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Sunday Creativity Reboot

No matter what we do for a living, if we have any sort of balance in our lives, we cannot be that person 100 percent of the time, living around the clock in whatever role we’ve adopted. Sure, we probably perform certain roles like wife and mother 24/7, but I’m talking more about professional roles, like banker, personal shopper, chef. This includes the role of Book Marketing Maven.

A large percentage of marketing success hinges on creativity. As I see it, creativity has three components:

  • Creativity is making, inventing, or designing something – or seeing the old in a new way.
  • Creativity requires openness and the ability to tune into your intuition. It requires that you let go of pre-conceived ideas.
  • Creativity must be infused with joy, delight, bliss, happiness – emotions that happen naturally as a result of our well-being, success, or good fortune.

Creativity is about viewing world through a prism of possibilities. Sometimes, though, even the most creative among us just need some down time to rest, relax, and reboot. Or perhaps we’ve never perceived ourselves as particularly creative.

Years ago, I taught a workshop called “If You Have a Brain, You ARE a Creative Person!” One of the biggest challenges with some participants was getting them to move past their own gremlins that told them they weren’t creative. Perhaps you have just such a creature running amok among your gray matter, telling you things like, “Oh, sure, you wrote a book, but you’re not clever enough to think of interesting ways to market it.”

First, thank your gremlin – for the only way to silence the gremlin is to acknowledge it. Then in no uncertain terms, tell it that just for today you’re going to approach things a little differently.

Once you’ve sated the gremlin – however temporarily – take a look at the list of suggestions below for ways to reboot your dormant or fatigued creative neurons. Try any or all of them. Use them as a jumping off point for your own list of ways to rekindle the childlike creativity that was once so readily accessible.

  1. Personalize your work space, making it colorful and fun. Use plants, pictures, your kids’ drawings, vacation souvenirs, etc.
  2. Take a different route home from work tomorrow.
  3. Meditate.
  4. Lie down on the grass and look for shapes in the clouds.
  5. Go browse in a toy store – without the kids.
  6. Visit a museum you’ve never been to before.
  7. Watch TV with the volume off and make up your own dialogue.
  8. Read a book or watch a movie from a genre you usually avoid.
  9. Go shopping for cute socks, new earrings, a bright new tie.
  10. Test drive a car just for the fun/experience of it.
  11. Go to a playground and listen to the sound of children’s laughter.
  12. Plant sunflowers in your front yard.
  13. Get some crayons and color in a coloring book.
  14. Visit a thrift store or yard sale and, spending no more than $2, buy the first object that inspires you.
  15. Hit the bargain rack at a record store and test out a new kind of music.
  16. Take a walk in your neighborhood and observe something you’ve never noticed before.
  17. Sing in the shower.
  18. Rearrange the furniture in one room of your house.
  19. Visit a costume shop and try on something outrageous. Bonus points if you rent it and wear it out.
  20. Journal.
  21. Go to your favorite restaurant and order something you’ve never ordered before.
  22. Write a letter to yourself using your nondominant hand.
  23. Buy a sketch pad and carry it with you wherever you go. Use it – even if you think you can’t draw.
  24. Learn a new language. There are great CDs and programs available at the library.
  25. Buy or build a bird feeder and hang it in your yard. Watch the birds congregate around it.

What do any of these things have to do with marketing your book? Nothing, necessarily. But if they coax a sleepy brain cell or two into stretching enough to consider a new idea, they’ve done their job. Whatever you do, realize that all of life is a choice. You have a brain, so you are a creative person – and an SBM*, if only a fledgling one.

Enjoy your Sunday creativity reboot. And come Monday, get out there and start thinking like a marketer!

Laura

* Savvy Book Marketer
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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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In honor of our 1-year anniversary (May 2, 2012), we’re hosting the Author Blog Challenge! It starts June 2 and is open to published authors, authors-in-progress, and would-be authors. Come check us out and register today!

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You’re writing a book, but do you refer to yourself as an author?

I have a client who’s writing a book about yoga – a manual for healthcare practitioners who want to learn to incorporate the benefits of yoga into their existing modalities. We’re working with a talented book designer who recently asked the author how she wants to describe herself for the caption under her head shot. It took a little prodding and prying to come to a decision about that description. Sometimes it’s tough (or embarrassing) to embrace our talents and specializations, but if you’ve written a book about them, you’ve got a real reason to be proud.

Interestingly, as challenging as it can be to summarize what we do, what makes us special, what are credentials are for writing this book – it can be even more difficult to apply one word to ourselves: AUTHOR.

“I’m an author.”

Practice saying this out loud to yourself. If it rolls of your tongue like a beautiful song lyric, pat yourself on the back. If you choke getting the words out, say it again. And again. And again. Until you become comfortable with the words. If you’ve written a book – or are writing a book – you are an author!

What if you work full time as a nurse, but you’re writing a romance novel on your weekends? Are you an author? Of course! What if you’re a sales coach who’s written three small training manuals that you deliver only as eBooks? Are you an author? You bet! What if you’ve got a great concept for a book, but you haven’t written a word yet? Are you an author? Yes, you are. And you’ve got to think of yourself that way if you want to delve into that research and write the best book you can.

Here’s the thing. There’s no one in the world who can, will, or should give you permission to call yourself an author, so if you’re waiting for someone to tap you on the shoulder to give you the go-ahead, you’re going to be waiting a long time. Maybe the nurse who’s writing a romance novel in her spare time doesn’t really want everyone at work to know about it yet. That’s fine. But when you’re at a party and a new person asks what you do, test the waters: “I’m a nurse, and I’m also in the process of authoring my first novel.” If they ask you what it’s about, you can decide how much or how little to reveal.

Why is it so important to embrace this title? If you want to sell books, you have to be able to tell people you’ve written a book … in other words, you are an author! What’s your alternative? Pretend you’re promoting someone else’s book? Why would anyone do that? Many more people want to write books than ever actually begin them, let alone finish them. Take pride in this effort, for it’s a worthy endeavor. You are an author – so claim it, share it, toot your author’s horn!

Happy authoring!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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