Keeping Motivated and Completing Projects

Ever since leaving the formal “job” of elementary school teacher in the 70′s to become a stay-at-home mom, I have developed all kinds of non-traditional creative initiatives.

Clilck on image to see how you are depicted.

Some suggestions I practice to keep myself motivated and complete projects may be useful to you:

  • Infuse your working space with inspiring quotes, photos, posters, music, or knick-knacks:

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were.
But without it we go nowhere.

Carl Sagan

  • It’s so easy to dwell on failures, so make a point to emphasize your accomplishments. Find a place to proudly display examples of your own creativity. Refer to it as often, especially when you are feeling frustrated and “down”.
Displaying my books, art, awards, etc...

My Studio: Displaying my books, art, awards, etc…

  • Set reasonable short and long term goals. Work towards them, follow through – and reward yourself when you achieve the difficult ones.
  • If something doesn’t work or presents a significant challenge, think why and then brainstorm how to turn it around and open your mind to 50 possibilities and opportunities.
  • Hook up with some encouraging creative thinkers who will not only motivate you and one other but also will make you feel safe to explore your ideas.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated and complete your projects?

-Nellie

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Creativity consultant Nellie Jacobs is a Canadian award-winning artist and best-selling author whose creative initiatives-incorporating all the above suggestions-have been featured for decades by major national, regional and local media across the country. For more about Nellie’s books, artwork, workshops and upcoming events, visit her website at http://www.ignitingimagination.com

Promoting Creativity

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I wrote the following post for Creativity Calling, the March 2014 issue of the Creativity Coaching Association (CCA) newsletter:

It’s one thing to be chomping at the bit, ready-finally-to inspire and change the world; it’s quite another to let the world know you exist. These days, with a bit of imagination anyone engaged in the creativity field is in a terrific position to promote themselves and their creative passion. Countless platforms and websites offer simple tools to help you grow your network and achieve your goals.

 If you haven’t already done so, for very little time, money and research, you can start a blog or send out an e-newsletter to your network. (If it’s too difficult to maintain regular postings, invite guests to contribute articles, or offer to write your own for other people’s blogs.) Pitch editors of traditional or online publications with an idea for a regular daily, weekly or monthly column. (Have some samples ready for submission). Consider writing and self-publishing a short e-book that might, for instance, offer a step-by-step guide to your insights, experiences, or expertise. Speaking of specialties, prepare a course to teach in-person or online. Initiate and lead supportive groups. Post comments and share links on social media. Conduct interviews of creative individuals on a podcast series-or offer yourself as a well-informed talk show guest.

 Creativity has become the buzz word used in ads, articles and media headlines around the world. The trick is to produce a ‘hook’ for a press release that will lead to a feature story. Plan events relating to current events or holidays. Identify a pressing public concern, its creative solution-and then act on it. As example, after internationally renowned creativity specialist Marci Segal read a 2001 newspaper banner that said creativity was in crisis, she was moved to establish World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 (Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday) to 21. Through networking and media coverage, WCIW is now celebrated in more than 40 countries worldwide!

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 Here’s an idea to promote creativity AND yourself immediately. Use WCIW as a newsworthy reason to go out into the community to encourage individuals and groups to do something special to celebrate creativity. Approach businesses, schools, recreation centers, clubs, and public institutions to establish partnerships or guide creative projects. For great ideas, explore http://worldcreativity.wordpress.com. Add to the list!

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Creativity consultant Nellie Jacobs is a Canadian award-winning artist and best-selling author whose creative initiatives-incorporating all the above suggestions-have been featured for decades by major national, regional and local media across the country. For more about Nellie’s books, artwork, workshops and upcoming events, visit her website at http://www.ignitingimagination.com

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Grading the Teacher is now an E-book specially reduced

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Are you a parent with school-age children?

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Are you a teacher at any level?

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You may be interested in “Grading the Teacher: A Parent/Teacher Guide, reduced next week to $.99.

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Follow the links for details>http://gradingtheteacher.com/2014/05/31/grading-the-teacher-only-99-cents-june-4th/

What Price Friendship?

Friendship
What you are about to read in the next paragraph is absolutely true. This conversation really happened. It puts a whole new perspective on friendship.

A friend (for this story, she’s Mary) called the other day to tell me about her recent, bizarre experience. Since she was feeling increasingly uncomfortable with their interactions, she ended an 18-month friendship. Soon afterwards, Mary received an invoice for $8,500 from that ex-girlfriend for ‘professional services’ that included time spent during their telephone conversations and get-togethers.

After her initial shock, Mary picked herself off the floor and discussed the situation with her lawyer. They concluded there’s no legal ground for this bill because there was never a verbal or written contract. Mary swears all their conversations were as friends: they each helped each other out.

