Sunday, July 26, 2009

Creative People Possess Common Traits

Writing is an enormous part of my job, and thankfully, it's an activity I love to do. Regardless of the amount of time I spend writing on a weekly basis, there's always room for improvement. Anyone and everyone who has a passion for writing (particularly if you're creating and sharing content online for a business purpose) should avidly read Copyblogger

I wanted to share this recent post about writing and creativity, Do You Have These 11 Traits of Highly Creative People? because it's perfect for anyone who's recently hit a creative roadblock or wants to add some zest to their writing. The author elaborates more on the 11 traits of highly creative people, but here's the brief version:

Highly creative people:
  • Have the courage to try new things and risk failure.
  • Use intuition and logic to make decisions and produce ideas.
  • Like to play, since humor and fun are the ultimate creative act.
  • Are expressive and willing to share what they feel and think to be themselves.
  • Can find order in confusion and discover hidden meaning in information.
  • Are motivated by task rather than by external rewards.
  • Have a need to find solutions to challenging problems.
  • Will challenge assumptions and ask hard questions to discover what is real.
  • Can make connections between old ideas to produce new insights.
  • Will push the envelope in order to expand the boundaries of what is possible.
  • Are willing to test new ideas and compete with others based on results. 
The author admits most people don't naturally possess these traits, but they aren't difficult to attain. So here's the timeline: Act creative, become creative, success will follow. I'm sure the length of each stage varies from person to person, but I truly believe that creativity is the key to not only a successful career, but also to a more happy and productive life. 

Friday, July 17, 2009

Rediscovering Books

I have a confession. I just made my very first Amazon purchase this week. No, I haven't been living in a dark hole, and yes, I've been very aware of Amazon for quite some time now. My justification is that I prefer to make purchases in person. I like to see things for myself before I shell out money - particularly clothes and shoes. 

I made up my mind last week that my next purchase must be a book. I spend WAY too much time staring at the computer and need to get back to basics by reading more books. For whatever reason, I'm healthier mentally and am a much happier person when I can look forward to coming home to a good book. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to finally make an Amazon purchase because you really can't go wrong buying books online. 

So what books did I buy? One might quickly assume that I bought a sappy love story (I do love a good Nicholas Sparks book!) or a book in Spanish (that's next on the list). Those were tempting options, but I went with two books that are highly recommended in the PR industry - Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff and Putting the Public Back in Public Relations by Brian Solis and Deirdre Breakenridge. 

I love reading about my industry because it's fascinating how much has changed in three years since I graduated from college, but I'm looking for book suggestions that don't relate to PR. Drop me a line or leave a comment with any recommendations. Just no history or sci-fi please. :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Handmade Note Cards from the Heart

We all possess talents and characteristics that make us unique, but many people (myself included) wish they were better at something. I've always wanted to be more artistic. Art class in high school was the class I dreaded the most because I can't draw, sketch, paint, or sculpt for the life of me. No matter how much I try to convince myself that I can learn to scrapbook or create cute little handmade gifts for friends and family, I know deep down it's not going to happen!

On that note, let me introduce you to my very talented and creative friend Lindsay (aka Herban Girl) who I just learned has some amazingly artistic skills. Lindsay recently seized the opportunity to open the virtual doors on her online shop, songbird notes, where she's selling handmade note cards. Her shop is hosted through Etsy, which is pretty much the coolest place to buy products directly from independent designers and artists. Lindsay's cards are unique because many of her designs feature a Japanese influence (she relocated to Japan with her husband for a few years).

I admire Lindsay for capitalizing on her talent and taking the initiative to share her passion and creativity with the world. I know what my next purchase will be...:)