I enjoy explaining things, which is a good thing, since I have an almost-five-year-old who likes to ask questions. I suppose this is not unusual, but I’ve always viewed it as an interesting challenge to give him answers that are clear but comprehensible. And as time goes by, his questions get more and more interesting and perceptive.
I’ve noticed a trend in our explaining-things conversations: my answers tend to inevitably progress towards more basic underlying concepts, usually with a single fundamental tenet at the end: entropy and the laws of thermal dynamics, basic evolutionary theory and genetics, or often, the idea of energy. (I realize that these are fairly abstract concepts for a small child, but my philosophy is to be honest and clear and try to give examples that relate to familiar things).
‘Energy’ is one of those words with a lot of definitions, like ‘time’ or ‘spring’ or ‘clear‘. It’s a rich and subtle concept and underlies a lot of our relationship with the world. Everything we do, indeed everything in the universe, can be expressed and understood as an exchange or a transformation of energy.
Creativity is, of course, no exception. While creating ‘something out of nothing’ is a nice turn of phrase, under the surface nothing new is ever really created, we just move things around and reorganize them into new patterns. That’s still a lot, and making new patterns is a profound and transformational thing to do! But here’s the thing: it takes energy.
And in my own life, energy has been at something of a premium for the last few months… More
Well it’s review time again. My aim with these is to work through a list of books and courses that I’ll be posting here very shortly on a handy Creative Resources page… Meanwhile, this one is in the time-is-of-the-essence category, as there’s a very limited window to get in on this one – and I simply can’t speak too highly of it.
I’m talking about the Lateral Action Course for Creative Entrepreneurs*. It’s mostly a joint project between Brian Clark (of Copyblogger fame, among a host of other endeavours) and the wonderfully helpful Mark McGuinness who somehow finds time to maintain his own Wishful Thinking blog as well as producing many of the Lateral Action site materials – which are themselves highly recommended. There are also contributions from frequent Brian Clark collaborators Tony Clark (everyone seems to feel the need to clarify that they are not actually related) and Sonia Simone.
The Lateral Action course was my first substantial information-product purchase, and I doubt I could have made a better choice. It presents a truly vast amount of information, for one thing, and it’s also really superbly structured – walking you through Content Marketing from the broad strategy level to much more specific tactics.
This has proved invaluable to me as an artist trying to come to grips with how to interface with this unfamiliar world, and given me the confidence to start building out my creative vision into a long-term business model. And it really is aimed at helping artists and other creative types come to an understanding of online business – no mean feat, as we are often notoriously bullheaded on the subject – well, speaking for myself anyway.
The sections on psychology are tremendously useful as well, directing us around some of the more dangerous pitfalls and blind alleys of the journey towards Creative Entrepreneurship. Mark McGuinness is a practicing Creative Coach and he clearly has a profound understanding of the psychological aspects of creativity, but for me the real value has been in helping me bridge the gap between creativity and the entrepreneurial mindset. More