November 23, 2018
The Sequence of Creative Success Step Two: Preparation
with Orna Ross
This month we’ll explore the things you need to have in place in order to be creatively effective.
The Sequence of Creative Success Step Two: Preparation
Here are the key things you need to have in place in order to be creatively effective, and optimize your productivity and profit: Time and Space, Family and Friends, Tools and Techniques, Pace and Process.
We’ll look at how to prepare for a lifetime in creative business and also for your next creative session.
Hello, everyone. Great to see you here. Hi Justine, I’ll be seeing you tomorrow, just doing a check, first of all to make sure you can all hear me. Hopefully, you can and that you can see the screen OK. So you should be seeing me small down in the right hand corner and hopefully seeing my screen up on the left with the slides so if somebody could tell me that everything is OK that would be good.
Yes, thank you, Lorna. Hi Julie, Regina, Jas, good to see you here. This is brilliant. OK. So we are ready to go it seems. That is marvellous. So let’s move away from next time and come back to today. So today we are looking at the sequence of creative business success again. And we are going to be working our way across months. We’re going to be working our way all of these various stages to success. This is the recommended sequence. So those who are already well along, I know that many of you are, this is an opportunity to go back and just make sure that you didn’t miss a step along the way or that it didn’t, you know, that you haven’t neglected something that’s important.
So first of all, just for those of you who don’t know me at all, I am Orna Ross, storyteller mostly, word lover mainly and creative connector, just also equally with all of that and I write novels and I write poetry and I am Director of the Alliance of Independent Authors, and the Creativist Club, so essentially, the creative entrepreneur stuff, I’m on a mission now to end creative poverty through self publishing and creative business, helping people to establish digital micro businesses or adapt their existing business into a digital scalable businesses that can actually see them get the commercial rewards that they deserve. Too many creatives are too poor in my estimation, so we are all about changing that.
Great so these workshops, they happen normally on the third Tuesday of the month, but I was in Dublin, just back today and at 7 pm not 8, I keep sneaking in there, 7 o’clock this time on the third Tuesday. There’s always replays available on my website and on my Facebook author page, so you can always catch up with them, they don’t go away.
The idea is that you can go back if you need to. They’re not leading on to anything else. They’re not selling a course or anything like that they’re just there for the learning that is in them though they are connected to the Creativist Club where you can download a lot of the PDFs as printables and so on and they are a complement to my books, the Go Creative series, and I’ll be talking a little bit more about that in a while.
The workshop, essentially, each month we take a different theme and it’s an opportunity for you to go a little bit deeper on something that might be bothering you about your business or sharing something that’s really worked for you, a tool, technique, anything that’s going on that might be of value to the other people here and also, obviously, an opportunity to raise questions and to put into practice some of the principles that are there in the book and that we talk about here in the Creativist Club closed Facebook group and generally in the Alliance of Independent Authors as well.
So if anybody has any questions about the workshops generally, please feel free to ask any question at anytime, specifically about the content that we’re talking about today but also if you’re carrying over anything from last time or if there’s anything just bothering you, something you want to know an answer to, if I have an answer I’ll give it to you there and then. If I don’t have an answer, we can go away and find things out for you from people.
So if you’re enjoying the workshops and you want to make sure that you get a reminder and you haven’t already and I was trying to let people know through Facebook and everything but it seems to be horrendously confusing at your end, it all seemed very logical at my end but it wasn’t working, so let’s keep it simple. If you just register on my website, so go to Ornaross.com/workshops if you haven’t already. If you got an email today, you’re already on that list so you don’t need to do it. But if you didn’t get an email today, you’re not. So if you want to go and sign up there, you will get an alert 48 hours before the workshop is due to happen and then another reminder of 2 hours before. So it should be simple and I hope it was easier for you to find your way here this evening and welcome your comments about that because I don’t want it to be hard to find, obviously.
OK, so let’s have a look at any questions, OK? Everything seems to be alright but do send your questions through. So, small recap on last time for those of you who didn’t manage to see that workshop and also just because this stuff we always need reminding, it never, you know, it’s never quite there. It’s always like a ball we’re throwing out in front of us and running after it to catch up.
