Whether you like to draw, paint, write, choreograph, or play music, you're probably familiar with the creative block, where you just can't seem to do anything despite your motivation. To escape that rut, try doing what you do best, only terribly.
Tagged With creativity
Like any habit, journaling is easier said than done. I tried for years (all of the half-empty notebooks in my childhood bedroom can attest to this) and didn't form a sustaining habit until I studied abroad in university and wrote in a travel journal daily. Something just clicked during that time, and I kept it up when I was back home, where it morphed from a catalogue of the places I visited and food I ate into a place to work through feelings, expand on questions or random observations, and set goals for myself.
Stuck in a rut and want to get more out of your day than sitting at a desk, punching keys and drinking lukewarm coffee? Hate reading those dull self-help books that are just a stream of 'do this thing and you'll be fulfilled'? Well, good news - we've lined up seven books that will help you get your crap together and take your career, personal life and leisure to the next LEVEL.
Here they are.
New Year's resolutions are usually centred around a big aspirational goal: I'll work out every day, I'll write a book, I'll never eat junk food. But most of us fail at our resolutions. One problem is that we're setting our goals too high. If you want to reach a huge goal, first you have to set a small one.
You have no idea what you're doing. This is great, says author Neil Gaiman in a commencement speech at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Being unfamiliar with established rules and limits is a plus when you're trying to be creative and make things: "If you don't know it's impossible, it's easier to do."
Life's more fun with nicknames. That's why we name our wireless networks "Julia Louis-Wifus" or "23cm tops come to Apt. 3B". But say you need to name a whole set of things, like software versions, conference rooms, or just placeholders in an example. At that point you can't just make up random names one by one. You need a system.
"A good composer does not imitate; he steals," Igor Stravinsky supposedly said. Faulkner allegedly phrased it as "Immature artists copy, great artists steal." Steve Jobs put it most simply: "Good artists copy, great artists steal." The saying regularly inspires artists, thinkers and dorm-room poster designers. But in practical terms, what does it mean?
Everyone who works in a creative field, or wants to, should subscribe to the monthly newsletter Three Cents. In each issue, writer and editor Manjula Martin writes three brief essays and lists some well-curated links about creative work. It's helpful for learning industry norms and expectations, and it's a great way for freelancers and work-from-home creatives to feel less isolated.
Hackathons are all the rage. Lots of companies run them as a way of engaging staff, kickstarting innovation and breaking the monotony of every day routines. Seek has now run a number of internal hackathons, scheduling one every six months as a way of kickstarting innovation in system design, business process improvement and finding new ways to work with customers.
I spoke with Seek's managing director Michael Ilczynski and Glen Cameron, the company's head of delivery about business hackathones. Here are some of his tips.
Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we're talking with Jack Zhang, co-founder and CEO of cross-border payment platform Airwallex.