6 Beautiful Ways Artificial Constraints Can Improve Your Creativity and Life

how to use limitations to boost your creativity

Like accumulating capital, hard work has its own momentum. If you want to master digital media, then produce it often.

Maria Popova, the woman behind Brain Pickings, publishes three substantial blog posts every weekday, typically about substantial books she reads. Each post is an elegant display of her ornate knowledge and polished creativity.

And when I was asked to host a show for our digital marketing podcast network, I immediately jumped on the opportunity. Here was a chance to organize my work, tackle a new challenge, and consistently produce a new type of digital media.

Yet — I was warned — it was essential I dismissed any optimistic notions about the quality of my show.

During a kick-off call with the rest of the Rainmaker.FM podcasters, Robert Bruce, our overlord, said, “Your first 100 shows will be crap.”

It was meant to encourage us.

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The No Sidebar Guide to DIY Podcasting


In a world filled with ambitious online entrepreneurs, it’s time to jump ahead and learn how to produce your own podcast.

Audio is a great way to create content and No Sidebar host Brian Gardner had never done it before. There was a mystery around it — almost taboo in his own mind — that intrigued him and made him want to do it.

So he taught himself the basics of podcasting, and today he’ll share with you some of his mistakes and how he managed to correct them.

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Solve Your Blank-Page Problem With This Visual, 3-Step Content Creation System

A visual system for organizing your content ideas

In the movie Amadeus, the creatively frustrated composer Antonio Salieri discovers pages of Mozart’s original, handwritten compositions and remarks, with utter anguish:

He had simply written down music already finished in his head. Page after page of it — as if he were just taking dictation.

When it comes to writing, do any of us know what that feels like?

Maybe once in a blue moon we are lucky enough to stumble into a Mozart-esque state of content creation — dropping perfectly formed prose into our blog or ebook without any struggle.

For most of us content marketers, this is not the case, even though we aren’t short of inspiration, ideas, or coherent thoughts.

Why? Because we’re writing backwards.

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A Personal Story about How to Lose Your Fear of Hitting Publish


Your online business won’t go anywhere until you hit publish.

Great content needs to see the light of day, and that means pushing past your fears on a regular basis.

But how exactly is that supposed to happen?

This week on Hit Publish, host Pamela Wilson shares a personal story about compassion and fear. You’ll come away with a new mindset about your content — one that will help you feel the fear, but forge ahead and hit publish anyway.

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How to Answer the Most Important Question About Becoming an Exceptional Writer


Have you ever asked yourself why you want to become a writer?

You should. Because writing can be a thankless job. Like doing the laundry.

Listen. There will be times when you will hit a wall. You are exhausted. Lost. Broken. And you’ll ask yourself, “Why?”

Why am I doing this to myself?

You have to be able to answer that question. At the drop of a hat. All exceptional writers can. And when you do, you’ll walk away gritting your teeth, buckling down, and girding your loins.

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Productivity for Flakes, Head Cases, and Other Natural Disasters


Some people are naturally productive. Naturally organized. Naturally get the important things done, every day.

They have clean desks and rational calendars and earn the admiration of family and peers.

Confessions of a Pink-Haired Marketer host Sonia Simone is not one of those people.

The truth is, she considers herself a natural disaster. Left to her own devices, she’d eat pie and play Minecraft all day.

And yet, somehow she has figured out how to be a grown-up about the things that matter. Here’s how …

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