So on those 7 stages, the 7 steps, the 7 whatever you want to call its in the sequence of success we began with the 1st one last time. And it was all about looking at your passion and your mission. Your passion: what you love to do and your mission: what you want to change in the world and all creative businesses have a passion and a mission kind of underlining them, sometimes consciously, and sometimes unconsciously.
We may not know it, we’re just attracted to doing something, but if we search there we uncover what it is and when we come to the point of wanting to earn a living from doing what we love, understanding the passion and the mission becomes much more important because when you put the two together, at that point at which the two of them meet is what I call the massion: the mashup of passion and mission and when you get there, you get your microniche, you get your customer, your consumer, your followers, your fans, you get what you’re offering and you get things like your categories, your keywords and you know, what you’re going to put on to Google so they know what you do and so on.
So understanding, that’s why it’s the first stage and that’s why if you are established and you’re already doing stuff and particularly if you’re struggling with stuff, going back here all the time you can get new insights and new revelations and you kind of fine tune it more and more as you go through the years. So, I’ve always known that I’ve wanted to write, I didn’t have a clue why for many years and you know, I came to understand the exact nature of my own passion, my own mission and it has changed, I’ve done very different things.
Everything I’ve done, though, over those years, has fed into those and it’s just got better and better and things have emerged that didn’t even exist when I started out so knowing also this passion mission stuff keeps you on the straight and narrow. You don’t get pulled off all the shiny lovely objects all over the Internet trying to distract you. You stay core and that’s why it’s really kind of important to go back there. So any questions about that, we can take some also today. We spoke last time as well by building a long term sustainable scalable business creative asset by creative asset and that’s what we’re going to work through in these workshops, that’s worked through in book series and that’s what we work through every day as we go so making sure that the work we’re doing is actually building assets,
We spoke about the Goldilocks principle, all about, you know, not all profit, not all passion, but weighing them equally where it’s just right and we also talked a little bit about the things that help to build your influence and impact and we break this down much more in this workshop series as we go through the seven steps but essentially, we’re talking always as creatives about practice, about production, about process and about positioning ourselves in the marketplace.
And finally, we talked about how important it is that your business is you-shaped, that’s the only thing that’s going to last you for a lifetime and from here on out, our creative business can sustain us and grow with us. But it only can do that if we do it our way. So did anybody have anything arising out of last time, any of you that were there last time.
OK, Justine is saying that the email was better. It was easier for her to find her way in this time. I’m glad because I know you were wandering around the internet last time trying to find us, so that’s good. I’m glad to know that. Hi Dee and Kim, good to see you here, Mala, all the way from Australia. Wonderful and yes, so if you have any questions, comments or anything on last time, feel free to come in with them now, also you are going to be doing a bit of freewriting today, so make sure you have now pen and paper close to hand if you don’t have it, just scuttle off there and get it because you will miss out on a lot of the workshop if you don’t actually do the exercises.
Lorna clicked through straight from the email, brilliant, that’s how it should work then from now on, that seems to be much better. Thank you, Facebook, but you aren’t much help. Alright then, OK, so pen and paper to the ready, we’ll do a little bit of talking first and then we go through, you know, everybody will be sharing the various things I’m going to talk about tonight. Things like time and space and family and friends, we’re all negotiating these as creatives but every single one of us is going to have a completely different experience around it and so it’s important that you actually get drill down into what’s important for you, what’s happening for you, how these things are showing up for you at this time.
Regina is talking about being down but seeing the stats from Mark Dawson, his incredible success froze you for a day or two. Yeah, comparisons are odious always and especially for creative work, it’s not an, it’s really not, you know, it’s really unhelpful and as you say, it freezes you, it stops you in your creative tracks. We’re going to be looking at this in a little while, how important it is to surround yourself with what you need, not, you know, you know, being protective of yourself and giving your creative self what it needs.
Mark wasn’t always superbly successful and he’s the first person to say that. He found his way, his way may be your way. It’s more likely that your way will be a variation of that or something perhaps that’s completely different. The problem that we have in this abundant world that we’re in at the moment is that there are so many ways being offered to us, there’s so much great information, so many fantastic things you can do, the only way to kind of hone in and make sure that you don’t, you know, get distracted and pulled off and frozen and knocked back in your tracks is to stay core and that’s very much what we’re going to be talking about tonight.
