Tag Archives: marketing

9 keys to achieving your artistic goals? No! Way more!

Eric Maisel’s new book Making Your Creative Mark promises nine keys to achieving your artistic goals.

That’s a lie.

The book literally chimes and jingles with keys. The last eleven pages alone has 99 of them, for example these 10:

  1. One of the best ways to help yourself create every day is to craft a starting ritual that you begin to use regularly and routinely. When your ritual becomes habitual you will find yourself moving effortlessly from not creating to creating.
  2. Reframe discipline as devotion.
  3. Creativity is your teacher. Pick a creative project whose express purpose is to teach you something about your situation or your nature.
  4. If you regularly block, what do you think are the sources of your blockage? Do you block only on certain work? Do you block at certain points in the process? Do you block at certain times of the year? Become your own expert on blockage!
  5. Learn some anxiety management techniques. Anxiety makes us undisciplined. Learn a deep-breathing technique or a relaxation technique to help you stay put. Anxiety is part of the process – learn how to manage it!
  6. Don’t shrug away the fact that you’re not completing your creative work. Get to the last sentence of the last page of the last revision. Then launch your piece into the marketplace. If you are not completing projects, do not accept that from yourself!
  7. Do you have a plan to survive the countless rejections that will come your way? Create that plan!
  8. Create everywhere. Create in the rain. Create buy the side of the road. Create wherever you find yourself!
  9. Say, “I will astonish myself.” Then you’re bound to astonish others.
  10. There may be days when the work frustrates you horribly. Maybe you’ll downright hate it. Those are the days to love your work! Remember to love your work especially on the days you hate it.

And it goes on and on. The thing is that it goes on and on in that vein – the vast majority of his ideas are just really good, and not something you’ve already heard over and over again. Take what he says on anxiety. He devotes a whole chapter to stress and anxiety as it relates to the creative process. In it is a subchapter on The Stress of Marketing Art. Isn’t every creative person familiar with that? When I worked at the Alliance for Arts and Culture, advising artists on how to make money without going crazy, that was a topic we talked about a lot (kudos here to Judi Piggott, the patron saint of Vancouver artists, who invented and ran that program for twelve years). So what are the parts of that stress?

  • Thinking about selling your art
  • Not knowing what to say
  • Dealing with people who hold the power and the purse strings
  • Feeling pressured to “sell yourself”
  • Dealing with people who dismiss you
  • Not feeling up to asking

Does any of this feel familiar? Of course. And you may not even be an artist. And over and over he says, if this creates anxiety for you, go and find a way to deal with the anxiety. Don’t give in to it. That in itself is a pretty uplifting message. Maisel doesn’t give you tons of ways to deal with the anxiety; instead he points to one of his other books, such as Mastering Creative Anxiety. Oh yes, he knows how to sell his own stuff, so he knows what he’s talking about. And he has a lot of stuff – almost 40 books, seven of them fiction. And some meditation decks. And a home study course. And he’s a coach and a therapist with a PhD.

Honestly, I think every creative person should own at least one of his books. This man knows what he’s talking about.

mental health hopes

i just came back from an invigorating time with raul raul and cathy, talking about MentalHealthCamp. poor cathy had to listen to me being stubborn about not “massaging” the message about MentalHealthCamp too much – i like the raw greassroots approach.

what’s funny is that on my way back on the bus i read made to stick – a (very good) book about, guess what, making ideas stick. (it harkens back to gladwell’s stickiness concept in his book the tipping point).

because i’d definitely like the idea of MentalHealthCamp to stick.

but what is this idea?

let me think out loud – and please, chime in, tell me what your hopes and ideas about MentalHealthCamp are.

MentalHealthCamp, of course, is our vancouver conference about mental health and social media. the quick tag line we came up with was:

erasing stigma and exploring possibilities with social media.

is that sticky? does it get you excited?

as cathy pointed out, maybe we could focus on our hopes for MentalHealthCamp? what’s the best thing that could happen at the conclusion of MentalHealthCamp? maybe …

  • people with mental health challenges who haven’t explored the tool of writing and blogging yet will be excited to try and use it, and it will help them
    • organize their thoughts
    • shed light on their inner life
    • connect with others who share similar experiences
  • mainstream media will see living proof that people with mental health issues are “normal” – they wear jeans, drink latte and watch TV just like anyone else
  • participants’ tongues will be loosened to talk about mental health with the same ease they talk about runny noses, strange bosses and heart-stopping hockey games
  • at the same time, we’ll realize that while stigma is not totally erased yet – and we’ll point out effective, honest and comfortable ways to protect vulnerabilities
  • bloggers who write about mental health will network and get support – and perhaps even make a new friend or two
  • this will be the start of a strong movement all over the world of social media to erase the stigma of mental health and explore new ways of turning mental illness to mental health

what dreams and hopes would YOU add?  and how would all these ideas be sticky for YOU?