6 Beautiful Ways Artificial Constraints Can Improve Your Creativity and Life

Like accumulating capital, hard work has its own momentum. If you want to master digital media, then produce it often.
Maria Popova, the woman behind Brain Pickings, publishes three substantial blog posts every weekday, typically about substantial books she reads. Each post is an elegant display of her ornate knowledge and polished creativity.
And when I was asked to host a show for our digital marketing podcast network, I immediately jumped on the opportunity. Here was a chance to organize my work, tackle a new challenge, and consistently produce a new type of digital media.
Yet — I was warned — it was essential I dismissed any optimistic notions about the quality of my show.
During a kick-off call with the rest of the Rainmaker.FM podcasters, Robert Bruce, our overlord, said, “Your first 100 shows will be crap.”
It was meant to encourage us.
Of course, my first thoughts were, “I want to reach that 100 as soon as possible. I don’t want my show to be crap.”
And the best way to do that? Produce a short, daily show.
I did the math, and I knew I would reach 100 shows (four days a week equals 16 shows a month) in 6.25 months. If I’d gone the weekly route, reaching 100 shows would take me two years.
I can’t wait that long.
But with this aggressive schedule, I had my work cut out for me. Would I pull it off or be buried beneath the workload?
There was also another potential risk I was

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Jeff Goins on Creating Amidst Chaos

Today’s guest on Hack the Entrepreneur is a communicator, consultant, creator, and an entrepreneur. He is also a writer, speaker, and master audience builder.
Originally from Chicago, he then moved to Nashville after graduating from college and spending a year traveling with his band.
He has written four books, including his latest The Art of Work, and also teaches a popular online course called Tribe Writers.
Now, let’s hack …
Jeff Goins.
In this 30-minute episode of Hack the Entrepreneur, host Jon Nastor and Jeff Goins discuss:

Helping others become good writers
How to make yourself your smallest test market
The need to be authentic in your writing and work
Owning your identity and doing the work
Pivoting through obstacles and staying the course

Click Here to Listen toHack the Entrepreneur on iTunes
Click Here to Listen on Rainmaker.FM
About the authorRainmaker.FMRainmaker.FM is the premier digital marketing and sales podcast network. Get on-demand business advice from experts, whenever and wherever you want it.

The post Jeff Goins on Creating Amidst Chaos appeared first on Copyblogger.

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A Simple Content Marketing Strategy for Creative Folks

I promoted my business the wrong way for a long time.
Just like many designers and artists, I focused on building my portfolio, posting my work around the web, and waiting for feedback.
I quickly realized this approach wouldn’t take me very far. Why?
Because that’s what everyone else does. And you’re assuming people who aren’t design experts will recognize your creative work as superior.
Most people naturally want to buy from people they know and like. So, how do you display your work while making it easy for prospective clients to learn about who you are?
The conclusion is simple: content marketing.
How to use content marketing to sell your creative work
When I looked around, I saw that many well-known designers run popular blogs, and they teach, speak, and publish books — people like Jeffrey Zeldman, Cameron Moll, Vitaly Friedman, Luke Wroblewski, and Mark Boulton.
How could I improve my authority in the design community using the skills I already had? How could I become recognized as a remarkable designer?
That’s when I started learning about content marketing and how powerful it can be for all artistic and creative professionals: designers, photographers, illustrators, musicians — you name it.
The demand for experts who teach specific skills and share unique content in the creative and artistic space is huge.
The more you create and share, the better results you get. When you become an authority in your niche, more people follow your work, and you get more (often higher-paying) clients.
And if you sell your

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Solve Your Blank-Page Problem With This Visual, 3-Step Content Creation System

In the movie Amadeus, the creatively frustrated composer Antonio Salieri discovers pages of Mozart’s original, handwritten compositions and remarks, with utter anguish:
He had simply written down music already finished in his head. Page after page of it — as if he were just taking dictation.
When it comes to writing, do any of us know what that feels like?
Maybe once in a blue moon we are lucky enough to stumble into a Mozart-esque state of content creation — dropping perfectly formed prose into our blog or ebook without any struggle.
For most of us content marketers, this is not the case, even though we aren’t short of inspiration, ideas, or coherent thoughts.
Why? Because we’re writing backwards.
The problem with how we typically approach writing
The way most of us approach writing goes against how our brains are wired to think.
If you’ve ever stared at a blank page with that unforgiving cursor blinking-blinking-blinking in expectation, you might have already suspected this.
I had a complete “aha!” moment about this obstacle when I read Dan Roam’s excellent book, Blah Blah Blah: What To Do When Words Don’t Work.
Roam explains:
… throughout the eons of human development, our ability to think has evolved along two different paths. One path specialized in seeing the world as lots of little pieces, while the other path specialized in looking at the world as a whole.
Here’s where the light bulb really went on for me:
For words to express a thought, they had to be strung together in

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How Demian Farnworth (Copyblogger’s Chief Content Writer) Writes

Welcome to The Writer Files, a tour of the habits, habitats, and brains of renowned writers — from online content creators, to fictionists, journalists, entrepreneurs, and beyond.
Great writing is more vital and in demand than it’s ever been.
But sometimes writers get stuck — the right words don’t appear, we get distracted, or worse, lose interest in our work — and that’s when the solitary nature of writing can become a curse.
Host Kelton Reid is here to remind you that all writers have moments of doubt, feelings of ineffectiveness, and droughts where the words won’t flow.
For writers to stay productive, creative, and sane, sometimes we just need to take a look at how other scribes find ways keep the ink flowing and the cursor moving.
In this episode of The Writer Files, Kelton shares the file of prolific online publisher, Demian Farnworth.
Between the writing he does for Copyblogger, his personal blog, and his two podcasts that regularly land at the top of iTunes, he promises to “… deliver the essential writing advice you need to succeed online.”
In this 32-minute file, host Kelton Reid and Demian Farnworth discuss:

Why Demian loves The Writer Files interview series
How a poet learned to make a living online
Why you should treat your writing like music
Demian’s secret to his prolificness
Why you need to over-sharpen your axe
Three timeless ideas that lead to enhanced creativity
Why so many writers quit
A single word that will help you keep the cursor moving

Click Here to Listen toThe Writer Files

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