Why Your Procrastination Might Not Be as Bad as You Think

We’re all guilty of it. Let’s be honest; it’s really normal to procrastinate. Who among us hasn’t waited until the last minute to contest a speeding ticket, study for a test, go car shopping (never fun), apologize to a loved one, have a conversation with someone who owes us money — or better yet — to someone to whom we owe money? Today, you’re far more likely to grab your smartphone and search longingly for a little red notification flag from a social media tab, or to pop open a rainbow-colored game for that quick hit of dopamine your brain loves so much. Constructive vs. destructive delay I’m guilty of dusting and straightening every shelf and book in my office until they look conspicuously like modern art before sitting down to write an important email or blog post. “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after […]

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Is Podcasting Still the New Blogging?

Odds are pretty good that you’ve listened to a podcast or two this week. They’re even better that you’ve listened to a baker’s dozen or more this month. It’s not just you; podcasting has finally crossed into the mainstream (especially here in the U.S.) and firmly planted a flag in our zeitgeist, delivering self-curated, on-demand, exclusive, spoken-word content in a far more intimate and less distracting manner than traditional media like TV and radio. Listeners have more high-quality programs and formats to choose from than ever before, and they can dive deep into any niche topic they desire at the push of a “Subscribe” button. If you’re a podcast junkie like me, you’ve got a number of podcasts queued up on any given week — everything from post-apocalyptic fiction, up-to-the-minute political reportage, self-publishing advice, an NPR show or five, and even an exploration of Hollywood’s forgotten history. Are you still […]

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12 Methods to Get from Blank Page to First Draft

If you’re like me, after taking some time off from writing, you’re refreshed and champing at the bit to translate all of those great ideas you had into compelling content. Unfortunately, your email inbox is apocalyptic. You’ve got clients, comments, and coworkers clogging up your notifications, and that new diet-slash-resolution is already close to DOA. The reality of moving from the brilliant idea you had in the shower to a polished, professional piece of writing that will connect with your readers, is never as easy as we’d like it to be … But with the right mindset, tools, and a little help from your fellow scribes, you can get right back on track and go from blank page to first draft. Ideation always meets inertia Magical thinking won’t get words onto the page. In reality, the first draft of any piece of writing starts somewhere deep in the subconscious mind, […]

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Productivity vs. Creativity, the Content Creator’s Catch-22

At this strange moment in history, we face a near daily Sisyphean task as writers, online content creators, and freelancers…. Continue Reading The post Productivity vs. Creativity, the Content Creator’s Catch-22 appeared first on Copyblogger. Read_more Related posts: 24 Ways to Give Your Content an Eye-Opening Shot of Vitality The Mindset and Insights that Will Bring You Wonderful Things in 2019 Communication, Creativity, and a Sweet Halloween Deal on Our New Copywriting Course Why Staying Curious is So Important to Creativity Set the Strategic Goals that Drive Your Content Marketing 7 Easy Creativity Routines that Make Your Day More Rewarding Creative Systems for Content Success Create Content Success with a Cohesive Content Experience

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Why Staying Curious is So Important to Creativity

If you’re like me, you probably take for granted the complex quantum computer that is your brain. And when you work on this digital superhighway of hedonic hyperactivity, it’s easy to be consumed, and even overwhelmed, by the sheer amount of irrelevant information you feed it every day. Breakneck political scandals, societal tribalism, the hamster wheel of 24-hour outrage, heavily Photoshopped #sponcon, and the endless notifications to check your endless notifications. Sometimes our need to feel plugged-in can lead to momentary nirvana. But very often it leads to brain clog and even a cessation of good idea creation. All of that stuff we’re putting into our brains can overload our neural circuits like at no other time in history. When you live by the sword, it’s easy to get cut The content treadmill so often churns out writing that is uninspired, drab, and seems as if the author was typing […]

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3 Simple Models for Building an Audience with Storytelling

We’re surrounded and enmeshed by stories 24-7. In our multiplying news notifications, podcasts, email inboxes, and blog comments. At coffee shops, water coolers, boardrooms, bars, Netflix binges, and asleep. Stories influence every facet of modern life, and in our attention and automation driven economy, they’re more important than ever when you want to reach an audience. Luckily, humans are evolutionarily hardwired for story. Since the birth of language, storytelling has been central to our progress. For thousands of years, before the birth of writing, stories passed down time-tested wisdom from generation to generation in songs and epic poems. “Stories are central to humanity, for they gave form to human imagination, which is the first requisite for progress.” – Byron Reese, The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity Without a story, it’s almost impossible to spark imagination. Stories train our brains to envision solutions to our […]

