A Better Way to Find Big Ideas (that Make You Stand Out)

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Some astronomers and philosophers make the grand, if not absurd, claim that we are 10,000 things but one substance. Perhaps ancient stardust. Fair enough.

Rough Draft host Demian Farnworth has his own absurd claim: behind one single article by a seasoned writer is the weight of 1,000 books, 100 movies, hours of lectures, a litany of song lyrics, countless days of conversations, dozens of poems, and so on.

And it’s this sort of commitment to working, learning, and playing hard that separates the good writer from the great.

So the question for you is: How far are you willing to go to be absurd? How far are you willing to go to find that big idea? Because it is that big idea that will rise above the noise. But where do those big ideas come from? How do you find them?

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How to Grab Great Ideas (Without Using Your Hands)

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It’s funny, how we forget things. Sublime reflections and exalted ideas. Like they were never even there. But if they were so sublime and exalted, why did they not remain with us?

And it’s funny how we fear losing these ideas. The lengths we will go to preserve them. The legends are legion.

Keeping waterproof slates in your shower. Talking into your phone’s voice memo app while you pump gas on a dusty August day. Scribbling in your tiny notepad in the dark of night so you don’t wake your spouse. In the morning light, however, the handwriting is illegible. You might as well have been drunk.

I know. I’ve done it.

But at what point do you draw the line when it comes to stopping what you are doing to record an idea: How many times do you interrupt the family dinner? The mowing of the lawn? The cross-country run? How many times do you wake up in the middle of the night to write that rare never-before-thought idea down in your diary?

Not to mention, there’s the risk you may interrupt the full blossoming of an idea if you prematurely stop what you are doing to write it down.

Well, this is what you do when you can’t — or don’t want to — stop to write down an idea.

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3 Resources to Help You Create Remarkable Visual Content

Copyblogger Collection: visual content that surprises and delights

As someone who made an intentional decision to have a career working with words, talking to you about the importance of visual content makes me feel a little weird.

But I have to tell you, when I’ve been scrolling through my Twitter timeline lately, it’s the updates with intriguing visuals that catch my eye. They’re the ones I read, and the links I click.

In the current digital marketing landscape, the strategic use of visual content — whether it accompanies text or stands alone — is a smart move as you strive to produce the best experience for your audience.

This week’s Copyblogger Collection is a series of three handpicked articles that will help you learn:

  • How to create simple, captivating drawings
  • How to use images to engage distracted readers
  • How to create a visual brand

As you work your way through the material below, think of these lessons as a mini visual content creation course.

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What Craft Beer and Food Trucks Can Teach Us About the Power of Collaboration

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Your fellow Showrunners, even those serving the very same niche(s) that you’re serving, are not your enemies. 95 percent of the world has no idea what you’re doing as “podcaster,” so don’t turn a cold shoulder to the few who do.

This week’s episode of The Showrunner begins with a discussion about the value of meeting your listeners in person when you get the opportunity to do so. Hosts Jerod Morris and Jon Nastor offer up a few actionable ideas on how to bring the topic up with your audience.

Then, for the final time, they harken back to their experience at Podcast Movement for inspiration.

This leads to a conversation about the power of cooperation, collaboration, and craft beer (yum!).

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3 Easy Ways to Expand Your Creativity

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Imagination is more important than knowledge. – Albert Einstein

Remember when you were little and the best gift of all was a large cardboard box?

That box could be anything from a small family home to the vanguard of an intergalactic attack fleet. With a few hastily drawn lines in permanent marker — and a wild imagination — we could go anywhere and be anything.

If you were given an empty box to play with today, would you find as many fascinating uses as you could back then?

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Freaking Out Over the Thought of Writing a First Draft? Try Scaffolding

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Your idea stretches out to the end of nowhere. One hundred words? One thousand? What’s the angle? The structure?

That’s just one decision among many you must make before you write. And just one more decision that adds to your anxiety.

Fail to figure this one out and your idea sits idle. Deserted. Should this indecision persist, over time you’ll accumulate a storehouse of hollowed out concepts. Your very own creative blight.

Fortunately, scaffolding can help you avoid this mess.

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