On Your Mark….

reportersnotebook_black
Photo of reporter’s notebook by grafixtek on Flickr and used here with Creative Commons license.

I wanted to give you a little heads-up.

You will need a few things if you are planning to participate in next week’s challenge. (You are, aren’t you?) These are things you probably already have around the house.

  • #10 envelop or any other envelop you have that you won’t need for anything else.
  • Small odds & ends that can fit in your envelop.
  • A pen or pencil
  • A notebook
  • Your cell phone’s camera app or a camera

That’s it.

I’ll tell you a bit more tomorrow so we’ll be ready to start on Monday.

5 Days to Get Out of a Creative Rut

I like participating in challenges. Do you? I decided to create a challenge to introduce us to each other before the 40 Days of Creativity course starts later this month.

So what is this challenge?

It’s 5 days to get out of a creative rut. I know we all get stuck in them once in a while. It’s time we got ourselves out of it.

There’s two things I want to share with you. The first is a video I did on Facebook live yesterday.

The second is a graphic that will be posted on Instagram Stories later today. I didn’t put the start date on it because I intend to reuse it when I run this challenge again. In this case, the challenge starts Monday, November 12. You can post on Instagram, Facebook, or even in the JNO Creativity Challenges Facebook Group.

5 Days to Get Out of a Creative RUt

Your Attention Please!

microphoneI want to draw your attention to a new section on this site.

In the upper left corner, above my logo, is the menu. If you click it, you’ll find a list of all of the pages I have. Of particular attention is the one that says “Courses.”

If you are on my mailing list, by now, you know I am starting to offer courses. The first one is 40 Days of Creativity. I encourage you to check it out. If you know someone who might be interested, please share it with them.

I will be adding information about another course before the end of the year. For now, I’m going to focus on this one.

Introducing Courses & Book Bundles

Thinking
Image used courtesy of The Public Speaking Project under a Creative Commons license.

I have been sitting on a couple ideas for quite a while and I think it’s beyond time to get going with them.

What is it?

Courses!

I have two in mind.

40 Days of Creativity Challenge
This one will start the day after Thanksgiving and go for 40 days. That will take us into January. If you look at the calendar, that’s going to be more than 40 days because we will skip Christmas and New Year’s Day. Anyone who enrolls will receive a Kindle copy of 80 Creativity Tips as part of the cost of the course. I’ll let you know more details very soon.

Journal Your Way to Creativity
This course will be more involved. The book, Journal Your Way to Creativity, is a 90-day self-guided journal to help people tap into their creativity. That’s three months. This would have weekly videos where I would talk about the prompts and some of the reasoning behind them. A Kindle copy of this will also be included in the cost. Once again, I’ll let you know more details very soon. This one would not start until sometime in January.

Book Bundles
Not exactly a course, but still a source of (possible) education/information. I will offer bundles of books, a box set, if you will, at a special price for a limited time. I will have these ready to go by the day after Thanksgiving.

This is all going with the plan to be more intentional in what I offer to you and why. It will come together in a cohesive program I call Living Your Creative Life.

Look for more details soon! Don’t want to miss anything? Consider signing up for my email list so you’ll be among the first to hear about new books, courses, and videos.

It’s NaNoWriMo Time!

NaNo-Shield-Logo-WebI’m a day late with this post. To be honest, I didn’t decide until late Wednesday night that I would be participating in NaNoWriMo this year.

I know a lot of you know what NaNoWriMo is, but there are probably a lot who don’t.

November is National Novel Writing Month. It was started in 1999. In 2005, they became a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.

Here is a little bit about NaNoWriMo (or NaNo for short):

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) believes stories matter. The event began in 1999, and in 2005, National Novel Writing Month became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. NaNoWriMo’s programs now include National Novel Writing Month in November, Camp NaNoWriMo, the Young Writers Program, Come Write In, and the “Now What?” Months.

Last year, NaNo had some pretty impressive numbers.

  • 402,142 participants, including 95,912 students and educators in the Young Writers Program, started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.

  • 972 volunteer Municipal Liaisons guided 646 regions on six continents.

  • 1,195 libraries, bookstores, and community centers opened their doors to novelists through the Come Write In program.

  • 65,962 Campers tackled a writing project—novel or not—at Camp NaNoWriMo.

And lest you think it’s just a vanity exercise to see if you can do it (50,000 words in one month is a lot for some people and not-so-much for others):

Hundreds of NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published. They include Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, Hugh Howey’s Wool, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Jason Hough’s The Darwin Elevator, and Marissa Meyer’s Cinder.

But, really, this just scratches the surface of all that NaNo is. To learn more about it, I encourage you to visit the site and poke around in the “about” section. If you want to try it, leave your NaNo username in the comments here and I’ll add you as a writing buddy.

I’ll see you tomorrow. I have some writing to do.

Live & Learn … Or Get Brain Rot

reportersnotebook_black
Photo of reporter’s notebook by grafixtek on Flickr and used here with Creative Commons license.

This is something I’ve said for years. I don’t know if I came up with it or if I made it up. But it’s true. If we aren’t learning, we’re not growing. At best, we’re stagnating. At worst, we’re deteriorating.

To that end, I like to go to a couple conferences a year. And I read a lot and watch informational videos on YouTube.

Last month, I wasn’t able to go to one of my favorite conferences. This week, I’m making up for it. I found a free conference with great content. I didn’t have to go far to find it either. It landed in my lap. I saw a Facebook ad for it.

My point here is, our lives, our creativity, depend on learning. We don’t have to pay a lot for it. But we do have to invest time. That’s one thing we claim we don’t have enough of, yet everyone has the same amount of time in one day. Take 15 to 30 minutes out of your day to read or watch a couple short videos.

Learn something. Your brain, and your creativity, will thank you.