Yes, as Susanne says, he didn’t out that way. Absolutely, Susanne, well said. Mark would be the first person to say that he shares hugely and you know, how he got there in the hope that it will help others. OK so, Nick found the way from the newsletter, thank you for generous offer, yes, it’s great, we all love it. OK, so let’s start then thinking about first of all, I think this is our most precious resource and so let’s look at this first of all.
Time. OK, so time and yeah, time is spoken about so much by people in business as if it is linear and it always makes me kind of want to laugh and I would laugh, except it’s tragic because it gives us completely the wrong impression and it’s really, really bad for us and it makes us feel impoverished and tight and anxious and essentially just, it’s a clenching fist around our creativity because time isn’t linear. I mean, one part of time is, so I call that clock time. Yes there are 24 hours in the day, there are 60 minutes in an hour, in that sense, and you know, you were born on such and such a day, you’re going to die on such and such a day and in that sense, yes, time is linear and time is limited.
But as any of us who have ever been there and we all have, you know, we know that time is also limitless, because when you go into the creative zone you actually feel a huge expansion of time and you’re in the what they call the eternal infinite moment that you’re in and that’s a completely different perception and experience. If you’ve ever had, as I have had, the experience of thinking you are going to die, I had a guy jump into a tent in Paris once with a knife in his hand and I had that experience that so many people talk about where everything slows down and my whole life up to then was just laid out before me all in an instant but it seemed like forever and there are loads and loads and loads of examples of this. Time, what I’m saying, the short version of what I’m saying is time is perceptual as much as it is linear.
When we feed ourselves this story we don’t have enough time, that we’re too busy, you know that time is da da da da, it’s very similar to when we feed ourselves a line that we don’t have enough money and da da da da da da, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.
So it’s really important when it comes to time to understand that it is actually a mind creation a lot of the time, how you feel how you feel about time, how you feel about today and the amount of time you have in today is very, very much about how you feel it, how you experience it in your mind and there are ways for you to know that you have a lot more time than your busy surface mind thinks it has and one of those of course is meditation and another is free writing because you prioritize and another is effortless exercise, which also takes you into the infinite now moment.
So, what I’d like you to do, just a couple of moments, thinking about how time shows up for you at the moment, are you always feeling like you’re over busy and that’s a very common with creative entrepreneurs, a very, very common thing, this sort of slight anxiety all the time that you’re not doing what you should be doing and that you haven’t got enough time to do it and time is going to run out and you know, you’ve too many deadlines, too many projects, that kind of thing, is that going on with you, timewise?
What helps, you know, what gets you into the right sort of relationship with time and I want to introduce you to the principle of return on investment time wise. So the difference between success as a creative entrepreneur is very much down to certain core kinds of behaviors and habits and one of those pertains to time and it’s something that you really need to kind of get hold of, this idea that ROI as they call it is not just on money, but it’s also on time.
So, return on your time investment. Those who are doing things well are investing their time so doing something today, spend time today on things that you know will give you more time tomorrow. So, for example, that might be training a VA into some task that is time consuming for you and your time would be better spent doing something else, it might be making an evergreen product that, you know, can sell again and again and again, rather than investing your time in some chore or something that has to be done over and over and is never done.
So, ROTI, return on your time investment, so we just take three minutes free writing about time. So that’s a very limited amount of time for writing about time but it’s amazing what you can write in that amount of time. Do we have anybody who doesn’t, anybody who doesn’t know about free writing or how to do free writing?
Nick, this is your first time here so perhaps you, I’m not sure if you have done the free writing, if not I will talk about it. No, OK, so freewriting is writing fast, it’s writing raw, it’s writing exact and it’s writing easy. We practice it 4 days a week in the Go Creative in Business Facebook group at 7:30 each morning, which again, you can catch up on the replays, OK Nick know about it. So, pens to the ready then, get ready to free write about time, start writing now. Write just a little faster. And just finish the sentence you’re writing now. And put down your pen.
So we’re going to be moving kind of rapidly through these various things that you do in order to prepare for, you know, creative entrepreneurship, whether that is preparing for a whole lifetime of it, which is, you know, what we’re doing we’re talking about passion and mission and stuff like that, and also investigating our relationship with time or else whether we are preparing just for the session that’s coming up next so we know that in our next session we are going to work on ABC.