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3 Famous Writers on Process and Productivity

There is something both tragicomic and cathartic about trying to assume the dispositions of incredibly successful and prolific authors when you’re staring at a blank page. But what better way to procrastinate than to live vicariously through the habits and productivity secrets of renowned writers of yore. A brief tour of the scribe Hall of Fame might recalibrate the hemispheres of your brain. Just don’t get distracted by all that noise over there on social media. I encourage you to print any of these to post over your desk. I’ve got a whole stack clipped together that I flip through when I’m bored. After all, great writers steal. Ernest Hemingway, 1899 – 1961 Heavyweight journo, literary lion, bearded tough guy, proto standing desk advocate, and prolific legend. I had the pleasure of interviewing journalist Sarah Stodola, author of Process: The Writing Lives of Great Authors, on The Writer Files podcast. […]

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5 Things Only Serious Writers Do

Whether you’re a pro content writer, fictionist, screenwriter, academic, poet, stateswoman, or bard-preneur (h/t Sonia Simone), you’ve likely experienced anxiety or elation about any number of the habits we all have in common. Authors of all stripes share a deep connective tissue that compels them to congregate in coffee houses and taverns — across the globe — to tell one another stories of their travails over a beverage or two. We all have our varied neuroses, methods of madness, well-worn manuals, muses, writer porn, and incantations that we feel grant us the strength to face the glaring blankness of the page. But there are five fundamental things that set serious writers apart from the rest. Only serious writers: 1. Show up regularly.2. Get started, no matter how inspired they’re feeling. Showing up is an undervalued talent. You could be a word-counter, time-blocker, Pomodoro technician, or an edge-of-your-seat procrastinator … all […]

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Avoid This Surprisingly Common Recipe for Creepy Content

Ready Player One has been called pure “nostalgic nerd-bait” by film critics, but that’s not the only reason it earned $300 million worldwide in just its first week. It follows some very well-worn blueprints of blockbuster filmmaking that its iconic director, Steven Spielberg, practically invented. From the high-energy title sequence to the quintessential Spielbergian finale, it’s a sometimes formulaic, self-referential film that strays quite a bit from the book it’s based on, but one that nonetheless fulfills its promise to audiences. Why a famous movie director desperately needed a winner (no spoilers) For Spielberg, the New Hollywood godfather and one of the most successful directors of all time (see: Jaws, E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, and Back to the Future, to name only a few), the film’s early success was a huge relief. The director used some of the most ambitious CG visual effects ever to adapt […]

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Rethink Your Definition of Productivity to Squash Uninspired Filler

You’re not losing your mind. A constant stream of social media posts on the internet right now promise to pull back the curtain on the next great advancement in usefulness, productivity, or shiny automation engines. The cult of productivity is always knocking on our doors because it’s a part of a $10 billion institution that never sleeps, and our hyperconnectedness amplifies it. “Howtoism” (aka self-improvement) has been a large part of traditional publishing, and there are more than 45,000 titles in print to prove it. It’s built on planned obsolescence, each new title having the average shelf-life of about six months. “Beware of technology that claims to solve your problems with more technology.” – Manoush Zomorodi, author of ‘Bored and Brilliant’ The more connected we become, the more our brains get addicted to that sweet hit of clicking on solutions to the problems we didn’t know we had, finding shortcuts […]

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How to Outsmart Writer’s Block with Neuroscience

There are approximately 86 billion neurons in the human brain, give or take a few million. Our next closest competitors in the animal kingdom are gorillas, who have around 33 billion, and then elephants with a far more generous 257 billion. To put all those numbers into perspective, our Milky Way galaxy has somewhere between 200–400 billion stars. That’s a lot of zeroes (and gas). Although other animals do have artistic tendencies, sadly, neither gorillas nor elephants have been able to write a bestselling novel. Neurons are responsible for how our brains process information and what makes creativity — and thus writing — possible for humans. So, what happens when we feel like we can’t write? “I don’t believe in writer’s block. Think about it — when you were blocked in college and had to write a paper, didn’t it always manage to fix itself the night before the paper […]

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