2017 Content material Excellence Problem: The April Prompts
It’s April! Don’t ask me the place March went, as a result of I don’t know. But it surely’s time as soon as once more for a pair of Content material Excellence Problem prompts.
Every month this 12 months, we’ll provide you with two prompts — one supposed to make you a greater author and one supposed to make you a extra productive one.
This month’s prompts each share a inventive dimension and an extremely pragmatic one. As a result of creativity and pragmatism are like air and water — you want each of them to make it.
Prepared or not, right here we go:
The April Creativity Immediate
(In case you did that one, drop a be aware within the feedback and gloat over the lesser mortals who didn’t fairly get round to it. you need to.)
This month we’re approaching the identical critter, however with a special web.
Beginning right now, every single day till the subsequent Content material Problem put up, go to a social media web site and duplicate some phrases written by your audience.
Let’s face it; you’re already hanging on the market anyway. And whereas all of us undoubtedly need to know what you concentrate on Bulletproof Espresso, you would possibly as effectively use that point to do some listening, too.
Write down, phrase for phrase, what individuals are saying about your subject. You would possibly discover a phrase, a sentence, or a full paragraph … you by no means know what’s going to indicate up on a given day.
You’re searching for:
Essential: Be sure you label these as another person’s phrases whenever you copy them down. You need to use one thing loopy like citation marks and the identify of the one that initially wrote it. Date every entry, with a be aware about the place you discovered it.
You don’t need to come again to this in six months, assume you wrote these phrases, and unintentionally plagiarize another person’s wording.
What you’re mining for are scraps. Phrase decisions. Conceptual frameworks. Mindsets. Approaches.
These phrases and phrases are thought seeds on your content material — seeds you’ll be able to develop into weblog posts, podcast scripts, and possibly even complete services and products.
Now let’s discuss a productiveness device that can assist you discover these once more whenever you want them.
The April Productiveness Immediate
You’ll have seen that there’s been one thing of a resurgence in journaling currently. In case you’re ever on Instagram, Pinterest, or YouTube, you will have seen individuals who maintain “bullet journals” — Ryder Carroll’s identify for an initially easy set of how to maintain lists and notes.
Some folks’s bullet journals are Instagram masterpieces, with color-coded monitoring techniques, calligraphy prospers for every single day, and “spreads” exhibiting impeccably illustrated weekly grocery lists.
I’m going to suggest one thing rather less curated than that.
This month, for those who don’t have one but, begin a inventive journal. I counsel that nice inventive journals are likely to have three qualities: They’re Messy, Personal, and Inclusive.
In my expertise, inventive folks want journals. They’re the greenhouses the place we develop concepts. And the laboratories the place we follow fiendish experiments.
Journals must be messy. An impeccable, Instagram-ready journal is one thing totally different. It’s a inventive output … a completed piece of artwork. However you want a journal for inventive course of and enter.
Inventive journals ought to have false begins, rabbit holes, ugly drawings, silly sentences, dangerous concepts, and different embarrassments.
Journals must be non-public. As a result of a superb inventive journal is embarrassing, it’s an excellent thought to maintain it non-public.
There is perhaps one thing cool in there that you simply do need to share. There usually is. Go forward and share it … selectively.
However a inventive journal is usually about non-public exploration, not public exhibiting off.
Journals must be inclusive. Most of my life I’ve balanced piles of notebooks — possibly one for sketching, one for work, one for to-do lists, one for inventive concepts, one for quotes.
I’m coming round to the good thing about dumping the entire mess into one bucket.
My (very ugly) bullet journal has to-do lists, mission notes, content material plans for the weblog and the podcast, ideas about habits, ideas about my enterprise, quotes, doodles, sketches, exercise notes, the recurring script for my podcast intro, product concepts, name notes, grand concepts for the longer term, and all method of lists.
Nobody desires to see a YouTube video of my bullet journal.
In case you maintain a journal like this digitally, and also you haven’t tried paper for some time … enable me to counsel that you simply attempt it out. There’s one thing deeply creatively satisfying about an precise object full of concepts — a set of digital notes simply doesn’t spark the identical pleasure.
A inventive journal is a spot to seize the sparks that float previous. It’s an area to experiment, plan, or simply goof round. It’s a house for random ideas and fascinating brainworms. It’s the place you retailer goals that scare you a bit.
Flip by your journal generally. (You’ll end up doing that robotically whenever you want a content material thought or consider a use for that reference be aware.)
These social media phrases you’re discovering from our first immediate? Copying them right into a clean guide could be an effective way to kick off a brand new journal.
A closing phrase on protecting a journal: We’d want a phrase for the parents who maintain them, however that phrase shouldn’t be journalist. I do know I’m old school, however I’m clinging to that one for my pals and colleagues who went to journalism faculty, have put their time in for awful pay below intense deadlines, and who’ve the job of defending democracy from charlatans and lunatics.
What do you assume?
Journals are, by nature, intensely private … and also you might need robust opinions about them that battle with my robust opinions about them. I’d love to listen to your ideas!
Tell us within the feedback — do you retain a journal? Ever attempt a bullet journal? What works effectively so that you can wrangle your concepts and discover them whenever you want them?