Generally, the research would show almost without exception, I mean, there are always exceptions, those crazy days where crazy things happen but always when you prepare for a session and you know what you’re going to do, it’s far more productive than if you don’t and the research is indicating that if you prepare by thinking about it as you end one session, before you start the next, you write down what you’re going to do in that session and then, when you begin that next session, you write down again what you’re going to do.
So sometimes it’ll be the same thing. sometimes the fact that you’ve been away for a while. particularly if you’ve slept on it overnight, the idea of what’s going to happen in that session may well be refined. You know, doing it twice is, I have found, this has made a great difference in terms of productivity. It’s one of those kind of mysterious ones, not quite sure why or how this works, but it does work and the opposite thing, which is something that, you know, we find ourselves doing, turning up, not really quite sure, on the way getting distracted by a Facebook post and you know, that kind of stuff, working out what we’re going to do in the session, why we’re actually sitting there supposed to be doing it and then finding that it’s over and we haven’t done anything or we’ve done very little.
So, today I’m not talking about focus on productivity and all that kind of thing, I’m just talking about simple act of preparing in advance for the session, but also preparing in advance for the business. So last comment there on time which Justine just said, “My friend said to me today, there are so many things to do and not enough time” I said, “You can always make time to do the things we want to do” and we can. Very often it’s not about time, it’s about priorities, it’s about what we’re prioritizing, and whatever you’re doing is the thing you’ve prioritized. So, you know, be aware of that, what we talk about is not our priority necessarily, what we say is our priority is only revealed when we actually do it.
So, yeah and Justine also mentions meditation which I can’t recommend highly enough as people know, certain meditations work better for creative minds than others and again, we do practice a meditation together each morning, Monday to Thursday for those of you who would like to join in on that.
Susanne is talking about having enough time but not doing what she wants to be doing. I’d like to hear a little bit more about that Susanne, if you would and so I’m taking maybe that you’re in a day job and so your time for your creative work is curtailed perhaps.
So when we’re talking about time here, we are talking about the time that we’re getting to devote to our stuff, so to devote to our creative business,` to devote to our own stuff, not OPS’s, as I call it, other people’s stuff, so think about that. Bee’s been getting up an hour earlier for the last 6 months, go, Bee! Yes, that really does help I find early mornings are the most productive time for me, for sure. Regina spends too much time trying to decide which books to promote, went to network, whether to do a little bit of everything every day and this, exactly, brilliant, I’m delighted you raised that, Regina, because I think this is really, really common and this is exactly what we’re talking about now.
The, you give yourself the preparation time to work that out in advance. The first time you work it out in advance it takes ages, but the second time it becomes quicker and the third time but what you don’t do is go into this trying to work that out at the same time, it’s about that preparation in advance, it’s about investing the time and you think about that time investment.
I invest now in those decisions offline as at it were, I’m actually choosing my priorities, what I’m going to do and so on and what sort of return on investment and my investment in that time management and I don’t like the word time management, time creation, time allocation, time decisions, time priorities, you know, what return on investment will I get if it isn’t going to be a great return on investment, first of all, have you worked out, like we talked about last week, that balancing of the profit and the passion, you know, if you’ve worked, have you worked out, have you profit proofed it, you know, we can end up doing a lot of things that actually don’t yield an awful lot either commercially or creatively before deciding that something is a priority and that you are going to invest time in it, make sure that it is something that does actually give you the return on investment creatively, the return on investment commercially that you deserve, and if you happen to find that you’re not sure, you haven’t really worked it out, that’s a sign that you needs to do a bit more thinking and a bit more preparation on that.
It can feel kind of frustrating, maybe, if you’re anxious about getting on with the task and that is the, you know, conventional anxiety stuff again, that it’s much more creatively satisfying and rewarding and in the long term, so it can be hard to make yourself do it but in the long term, the payback is huge. So you’re better off getting all these things sorted up front than spending 2 years doing something that doesn’t actually work, or it doesn’t yield or it yields a bit, but not enough or isn’t yielding in quite the direction you want to go in, so thinking about that.
Jas says “There’s so much to do, I just end up getting overwhelmed and end up not doing much.” That’s pace, Jas, and we are going to be talking about that in a little while. OK, and before we get to pace and some other things, the next one here on the list is space.
