Skip to content

New word – scareotype

efangelist

Don’t you love new words/expression that describe something concisely and cleverly?

x men

This word – scareotype was inspired as I was listening the ABC movie reviews this morning – as the reviewer talked about stereotypes of evil characters.

I’m lucky to be surrounded by clever, creative friends and work colleagues and even my kids who boldly create their own new words and expressions. I think my son will be proud of this expression I was inspired to create.

olivetti CU

Good expressions that catch on often:

  1. sound good -the assonance of scareo and stereo
  2. describe something briefly
  3. combine words people are familiar with – e.g. scare + stereotype.

I encourage you to  dare to create your own words. What other ‘types’ can we have in movies – romantic characters? heroes? side-kicks?

View original post

Advertisements

How necessity is the mother of #creativity AND creative #invention

I Wanna Be Creative!

Here’s how ‘problems’ can force you to create new things – especially new sounds in music.

TWS simpsons-thewhitestripes

I play in a 3-piece band – Eugene & The Egg – but our bass player who runs his own business has been extra busy with work in the clean-up after storm damage and flooding from Cyclone Debbie.

egg 2

Last year, when I was ultra busy as a Deputy News Director at a TV station, I had to not turn up for gigs and Rene (the bass player) and Eugene (guitarist/main vocalist) had to play as a duo.

Now Eugene and I are preparing to be able to perform as in a guitar-drums duo in the style of one of my favourite groups The White Stripes.  Jack White is one of my favourite creative people who seems to thrive on doing things differently and having to adapt to different circumstances. The fact that they were…

View original post 169 more words

Writer’s retreat or writers’ retreat? Part 2 of 2

I Wanna Be Creative!

WR IMG_4511

In part 1, I explained why I am recommending to the owners of Sirenia Retreat that they should avoid the writer’s/writers’ conundrum and instead call it a WRITING retreat. The problem is by having the S in Writers – you get different opinions/arguments on whether​ the ‘pesky apostrophe’ should be before or after the S – or indeed have NO apostrophe at all.

montage words nerd

As a business writing instructor and trainer, I am often asked writing questions about the correct placement of apostrophes.

My method is to avoid problems by getting rid of the root cause of the problem. When businesses present me with a problem, I’d often study different arguments, help an organistion ‘decide on what writing style/choice it would adopt, and ensure consistency across the organisation via a style guide. Yes, I’m a real ‘word nerd’ and enjoy studying and solving writing problems.

The Mother of all…

View original post 459 more words

Writer’s retreat or writers’ retreat? Part 2 of 2

WR IMG_4511

In part 1, I explained why I am recommending to the owners of Sirenia Retreat that they should avoid the writer’s/writers’ conundrum and instead call it a WRITING retreat. The problem is by having the S in Writers – you get different opinions/arguments on whether​ the ‘pesky apostrophe’ should be before or after the S – or indeed have NO apostrophe at all.

montage words nerd

As a business writing instructor and trainer, I am often asked writing questions about the correct placement of apostrophes.

My method is to avoid problems by getting rid of the root cause of the problem. When businesses present me with a problem, I’d often study different arguments, help an organistion ‘decide on what writing style/choice it would adopt, and ensure consistency across the organisation via a style guide. Yes, I’m a real ‘word nerd’ and enjoy studying and solving writing problems.

The Mother of all apostrophe problems

mothers day

As you may know, many businesses sell around certain seasons and ‘days’ like Mother’s Day – and I once had to advise a business about how to write Mother’s Day in sales collateral. The Mother’s/Mothers’/Mothers problem is similar to the Writer’s/Writers’/Writers problem.

Actually, it’s worse because you don’t have the easy option of avoiding the problem of using the -ING form of the word – Happy MotherING Day doesn’t have the same warm feel about it.

This extract from one of my favourite writing sites – Scribe – about the Mother’s/Mothers’/Mothers challenge may help you understand the Writer’s/Writers’/Writers problem.

