Latest Reads: October 2016

latest-reads

I’ve fully recovered from my “reading hiatus” and have been reading furiously the past few months. Here are some short reviews of books I enjoyed. 

Speak, by Louisa Hall: This book was beautiful. It looks at the possible impacts of robots on humanity but does so in a nontraditional way, blending memoirs, letters, diaries, and transcripts of characters from different time periods to paint an amazing picture. Possibly my new favotite novel. 

I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith: Written from the viewpoint of a young girl falling in love, this book is immensely charming. She’s mature beyond her years and extremely relatable. 

The Passage, by Justin Cronin: Luckily this is just the first book in a trilogy. Science fiction, it builds a futuristic world where a military experiment went wrong. I fell for the characters and couldn’t put the book down. Extremely full of adventure. 

The Fall Guy, by James Lasdun: The only one I wouldn’t recommend. Too simple, obvious and annoying. I flew through it for sake of constant action, but wasn’t impresed. 

Purity, by Jonathan Franzen: From my favorite author, this book delivers. Complicated, disturbing, raw, sad, and real. Anything by Franzen touches me. 

Thoughts on Subscription Services

What is the Subscription Economy? It is a phrase, coined by Zuora, describing the new business landscape in which traditional pay-per-product (or service) companies are moving toward subscription-based business models.

I partake in a handful of monthly subscriptions but have mixed views on their value.

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Continue reading “Thoughts on Subscription Services”

Not Being Creative Enough

When I read about or see an awesome campaign, news placement, event, or idea, my very first instinct is to panic and dish out self hate. Why didn’t I come up with that? I’m not good enough to do something like that. Those people are so much smarter than me. Blah, blah, blah… 

Rather than making myself feel defeated, I’m trying to actively switch my mindset. No matter what my brain says, I am not unworthy or unable and I can’t let that little voice in my head hold me back. Unfortunately, my first reaction is not positive, but I must remember that I can move past it and on to something more constructive.

Posing proactive questions helps. What about this is inspiring? What best practices from it can I employ? What made this successful? What parts of this do I want to emulate?

It’s also important to remind myself that I CAN do great work. Confidence is a huge component in creativity. It’s easy to recall those times I couldn’t get a story idea or pitch to stick. But what about all those news placements I did secure, those successful campaigns I planned, leads I generated, those great social images I created, the results that I drove, those problems that I solved?

I’ve grappled with this concept my whole life. Am I creative enough? Am I smart enough? Am I good enough?

So to get myself over these reoccurring roadblocks I’ve leveraged my Evernote.

ONE – I’ve started to make notes that list out top accomplishments. What creative work have I done that I am proud of? When did I feel happy? I was surprised how quickly I filled up the page. I have played big roles in not just successful campaigns, but monumental business decisions. Go me!

TWO – Rather than shying away from the successful work of others, I’m now trying to capture them as sources of creativity. I have a handful of notebooks in Evernote that I use to keep track of things I like. Yet I could be better at maintaining them, adding more and referring back. My lists include (1) catchy email headlines, (2) great thought leadership pieces, (3) inspiring business spotlights in the news, (4) cool images and design, (5) social campaigns that were successful, and (6) general marketing ideas that I want to remember.

The only problem is that I often go on long hiatuses when it comes to populating these lists. A lot of the time I am out and about when I see things that inspire me, or I’m in the middle of an important project and can’t stop to capture the source, or my negativity gets in the way. Using my phone camera and screen shot capabilities has been helpful. I can go through what I captured on a weekly or monthly basis and evaluate when I am in the proper mindset.

Some people are naturally creative, while others must work at it. I like to think I fall somewhere in the middle of this spectrum. So I just have to exercise my brain a little more and give it that extra boost!

It’s also important to remember that I won’t always succeed on my first try. Even if I poured my heart and soul into a campaign, it might not take off right away. I can’t let that stop me.

My new mantra: Find inspiration in the process, not just the outcome.

 

 

Creative Mornings: Magick

The world-wide collaborative called CreativeMornings has officially hit Columbus. It’s a free breakfast lecture series for the creative community. Cities everywhere follow a chosen theme and bring forward guest speakers who embody the given concept.

It should be no surprise that the Columbus Museum of Art is leading the charge with coordination of this gathering. They hosted the very first CreativeMornings Columbus event last month.

One differentiator for the Columbus initiative is that it’s not closed off to the so-called creative or design community. To CMOA the classification of “creatives” is extremely broad. Art is everywhere, everyone can be creative, and the concepts discussed are relevant and enriching to whoever wants to listen. Therefore anyone is welcome to enjoy the free coffee, breakfast, networking, and thought-provoking lectures.

September was all about magic, and Columbus speaker Gabe Michael Kenney brought forward extremely rich concepts to the group. He covered a lot of material in a short period of time, but all of his ideas were very impactful.

I can’t even come close to recapping his presentation, but here is what I absorbed and am still thinking about two weeks after listening…

Magic can be defined many different ways. But Aleister Crowley defined magic as magick, deferentiating it from performance art and trickery. He described it as, “the science and art of making change to occur in conformity with will.” Viewed in this way means that magick exists in everything.

This matches CMOA’s message that anyone can be an artist. Art and therefore magick fits every behavior – writing, walking, dancing, talking, painting, mathematics…

This inclusive concept inspires me. You may not be particularly skilled or the best at something, but you can still be an artist with whatever medium you desire.

Gabe covered so much more but this struck a cord with me. Art as magick and magick as art.

View his entire presentation via video by clicking below.

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October will be all about TRANSPARENCY and I can’t wait to hear what the guest presenter has to offer. Mark your calendars for October 21. See you there!