And space is the very practical thing of where you’re going to do the work and making sure that the space you have supports the creative work and your business work that you want to do and giving yourself that, you know, working out a way where you can actually have the things you need would really make a difference to you, but I put this nice picture up there as well because space is also very, very much about mental creative space and again a plug for meditation here but there are other ways to create space.
You need, as somebody in creative business, time set aside for solitude and quiet, silence. We get so little quiet time in this noisy distract-able world, you have to carve that time out. That’s very much part of your preparation and Julie says, in a comment earlier, that she does a lot of planning for her work activities but never for her leisure time and I’m just wondering if you mean by work activities whether you’re including your writing and your writing business work in that, Julie, or whether you mean your day job and if you do a lot of planning in work but you’re not doing it for the creative stuff then I think you have an advantage because you know how to plan, it’s just a matter now of taking that skill and turning the light over here and perhaps you don’t like the feeling of that, it might feel like “Ugh, I’m planned to death over here and I don’t want to plan over here” and I think the way through that is actually this idea of the return on investment and also, when you do your prep work, which is all the stuff I’m talking about today, around time and space and so on, when you’re doing that sort of preparation work, get away from the desk, go somewhere lovely, go to your favorite cafe, go outside, you know, well, not today, not in England, but you know what I mean, don’t be doing it in sort of a horrible, harsh, tough, you know, environment where I have to plan this now and I have to bring in the discipline and I have to make sure that I do what I should do, you know, all that anti-creative sort of approach yields far less than if you say, “OK, how am I’m going to enjoy this? How’s this going to be fun and you know, what makes me feel free here?”
So sometimes the people who are thinking that they have too much to do, sometimes the best thing you can do is just let some of it go completely, we’ll talk about pace in a bit, about how you pace things, but sometimes it’s a matter of you’ve got too much on, you’re trying to do too much all at once. And realize there is space for it all over a lifetime, so we’re talking always here about long term sustainable business growth, month on month, year on year, asset by asset and you know, you can breathe, you can relax, you don’t have to do everything now, you should only be doing the top priority now and your days, or your hours, however much time you have devoted to your creative work, should have a bit of space in there. Don’t cram everything up together into this week, this month, because actually, you’ll get far less done in the end.
OK, Susanne is talking about having a lot of unstructured time in each day. Day job only takes 2 or 3 hours. That’s great. Brilliant. So, I think the quarterly planner which Jane is working, my designer’s working on at the moment, will be helpful to you, Susanne, because it’s, you know, conventional planners are not great for us, I think, when it comes to our creative business, when it comes to our creative work, we don’t want to get too linear and too structured and too scheduled. We want to keep that openness and we want to keep that creative sort of feeling around it and so, I think the creative schedule in a different sort of way. Nick finds her center when she goes for a beach walk on her own, that’s lovely.
Julie means, yes, you do mean your writing activities, you mean, you structure, sorry I’m still not quite sure, you structure your writing activities, Julie, but not your leisure time is that what you mean? Justine is saying “This is making me think of my revision timetable. I feel like setting up a timetable for work tasks. I used to give myself an hour or so on each subject.” Yeah, absolutely. Why not? If it feels good, if it feels and if it feels helpful, definitely I would try it and a lot of these things are about experimenting and seeing what works. Always, always we do it to see if it works. We don’t just think about maybe I should do this, maybe I should do that, we try it for 21 days, you can’t get a clear picture until you’ve done something for 21 days, then at the end of the 21 days you review and you see, “What have I learned from doing this in this new way? Is this a habit I want to keep going? No, but I learned A.B.C. Yes, I’m taking this forward into the rest of my business.”
So, it’s, you know, that’s the way to approach it otherwise we’re endlessly thinking, is this going to work? Is that going to work? You know, and looking, seeking, hopping for more “experts” to another, looking for somebody to give us the golden answer which only we have the answer to.
Just going to bring Bee’s comment up and she’s addressing Susanne, but I think she’s addressing us all, “For the last year, I started time blocking my calendar. To avoid burnout, put personal time in first then the work tasks go in.” She works for herself so she has more flexibility but she has clients and deadlines and there’s always so much to do. Takes a walk each day to balance the screen time and she’s talking about taking breaks and that’s something that we’ve talked about a lot here in these workshops, that creative rest is not even a break from the process, it is the process. You must break away and you must get outside and you must move your body because we’re all screen bound and it’s really important to do that and you get a huge amount creatively when you do that, it’s really, really useful.
