATED: Join my Facebook group for Newsletter Creators.
10. A MANIFESTO FOR CREATIVE PEOPLE
“Your short term goal is to get better. Your long term goal is to get better.”
Dear creative people, this one’s for you.
RELATED: How to keep going as a creative person.
WHERE I FOUND THIS STUFF
I discovered some of this week’s ideas from the newsletters of Creative Mornings, Box of Amazing, Further, How It Actually Works and Postanly — they’re awesome and worth your time.
Image via Vulture.