Monday Spark: Seek out the best, and then remix [VIDEO]

dylan creative remix

In the early stages of their careers many freelancers try to totally reinvent the wheel when it comes to building their websites or doing their next project for a client.

It doesn’t have to be that hard.

When it comes to writing and designing your own website, why not print out the home pages of the 5 best freelance websites you can find, and then make yours a remix of the best of the best?

If you are writing a sales page for a client, why not find some really good sales pages for similar products or services, take the best from them, and then remix?

Read the full post…Monday Spark: Seek out the best, and then remix [VIDEO]

Monday Spark: To do your best work, turn everything upside down.

best work upside down mona lisaTo explain what I mean by this, let me tell you a story.

Back in the late 70s I was a student at the City and Guilds of London Art School, in England.

Back then the school took a pretty traditional approach to teaching art, and as first-year students we had to do a lot of drawing. In particular, we did a lot of life drawing.

We had a teacher, whose name I unfortunately forget, who used to make sure we didn’t become too “precious” with our drawings.

What is being “precious” when you are drawing? It’s when, instead of seeing the entire form, and drawing the figure as one whole, you start fussing over the eyebrows or toes. In other words, it’s when you play around with the details before you have penciled in a working drawing of the entire form of the figure.

Read the full post…Monday Spark: To do your best work, turn everything upside down.

Monday Spark: Watch how kids create stuff, and learn from them.

kids createConsider the young child who completes his or her first drawing or painting. If you are the parent, you think it’s the work of a genius. If you are anyone else, you think it’s a charming blob.

But is the child embarrassed by the drawing? Do they feel a moment of low self-esteem or anxiety before they show it to you? No. They haven’t yet grasped the concept of good and bad, or good and better. They have simply created something.

It’s the same with the group of older boys who build their first fort out of scrap wood, cardboard and anything else they lay their hands on.

To most observers their finished fort looks like a total mess. To them, it’s a magical and utterly perfect fort.

Read the full post…Monday Spark: Watch how kids create stuff, and learn from them.

Get into a positive mindset before you start writing for your clients.

lollipop doctorWhen I was a fledgling copywriter in my early 20s, I attacked each project with a tsunami of positivity.

I was totally pumped, screaming with optimism, and just threw myself at every challenge and opportunity. I was like a kid in a toy store with cash in my pocket. I loved every project, even the “boring” ones for industrial clients.

I was on a natural high every time I sat down to work.

Today, 30 years and several mortgages later, that tsunami has lost a bit of its spontaneous power.

I don’t mean I have lost my interest in writing. I haven’t. I still love it just as much. And I’m almost certainly a better writer today than I was back then.

Read the full post…Get into a positive mindset before you start writing for your clients.

Monday Spark: If you haven’t found your true talent yet, dig deeper.

ken robinson on talentIn the video below Sir Ken Robinson is talking mainly about education. That’s his thing.

For decades Sir Ken Robinson has challenged the way we’re educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence.

He applies a similar way of thinking to business, looking for ways to foster more creative thinking within companies.

There is much in what he says that also applies to us, as freelancers.

First, watch the video.

Read the full post…Monday Spark: If you haven’t found your true talent yet, dig deeper.

Monday Spark: Sit down and do the best you can each day [VIDEO]

creative inspirationYour job is to sit at your desk each day and do the best you can.

This applies to managing your time, being productive and, above all, doing your best work, whether that be writing, designing, coding or anything else.

Will the “muse” be with you every single day? In other words, will you be at your most creative every day? Almost certainly not.

But as Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, says in this video, “I would like the record to reflect that today I turned up for my part of the job.”

Read the full post…Monday Spark: Sit down and do the best you can each day [VIDEO]