Justine blew out an event tonight to do this, that’s amazing and OK, take time out from work. Yeah, so we’ve got to help ourselves here, folks. We’ve got to realize that a creative business and one that we’re going to create that is going to be sustainable for the long time isn’t as replicating conventional work practices. It really isn’t, it’s about finding out what is optimal creatively for you and again, we will work through these things and the tool we’re putting together will help with these things but ultimately, only you know, I can’t tell you, nobody can tell you, you’re the only person who knows. Not our event she wasn’t at, I would hope not.
OK let’s look a little bit at family. OK, so for some of us, our family is a support when it comes to creative business. Whatever we want to do they are there for us, they’re supportive when it goes wrong and they are encouraging all the time. They understand what it is to be creative and that it is different, they respect that and so on. And for lots of us, it’s not like that at all.
For some of us, our family may resent the time we take away from them to pursue our creative business. They may fear for us and this may come out in all sorts of ways that don’t seem particularly positive. They may not understand at all what is to be creative, the urges and needs that drive us. And all sorts of other things and there’s only one thing, really, about dealing with family and ensuring, what we’re talking about here, this is about preparation for creative work and, you know, it might seem an unusual thing to bring in here, but actually it’s really important.
Preparing our families for what to expect, I think, that’s really, really key for a lot of us. Sometimes we’re not really confident enough ourselves in what we’re doing, we’re fearful ourselves, we find it hard to self identify as creative maybe, or we find it hard to believe that we will make a success of this and so their doubts and their worries and their fears can kind of feed off ours in a way that is really unhealthy and the only person who can break this, again, is us. We have to take that stand.
So, I’d like to take two minutes this time, freewriting, where you just write about your current family situation with regard to your creative business. Do they know about it? What do they know? Are they supportive? What do you need from them that you’re not getting? What do you get that’s fantastic. 2 minutes starting now. Go! And finish the sentence you’re writing and put down your pen.
This is a huge, huge topic. And we’re only scratching the surface here, but I think it’s just wanted put it in there in the context of preparation for our creative work and how important it is to prepare our loved ones and let them understand what to expect so that nobody’s getting some serious frights.
So if anybody wants to share anything around family or and also friends I’m talking about now. It’s important that we surround ourselves and you guys are doing this by virtue of the fact that you are here or you’re in the Facebook group or you’ve joined an association or whatever it may be, but you know, we can’t do enough of this.
We surround ourselves with people who nurture us around this stuff, who get it, who get what we’re trying to do, who are possibly trying to do similar things themselves, who holds themselves accountable, who are making steps forward and there’s a famous research that says, you know, your income and your achievement is the sum of the 5 people who are closest to you.
And you know, it’s problematic in lots of ways to think about things this way, but just as a useful tool to think for a moment about who those people are and you know, how much they know about what you’re doing. If you get firm around some of this stuff, if you actually start to, you know, if you have somebody, for example, in your friendship group who makes you feel “Ugh” or if you have, you know, like we were talking about earlier at the beginning there with Regina, if you’re actually tapping into stuff online that may be useful in one way, but actually deflates you in another, well, you might have to think about letting that go for a while.
You can go back when you’re in a different place, maybe or whatever but it is very important to think about the people who are around you in terms of supporting this, because you don’t need energy suckers around you, you need your creative energy to stay stay centered and focused. You don’t need people who belittle, or, you know, who are smart about creatives, or who don’t get it or are trying to undermine it in any sort of way, just let it go and you can see them for other things, but make sure that you have people around you who get it and who support you.
OK, tools, tools, again is a huge topic but I bring it up in terms of preparation because having the right tools makes a huge difference. The example I always cite here is speech to text. The difference that made in my life as a writer and how much better I was able to write and how much more writing I was able to get done just by having that tool and there are so many fabulous digital tools now.