—————
From: Scribe

Choice 1. Mothers Day: no apostrophe

The argument here is that Mothers do not own the day, so no possession is involved. No apostrophe is thus needed. We are describing a day for Mothers, not a day belonging to Mothers.

Choice 2. Mother’s Day: an apostrophe before the s

Here the argument is that the day belongs to one specific Mother (yours presumably). So, because possession is involved, Mother’s Day needs an apostrophe.

Choice 3. Mothers’ Day: an apostrophe after the s

Here the argument is that the day is shared among all Mothers collectively. We thus need an apostrophe after the s.

And the winner is…
As shown above, you can make a reasonable case for all three of the choices. This article makes clear, though, that the original campaigner for creating Mother’s day, Anna Jarvis, explicitly wanted an apostrophe, and she wanted it to be before the “s”:

… it was to be a singular possessive, for each family to honour their mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers in the world.

—————-

So you see why I advise to avoid the writer’s/ writers’/writers problems by using WritING Retreat.

The root of the problem is having the S – because that forces you to have ti decide where to put the apostrophe or whether to not use an apostrophe. The problem is that even if you are technically correct, some readers may think you are wrong.

I once had to advise a client offering discounts to Pensioners. In their sales copy should they writer Pensioner’s/Pensioners’/Pensioners Discounts?

My recommendation – get rid of the problem by getting rid of the S in PensionerS. Just describe it as Pensioner Discount.

I understand that maybe I’m just an ‘avoider’ in life – avoiding writing problems – but by understanding the root cause of a problem and removing that problem (like the S) is an effective problem solving technique.

I prefer to call myself a problem remover rather than a problem avoider.

I think I’ll enjoy writing more writing tips when I am next at the Writer’s retreat…I mean ‘Writing retreat’ over at Sirenia Retreat.

TB OT 20106754_10211558216524158_3362450663233381747_n

A creative way to make ‘boring’ products more interesting – Part 1/2

I Wanna Be Creative!

Here’s an interesting way to make non-exciting (and even ‘boring’) products more interesting.

The other day I walked into a shop selling something that I had no interest in – however  I really admired how the business owners ‘got me into the shop’ and ‘curious’ about the product.

It was these creative and colourful visual displays that caught my attention and ‘got me curious”.

fbiIMG_9395

I like to analyse what gets my attention – and in this case it was an outline that reminded me of a Keith Haring image and a colourful ‘pyramid’ of toilet rolls.

Then I saw lots of bright and bold signage for FBI – so I was curious and wanted to find out more – what was this place?

FullSizeRender.jpgfbiIMG_9394

The place sold cleaning products – but the presentation was (in my opinion) far more interesting.

In this case, FBI stood for Fuller Brush Industries – a…

View original post 270 more words

How you can creatively cross-pollinate and “connect the dots”

I Wanna Be Creative!

How you can cross-pollinate between different projects and creatively connect the dots.

Hollywood and Facebook Exec Chris Adams has worked in creative industries at the highest levels. He was responsible for green lighting movie projects such as Syriana and An Inconvenient Truth.

Chris Adams – Hollywood and Facebook exec

He understands both the creative and business sides of the creative industries.

Every time I catch up with Chris to capture videos for a project called The Chris Adams Project, I’m amazed at how many projects he has on the boil at the same time.

I’m keen to learn so much from him – about business and creativity and balancing both.

I was keen to learn from Chris whether it is better to focus all your energy into one project at a time OR to have a range of projects that actually cross-pollinate each other.

In his video…

View original post 261 more words

#Creativity tip to get some satisfaction – record your ideas WHEN you get them

Have you ever wondered how many great songs DO NOT get written? How many great creative ideas DO NOT ever happen? How many great business ideas evaporate?

Satisfaction

Creative and talented types are often good at thinking up great lyrics or riffs or ideas – but many ideas are like big, beautiful ideas that briefly flit before your eyes and then disappear – never to be seen again.

