There was no readily available client challenge for today’s podcast so we made that in itself the challenge. What do you do when you dry up and your brain goes blank, when you run out of inspiration for your content?
We talked about creativity and kaizen (continuous improvement), about constantly asking ourselves “What else?” in the typical Creator style. We talked about the lust for new and how exhausting it is too, and we reached a conclusion that one option might be to improve what we have already created rather than necessarily continuing to feed the addiction by creating, creating, creating. Other questions which came up for discussion were when do you stop, how to make the best of your best stuff, and why clients keep quiet when they are stuck, the very moment we both want them to speak up.
So we decided to give some consideration in future to upgrading, up-speccing and uplevelling (‘scuse horrid word which I dislike) existing content assets.
In other news we talked of sunsets and sunrises, housewarming parties on a self-employed Monday afternoon, the imminent arrival of a friend to visit Nicola and Sarah in Greece, and how it’s going at Write Club where they are planning, after all, to create a podcast. I wanted to know why, and the answer is to attract the attention of agents and publishers because they are writing fiction in their club.
On the topic of books, N’s got a couple of new ones, by Iain Banks (Raw Spirit) and M.J. DeMarco (Unscripted), and she teaches me about Flash Fiction, telling your story in 500 words, starting in the middle and ending on a cliffhanger. It sounds fascinating, but I have no plans right now (or ever!) to write fiction but if there’s one thing I know it is never to say never.
I tell Nicola that the pro photo shoot finally took place last Saturday, the makeup was done by Marzi and then I went to fetch Alison, the photographer, from the railway station. After lunch, the shoot was all done by 3.30 and then Alison and I sat talking in the kitchen in the darkening gloom as the afternoon wore on, whereupon she asked if she could get out her camera again and take some informal shots of me there. And guess what? Yup, you are ahead of me, they were the best series we took all day. Later I drove her to Gatwick for her flight back to Scotland and we had a good chat in the car, and then I had a lovely sing on the return journey just in time to get into an early bed with a strong painkiller (thanks to a brief 24-hour recurrence of the backache just on that day itself – grr) and Strictly which is my lovely antidote to everything. The combo worked.
On Monday Alison sent me the proofs and I am delighted to report there are about eight shots I really like and that gives me enough variety for the book jacket, my website, and various social media and other publicity purposes. Vannessa will be disappointed I didn’t get a chance to wear the AB crystal necklace I made especially for the shoot but never mind. I wear it a lot when I am doing my coaching/mentoring/writing work and even in my PJs and I already know that at Christmas I shall out-sparkle the tree.
I tell Nicola I am feeling exhausted by all the new things I have been learning lately and I am grateful that I don’t learn new things all the time. Reading a dozen novels for the Booker Prize on 17th October, and writing my own book, and coping with sciatica, and the makeup testing and the photoshoot day itself, and meeting Alison and handling all the logistics of that day and feeling anxiety about whether or not we would get the great outcome we did and the pressure she must have felt (though she showed no signs), it’s all been knackering but fun. And I could also use a bit of a rest now and a breather and a chance to catch up and feel not so much in my comfort zone as the absence of new all the time, which had briefly become my new normal what with writing my own book too and mastering a couple of new marketing gizmos which I had committed to. Rest! I need rest!
Our words of the week are Commitment and Native. We touch briefly on a couple of new initiatives for marketing our podcast and where I’m up to with my book’s team of proofreaders. I am impressed by Nicola’s sister Sarah who got me out of a handful of niggles I created on my own website by doing things that looked easy and turned out to be anything but, and Nicola is impressed by a new podcast and a new $7 product for digital marketers.
Afterwards, when I am writing up the show notes and this blog and two Facebook Notes for each respective online space, I am very much taken by how communicating in the written and spoken word is something I love very much and which today has proved, yet again, to be the perfect antidote to difficult feelings about the world in which we live; corruption, abuses of power and things which appear to be one thing but are something else altogether. I am focusing on love and innocence and parking unpleasantness and cynicism. And, as we all know, what we focus on expands.
I opened the show by sharing with Nicola an email we’d received, one of those spammy ones, you know the thing. The correspondent wanted us to try his internet marketing genius on our podcast website despite IM being very much Nicola’s own zone of genius, and he began his email with “I stumbled upon your web and honestly cherished your content.” Thank Heavens someone is cherishing our content LOL. And bless him. Eng clearly not first lang.
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