Again, I think if it’s something that really appeals to you, the 21 day rule is a good rule to give it a go for 21 days, see does it actually, you know, how comfortable are you with it and if it isn’t for you, letting it go. Get good recommendations from other people. I’m drawing together a list of recommended tools for writers, not of much the writing end of things, but the production and business end of things and also for creative entrepreneurs generally, so if any of you have a big tools recommendation, I’d be really keen to hear that.
Lots of our tools are digital. They allow us to be micro businesses, very light, very low cost, you know, the kinds of suites that we have from the media multimedia center that we carry in our pockets on our phones to things that manage our finances and our processes, google docs, you know, we’ve got so many fantastic tools available to us that are free of charge. Again, the problem is not finding a good tool, it’s about being overwhelmed by too many and not knowing which ones are best. So, again that’s a discussion that I think we should be having in the Facebook group and we will, we will be doing that.
And now, pace. Pace is super important for creatives and we often have just one pace and that’s not optimal. It’s really not. “Comment is obscuring the screen, please can it be removed?” Sorry, certainly. There you go. There’s not a huge amount to see on the screen in terms of text but there you go. Yeah, pace. So, yeah, we often as I said, we often approach things, you know, we just have one pace and we do everything at the same pace and that is not optimal for creatives.
When you’re preparing your session, you should decide is it going to be slow or is it going to be fast? Or sometimes, it’s going to be in between but actually ask yourself “Slow or fast?” to start. So, when we do free writing, for example, we do it as fast as we can, that gives us a certain effect, gets beyond the thinking mind, goes deeper into the subconscious, a flow is set up that is difficult when our thinking mind is too much in control.
Some of the things I was talking about earlier is about slowing down, meditation does that but also, just stepping away, slowing down, not feeling the gnaw of anxiety to keep on hurtling forward, to actually take times where you deliberately go very slowly, do things very slowly. When you do that, certain things rise up that are deeper, you know, come from a more knowledgeable place that of the person who’s in a different pace, operating at a different pace.
It also helps to remove that constant nagging feeling that you’re never quite caught up by doing things at different paces and by doing them at a decided pace. The other thing to remember is that whatever work session you set up for yourself it should have a starting time and a finishing time and when you finish, you finish and you go and enjoy yourself. You don’t keep going because you’re on a roll, you actually finish with the the sort of memo to self about what you’re going to do next time and then you walk away.
It’s really important to do that. Because if when we’re on a roll we do keep on going we can deplete ourselves and we haven’t got enough next time out. Hemingway used to leading from ink in the well, which I think is a really, really good image for that.
So think about your pace. Think about the most creative pace for you, what is it? So we have in the indie author community, we’ve a lot of people who have really pushed their production pace to put out an awful lot more words faster. Some people been really successful in doing that. For other people, trying to push the pace like that has had a detrimental effect on their quality of work and it’s by no means inevitable that it will do that but some people have found that it does. In other words, it’s like everything else in creativity, there is the perfect optimal place which is yours and you have to find that by experimentation and exploration. Again, nobody else can can do that for you.
So, OK, good, Julie likes this pace idea. So it’s a simple thing, it’s a huge thing, it makes a big difference and when get this right. So yeah, just experiment with this lots, play with it, have fun with it, have with speeding up and have fun with slowing down. Look for fun and freedom all the time, because the whatever is light and free is actually more creative, it’s more productive, you get richer stuff, you get better stuff and so you have more fun and you get a better outcome.
And that’s why everybody wants to be more creative, but still we’re kind of pushing ourselves in this relentless sort of way which isn’t creative at all, doesn’t lead to optimal creativity and even if you feel you’re a procrastinator and you don’t work hard enough, or if you feel “Oh my God, I overwork and I really, really need to stop” or “My days are too full” or whatever, one way or the other, this applies and finally it’s about thinking about our process.
So we all have a process, it’s a 7 stage creative process which we talked about in another workshop. I’m not really referring to that so much here now as the process you have for getting your stuff out the door. Is it effective? Is it actually the best process you could have? Are there things you could do that would make it easier? Are there parts of it you could offload a little and so you keep parts that you like more, does it all connect up properly, do you have the right tools, are they talking well to each other, it’s well, well worth doing some time investment into getting your process right and getting very clear about it. Taking any confusion out of it.