I’m always encouraged by the Keith Richards story about the riff for Satisfaction. Apparently, Keith knew his talent AND his limitations.

He got into the habit of taking recording devices with him – even on the road.

When he’d get an idea – he’d capture it.

Keith Richards

The story is that he came up with the Satisfaction riff – recorded it – then “went off to sleep”.

When he woke up he couldn’t remember the riff – but he remembered that he had recorded it.

He went to his “machine” (probably an old reel-to-reel back in those days) – and there the riff was.

All because he had the “discipline” to capture it then and there!

Actually, the legend is that he heard the riff in a dream – got up and recorded the riff – then went BACK to sleep.

I think that shows even more discipline and planning on Keith’s part!!

We often think we’ll remember things – or that we’ll do it later.

But what usually happens is – we get distracted by another beautiful, flitting butterfly – and we forget the first one!

US creativity expert Sam Horn has a great saying that I now apply:

Ink it when you think it!

Don’t wait! Get into the habit of writing it down OR recording music riffs, chord progressions then and there!

 

That’s why as consultant to Sirenia Retreat – I’ve encouraged the owners to have plenty of ways for executives and writers staying there to capture their ideas –
1. notebooks by the side of the bed (for ideas that arrive in the middle of the night)
2. special waterproof notebooks to capture ideas that arrive in the shower (a common place to get good ideas)

 

 

 

Also, I encourage people to use the recording functions on their smart phones.

Now, creative types often have big egos. But the clever ones also know their limitations – and the danger that they can forget things.

I respect and admire Keith’s talent AND his recording ritual and I encourage YOU to do the same.

Things are so much easier these days. Keith probably had to have his people lug around some bulky tape recorder – probably reel-to-reel back in the Satisfaction days!

These days, it’s so easy for you to capture voice and images on your smartphone.

It’s funny – many people think the words creative and discipline should not be in the same sentence. The artists with long-careers learn to add some discipline to their creativity.

Just look at how long Keith and The Stones have been successful!

This same discipline should apply – even if you are some corporate CEO who gets a great business idea.

This discipline is not just for the “creative” types in advertising or marketing.

Business leaders often “create” ideas too. Or at least, they should.

If you know of any examples of artists techniques for recording their ideas – please add in the comments section below!

Writer’s Retreat or Writers’ retreat? Part 1/2

Oh, the pressure on writers to write correctly! Writers often agonize over writing problems that ‘non-writers’ don’t worry about.

WR IMG_4511

One of the big ‘problems’ is whether it is right to write writers’ retreat or writer’s retreat! Where do you put that pesky possessive apostrophe? Is the retreat for one writer or many?

montage words nerd

As a writing instructor, I am often asked questions like this – and my solution is to be aware of and avoid the problem. Even if you are technically correct – some of your readers may think you are wrong. I’ll explain soon – after I show the confusion.

WR IMG_4510

You can see from these examples there are many different uses – writers'(plural) is for a retreat for many writers – maybe all together as a group or many several writers visiting the retreat at different at times!

Writer’s retreat may be more accurate for where one, solitary writer wants to be ALONE to write.

I’m often asked how to write expressions such as driver’s licence. Or should that be drivers’ licence? Sure, each driver should have their own driver’s licence – but many drivers get a drivers’ licence, so shouldn’t it be drivers’ licence written​ on the licence? (For non-British English writers – licenCE is the British English way of writing licenSe.)

Anyway, back to writer’s or writers’ and driver’s or drivers’!

When I advise organisations on how to solve various writing problems – I encourage them to simply avoid the problem – and a simple way to avoid this writer’s/writers’ problem is to get rid of that S!By getting rid of the S you don’t run the risk of putting the apostrophe in the wrong place.

I suggest they use the ING form of a word – and call it a DrivING licence.

In the case of Writer’s/Writers’ retreats or even Writer’s/Writers’Centres you can call it a Writing Retreat.

As a writing consultant to Sirenia Retreat – I’ll be suggesting they change Writer’s Retreat to Writing Retreat. That way it can be a retreat for a group of writers or just one writer.

