Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Don't Imitate. Innovate.

Working in many marketing environments, I've learned this: a lot of people just want to keep up. They don't want to move ahead or push the envelope.

For example, when doing agency work, I noticed that a client would see a campaign of a competitor and instead of bringing a new vision to the table, they would want the same thing the other organization had. "Change the photo and text, but I want a design like that."

That leaves me wondering why. Why would anyone want to look like a competitor when what those in marketing are supposed to do is stand out, brand organizations and be the first to come up with great ideas? A competitor's work shouldn't be a template; It should be inspiration for others - inspiration to keep growing new and better ideas. Those in a creative profession have the ability to conceptualize and bring their ideas to life. What a truly amazing job! Imitating defeats the entire purpose of being in a creative arena. Some marketers are searching for a formula, but marketing is anything but routine.

I'd like to believe that most people entered the field because they wanted to make something out of nothing. Marketers should have the desire to see new ideas brought to life. And, maybe, be the innovator that everyone else wants to imitate.

Monday, March 21, 2011

When writing, the little things bring motivation.

Me and my co-writer reached a point in our novel where we needed organization badly. It was important to see what we had so far and map out where we're going. We spent about three hours putting together bits of the book that we had in multiple documents (there's no time for organization when inspiration strikes). Simply seeing the manuscript in linear form made us feel more connected to the work and excited about its potential.

Then, we moved on to write chapter titles. Seems like a small part of writing, right? Not for us. Chapter titles helped us summarize what happened in each chapter, creating an outline for the story that helped us plan for the rest of it. Now, we know what we have and where we're going. Writing a chapter title also showed us very quickly if a chapter didn't have enough in it to qualify as a chapter (or if it's just too long).

We had a great time piecing together the manuscript. We're now more pumped than ever to move on with our writing.

"Creativity represents a miraculous coming together of the uninhibited energy of the child with its apparent opposite and enemy, the sense of order imposed on the disciplined adult intelligence."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fear-Based Choices

Today, I heard something that hit home: 99.9% of the time, choices made out of fear aren't the right choices. By nature, I'm a fearful person. I'm contolling, like to have tons of information before I leap and have turned away from things (and to things) because I'm terrified of taking the other path. I thought of some decisions I've made that way: all of them put me in a tough situation down the line.

Today, there are quite a few choices I'm facing. Where we ultimately live and what we envision for the rest of our lives is at a crossroads. My natural reaction is to make the fear choice. I want to choose things that are familiar and steer clear of the path I know deep down I'm meant to follow (because that path is scary and uncertain).

I don't have good advice to offer on this subject because I'm struggling, but I am definitely going to try to leave fear out of my decision-making, face challenges and live the life I know I'm meant to instead of the one that I feel comfortable in.