Don’t use tools that you feel uncomfortable with after 21 days. After you’ve given them a proper time to see are they right for you? Some tools suit us better than others. It’s well worth putting the time in to find out which ones are yours. Tools and process go very closely together for a digital creative entrepreneur, so getting those aligned is very important and think about your processes.
Process that will produce the core, your core offering, and that’s your, how you practice that is important, where you’re doing, what we were talking about earlier, the time devoted to the space you’re going to do it in and also, you know, how you actually go about it. Look, observe your process as if you’re one of those, you know, time and motion guys from years ago. Break down how you do what you do, just observe yourself for a while and see how the process works for you and then just think about things that make it feel lighter, more free, more fun, more effective.
And money, of course, the great resource. Very often if you’re feeling harassed about time or feeling harassed about money and it’s the harassment itself creates more of itself, if you like, so it is sort of, worry in advance sometimes, where you’re bringing a future into now or sometimes there are money things that are kind of weighing on you and the process, the time, the space, the pace, all of these things that I’ve been talking about need to be considered in terms of money and we will do a workshop purely on profit and on how important it is to think of your activities in terms of commercial profit as well as creative advancement.
The two go hand in hand, when you get, it’s like when you get the passion and the mission combining in a certain place, when you get the time and the money, the creative and the commercial working together is so, when you consider an asset that you might be considering making, for example, you think about it in terms of the creative stuff but you also think about it in terms of the commercial stuff. You think about its value to other people, who’s going to buy it, you know, how much they would spend on it, how you would put it together to make more money from it.
These kinds of questions can actually change the shape of what you’re going to put out there in a really positive way because if it doesn’t have value for other people, if they’re not prepared to exchange some money for it, then you may not, it may not be the best possible thing that you could put together and it may well be creatively more rewarding to actually go with what is of more value to others.
Yes, the reverse can happen. There can be just this creative impulse that you have to follow through, never mind the money, you just gotta do it, you don’t know why it’s coming up and that’s fine, I’m not, you know those kinds of impulses, when they’re real and when they’re deep and they’re honest and they’re open and they’re, you know, truly felt, you go with those and I’m not suggesting for a second that you wouldn’t, but very often we just decide we’re going to do something, we don’t have a great impulse, it’s really ” I’d like to do such and such” and we don’t think any more about, we don’t profit proof it and we don’t think about the consumer of it enough and we just kind of go and do it our way and put it out there and then are disappointed when it just doesn’t get scored, it doesn’t reach people who want it and so that’s what I’m suggesting, that some of the preparation process of thinking about money and how it intersects with what you’re making can be really rewarding at every level.
So you can be rewarded creatively for that commercial thinking and rewarded commercially for it as well and rewarded commercially for the creative thinking that comes out of it and so I hope that makes sense to you.
So, any questions? Need arms going, we’re all going, yes, it’s an hour now and so just a quick thing about what we’ll be talking about next time. Any questions arising out of today’s workshop, you know, you’ll sleep on it, you may have things during the month, please just put them out in the Facebook group, so it’s Facebook.com/groups/gocreativeinbusiness. The title of the group, name has been changed so just be aware of that.
Next time, we’re going to be looking at, sorry all of that, the lineup is today, we’re going to be looking pitching. This is about getting a pitch that actually inspires others to take action, so if you don’t and if you can’t answer comfortably the question “What do you do?” in a way that inspires the other person to take action then you’ll find that workshop useful and as I said, any questions that you have please bring them to our closed creative group on Facebook. We will have a creative meditation in the morning, free writing session if any of you are free to come along at 7:30 tomorrow morning and our next workshop will be on the third, oh there is none, there is no workshop now until the start of the new year. I’m going to carry December’s workshop forward into the 1st of January, because I reckon on the 18th of December there’s not going to be a lot of people interested in thinking about pitching and calls to action but on the 1st of January, you’re probably very much going to think about things like that.
So yeah, 1st January is a Tuesday, so December’s will be on the 1st and then January’s will be on the 19th or something like that and anyway, you will get your email which will let you know. So, thank you very much for coming along and yeah, I hope some of that was useful for you in your own creative of businesses. Take care now.
Yes, Justine, I’m looking forward to it, our meeting tomorrow with the ALCS talking about author income. So I’ll see you then, I think, if you’re going to be there. Okay, everyone, thank you very much. Go creative. Bye now!