Are you Creative [Enough]?

Would you like to be more creative?

I’m only asking because it’s really not as hard or mysterious as you might think.

One thing that prevents many people from boosting their creativity is the notion that creativity is somehow determined by intelligence. Another is the idea that creative people are born that way.

In truth, research shows that once you get slightly above an average I.Q., intelligence and creativity are not related. So you could be a genius and display little creativity or have fairly average intelligence and wield amazing creative powers. Continue reading “Are you Creative [Enough]?”

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Are You a Hoarder (of Ideas)?

Imagine this, if you will.

An old woman, near the end of her life. Shivering in a fleabag apartment without heat in the winter. Walking four miles each way to the food bank, to carry home unmarked cans of mystery meat. Not even a cat to keep her company, because cat food is expensive.

Then one day she dies, and the neighbors find $2.7 million wadded up in her mattress.

It’s a natural human impulse to hold on to what we have. We figure we can handle whatever discomforts we might be facing now, and who knows how bad it could get down the line? So we hoard, saving up our riches for some mythical later time.

What does this have to do with writing?

Everyone who writes faces this at some point. We come up with a powerful idea, something we think will capture a lot of attention. This is the kind of content we know we need to grow our blog and our business.

So of course we can’t waste it on our measly 300 subscribers (or 100, or 12). We scribble our great idea on a Post-it so we remember to write it up when we hit some magic number of subscribers–500 or 1000 or 10,000.

The Post-it gets dusty. We never hit that magic number. Because we took our best content ideas and stuffed them into a mattress. We didn’t think our small audience was good enough for amazing content, so we never got a larger audience. Continue reading “Are You a Hoarder (of Ideas)?”

Are You a Blogger or Just Blogging?

Here’s a harsh truth for you: blogging is a bit like sports. Anyone can do it, but few can do it at a professional level.

And while hardly anybody with an ounce of sanity who takes up tennis or golf thinks they’ll eventually turn pro at it, just about everyone who starts a blog, or is secretly writing a novel, all of them are dreaming of hitting it big somehow.

This is a brave new world: anyone can do it, just push a button and you’re out there. Suddenly everybody is blogging, and they all wish this was what they’d be doing as a job.

But there’s a big difference between blogging and being a blogger.

Continue reading “Are You a Blogger or Just Blogging?”

Want More Comments on Your Posts? Do This!

We all tend to focus on catchy headlines and gripping titles. That split-second interest grabber is important.

But how you end your post depends on what you’re trying to achieve and what do you want the reader to do – the so-called call to action. When it comes to prompting reader interaction, how you wrap up your blog posts or articles may make all the difference between a few comments and an explosion of discussion.

Think about it: What urges a reader to write his comments? What gets him to talk about your post? What happens when the show’s over? Continue reading “Want More Comments on Your Posts? Do This!”

Reciprocity

Imagine you’d just decide to send out a lot of Christmas cards early in the month of December — to complete strangers.

What would happen?

Nothing? Maybe a few confused phone calls or letters?

Most likely you’d receive a great deal of Christmas cards in return, from people who don’t even know you.

A university professor actually performed this exact experiment back in 1976, and although he expected to get some responses, he was actually amazed by the number of return cards he received. Continue reading “Reciprocity”