I am pleased to announce the release of my new book Think It! Make It! on Friday March 9th.
Available at Amazon.
You can pre-order the Kindle edition now.
"Do you feel the desire to create something but have no idea where to start? Do you ever wonder how other people mange to create and innovate? Are you looking to write a book, start a business, become a photographer, become an interior designer, but don’t know how?
The truth is, everybody can be creative, including you! Most of us want to be able to create something, but for many reasons have no idea where to start or even what to create.
Creativity is a skill, and like all skills it can be learned. All it takes is a shift in thinking and awareness.
Think It! Make It! is a practical, simple 30 day course packed with various techniques and exercises to help you open your mind to your creative potential.
When you’re finished you’ll be able to:
• See the world around you differently and make you aware that you are always surrounded by inspiration.
• Think critically about art, design, etc.
• Learn new skills more effectively and quickly.
• Open your mind to new ways of thinking.
• Make connections between your everyday life and creativity.
• Get ideas quickly.
And much more.
Think It! Make It! is a short book that takes you through those crucial steps from thinking about something to making it.
“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”
- Louisa May Alcott
A manifesto has three basic components: beliefs, goals and wisdom.
Famous examples of manifestos include The Ten Commandments, Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream Speech and Apples Here’s to the Crazy Ones advertising campaign.
Your personal creativity manifesto can be for your eyes and ears alone or you may wish to share it with others.
A creativity manifesto is a declaration of your intentions, motives or views.
Write down a list of the emotions you feel when you are being critically attacked, whether it’s by others or yourself.
Now write down the things you’d need to hear to keep those emotions at bay. What does your inner artist need to hear to encourage them to start again?
Get inspired by reading what others have written.
“The future depends on what you do today.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Envisioning yourself in the far future can sometimes seem that you’re viewing the life of a stranger, as if you were somehow removed the scene. Although, when we envision ourselves in the near future, say in just a few days, weeks or months time, we tend to see (more or less), the same person.
This is because the far future can often seem a long way away, far from our current experience.
But how often have you heard or used the phrase “Time flies”? When you get “there” (your future), it’s almost like no time has past at all. This is what Eckhart Tolle refers to as the ‘Now’ — there is no past or future, only what happens right now.
Writing to your future self can help you visualise yourself with more of an outsider’s perspective and with more objectivity.
If you have important goals and ideals, you can help yourself stick to them, work towards them and assess them, by writing yourself a letter.
Writing a letter to your future self increases your self awareness.
Have you ever gone back through your old social media posts or emails and been embarrassed by something you posted? If you answered yes it’s because you’re confronting your own shortcomings. But it also shows you how much you have grown.
This exercise helps you to get your thoughts out of the present and focus on what is to come, and more importantly, what you want to become.
Start by writing about who you currently are, talk about your interests and accomplishments.
Talk about your values and beliefs but also your fears.
As well as the things you want to achieve, write about what you want to stop (the things you want to stop doing because they are detrimental to your health or happiness).
These questions should make the current you reflect on what you’ll need to do to become the you who you want to be.
Focusing on where you are now and the decisions you made in your life that led you here can help you evaluate those decisions and what you can change to lead to a different future.
“Normal linear note taking and writing will put you into a semi hypnotic trance, while mind mapping will greatly enhance your left and right brain cognitive skills.”
- Tony Buzan
Popularised in the mid-1970’s by psychology author Tony Buzan, who developed the system, Mind Mapping is a technique in which one captures information and can be used in studying, business and personal life, amongst others.
It can be used for a variety of tasks, including organisation, project management and teaching, and uses a combination of words, symbols and images in its construction.
Mind Maps can be used to describe something tangible (a product, project, artwork, etc. ), or something intangible (an idea, concept, etc.).
Mind Maps work for many people because they can take many forms and variations, although there are a few rules that you should abide by in order to make them work for you at their best.
They are an effective, colourful and fun way to capture your thoughts and bring them to life visually.
They can help you to remember more, become more creative and solve many problems (creative or otherwise).
Take a piece of A4 paper (although larger is better), and at least three coloured pens or pencils.
At the centre of your sheet in landscape mode, write in capital letters or draw an image that captures and represents the central idea.
Draw branches radiating from your central idea (these should be curved, not straight).
At the end of each of these branches, write down the words that you can think of that are associated with your central idea.
For example, if your central idea was New Car, your associated words could be performance, interior, colour, seating, etc.
Repeat the process, continually drawing branching lines emanating from your associated words to other associated words, and so on.
Use as many colours as possible in order to make your mind map pleasing to look at and to avoid confusion.
“When we make our art a practice, when we make our workspace sacred and enter it daily with respect and high intention, then we elevate our actions (even if they're taking place within the profane arena of commerce) beyond ego and above gimme-gimme ambition.”
- Stephen Pressfield
The space in which you work is vital to creativity and efficient productivity. It should be both a sanctuary and an inspiration.
Most of all, it should be somewhere you really enjoy being and somewhere you love to be.
Your office/workspace/studio should have plenty of natural light and should be kept tidy and orderly. It may be clichéd to picture a space of disorder, but a quick Google search of famous artists studios will show you a picture of orderliness and organisation.
Even if you think you haven’t found your creative specialism yet, it will be useful to at least think about the type of place you will do your work in.
It could be an entire room in your house, or if you don’t have the room, a place carved out for you in another room. It could even be in a café or in your local library.
Mark Twain did his work in his bed, Mozart often composed standing up at his billiards table (he was also well known as a skilful billiards player!).
Wherever your space is, make it your own , and make it a place for work and work alone.