I’ll have more in part 2 – about how writers solved the problem with Mother’s/Mothers’ Day – and another way to avoid the pesky possessive apostrophe problem.

How a warm bath or shower can improve the flow of your ideas, problem-solving, writing and creativity – part 2 of 2

In part 1 (link at the end of this post) we looked at scientific support on why a warm bath or shower can help us feel relaxed so we can get those creative ideas flowing.

A University of London scientist summed it up this way:
‘For many people, it’s the most relaxing part of the day.’ It’s not until we’re being massaged by warm water, unable to check our e-mail, that we’re finally able to hear the quiet voices in the backs of our heads telling us about the insight. The answers have been there all along – we just weren’t listening.”

In part 2, we explore how getting the good ideas is just part of the solution. You also need to capture those ideas – so they don’t disappear or go down the drain with the warm water that helped get the ideas flowing.

For years I made a habit of keeping a cheap paper notebook in our home bathroom and got into the habit of writing down a few key words to remind me of the ideas. This got more difficult in the colder months when your main priority becomes putting on some clothes to get warm fast. The ideas often ‘disappeared’ if I moved on to other things. When I DID jot down a few words in my notebook with its page warped where drops of water fell, the crude capturing device worked.

aqua-notes-

Recently, I found that a much better idea capturing solution exists in the US – a special waterproof notepad (Aquanotes) that you can use while actually IN the shower. There are even suction cups so you can stick the notebooks to the glass or tiles in the bathroom.

Because of my background in business communication and creative endeavours, I am engaged as a ‘creative consultant’ to an Executive Escape and Writer’ Retreat (Sirenia Retreat) where ‘creative’ and ‘corporate’ and ‘creative corporate’ types can have the time and space (and idea-capturing tools) to get their projects kick-started or completed.

The owners of Sirenia Retreat have accepted my recommendation to import some of these special Aquanotes notebooks – for use IN the bathrooms AND as ‘takeaways’ as part of the Executive Escape and Writer’s Retreat packages.

I’ve also recommended having notebook and pen set by each bed – so ideas that come to people while in bed get captured too.

Here’s a link to Part 1.

https://iwannabecreativeblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/20/how-a-warm-bath-or-shower-can-help-your-the-flow-of-your-ideas-and-writing-creativity-part-1-of-2/

How a warm bath or shower can improve the flow of your ideas, problem-solving, writing and creativity – part 1 of 2

When you are searching for clever ideas or trying to solve a problem, one of the best things you can do is take a break and take a nice warm bath or shower.

sirenia - bathtub IMG_2339

And as an Executive Escape and Writer’s Retreat, Sirenia Retreat has a beautiful wooden main bathroom with bath tub and shower, as well as another shower in the main bedroom’s ensuite.

sirenia wooden floors IMG_2407 2

You could say it boasts a bevy of bathing opportunities!

You may have heard that famous story of Archimedes having that Eureka (I found it) moment while having a bath.

BATH IMG_3854

Modern science backs up this theory of getting good ideas or solving problems while taking a bath or shower.

Neuro scientist Dr Alice Flahery from Harvard Medical School found that creative ideas are stimulated by dopamine which can be triggered by events that make us feel happy and relaxed. Common activities include having a warm bath or shower.

Another Harvard researcher found that another factor that encourages creativity and problem-solving is being distracted and disconnected and not trying to solve a problem or be creative.

Of course, it’s important to make sure you capture those good ideas and I’ll explore that in part 2.

aqua-notes-

I’ll sum up with the eloquent explanation of Professor Joydeep Bhattacharya from the University of London on why we often get good ideas while enjoying baths or showers.

‘For many people, it’s the most relaxing part of the day.’ It’s not until we’re being massaged by warm water, unable to check our e-mail, that we’re finally able to hear the quiet voices in the backs of our heads telling us about the insight. The answers have been their all along–we just weren’t listening.”