Mary and I both agreed that true friendship represents a give and take relationship. In conversations, one person listens, the other responds. Then roles are reversed. Imagine the implications if we charged for countless hours spent listening to a friend in need of our ear, opinions, and well-meaning advice.

How do we settle on a fee? Is it dependent on our age, experiences, or the length or depth of friendship? Who decides that? Do we charge a professional therapist’s fee for 45-50 minute sessions and bill extra if discussions go over the allotted time? Do we invoice after each conversation or weekly, bi-monthly or yearly? Do we add long-distance calls or travel costs? Perhaps we should consent to a contra: I’ll give you this time if you give me back equal time. If so and the actual time, advice, or number of questions isn’t equal, how might that resolved?

If you think about it, the ramifications could be far-reaching.

Getting back to my conversation with Mary, I offered her this insight: “Let me tell you something,” I said. “Your problem is that you care too much.”

“What do you mean?” asked Mary. “That’s who I am. How can I care less?” A life-long journalist who is used to digging for facts, researching, and coming up with conclusions and solutions, Mary is also over-the-top passionate about expressing her feelings and opinions. I suspect her ex-friend was distraught about losing their connection – or she decided to invoice all her ‘friends’ hoping they would either cover the cost of her impending divorce or support her in her single afterlife.

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“Well, then,” I responded, “maybe you should hand out a detailed friendship questionnaire in advance to each potential candidate. If you don’t have time, I’m happy to create one for you. Tally the results. Then decide if you really do want to develop a closer bond. If you do, then you might think about negotiating a friendship contract at the beginning of the relationship, similar to a pre-nuptial agreement.”

There was silence at the other end of the phone as Mary digested this incredible idea.

“And for spending time with you offering this very good advice,” I went on, “I’ll be sending you a bill for $50.”

Mary didn’t laugh. I think my friendship is really quite cheap, considering. What do you think?

Would you do this as, or to, a friend? What are your experiences?

Creatively Yours,

Nellie

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Best selling author Jacobs has chosen to designate every November 1st as International Acknowledgment and Appreciation Day (IAAD). For more details, visit: http://nelliejacobs.wordpress.com/2009/01/29/international-appreciation-and-acknowledgement-day-iaad-november-1/
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mok-front-cover1.jpg Are you member or facilitator of a book club, study group, organization, educational institution or workplace?

“Making Opportunity Knock” provides excellent material for in-depth group discussion and debate as well as personal insights and self-discovery. For details, visit http://www.ignitingimagination.com/bestsellingauthor/makingopportunityknock.html

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LINKS:

Website: http://www.ignitingimagination.com

Internet Radio Show: http://blogtalkradio.com/igniting-imagination

All episodes are numbered, archived, and available for your listening enjoyment anytime, anywhere.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nelliejacobs

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nelliejacobs

Twitter: http://twitter.com/nelliejacobs

How Did Van Gogh Become Famous?

I was fortunate to visit the remarkable, thought-provoking Van Gogh exhibit at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.

I came away with my mind spinning with all sorts of thoughts/inspiration/ideas. However, the particularly burning question that consumed me was how Van Gogh-who barely sold a painting in his lifetime-without current influence of social media became so famous in the years following his untimely death.

Curiosity overtook. I conducted intensive research (simply Googling “How did Van Gogh become famous?”) and, to my surprise, I discovered two sites that begin to answer the question:

1. The Woman Who Brought Van Gogh to the World

2. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger

Barely a year after Vincent’s death, his own brother and steadfast supporter Theo died. Theo’s wife Joanna was left a widow with a baby, an art gallery – and an entire catalogue of her brother-in-law’s paintings. Relying on her late husband’s advice to keep the collection together, as well as the experience and support of trusted friends and experts in business, she set out to create a buzz….

Johanna’s strategies were so successful over time they became what we would now refer to as viral.

Always curious about the road people travel towards their successes, I would love to know exactly how YOU created a buzz for your products and services? Share with readers your experiences, viewpoints, and suggestions in the comment section below.

Creatively Yours,

Nellie

Are you member or facilitator of a book club, study group, organization, educational institution or workplace?

Marci Segal, founder of World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15-21 featured in chapter 5, speaking at "Making Opportunity Knocking" launch.

Marci Segal, founder of World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15-21 featured in chapter 5, speaking at “Making Opportunity Knocking” launch.

“Making Opportunity Knock” provides excellent material for in-depth group discussion and debate as well as personal insights and self-discovery. For details, visit http://www.ignitingimagination.com/bestsellingauthor/makingopportunityknock.html

 ________________

LINKS:

Website: http://www.ignitingimagination.com

Internet Radio Show: http://blogtalkradio.com/igniting-imagination

All episodes are numbered, archived, and available for your listening enjoyment anytime, anywhere.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nelliejacobs

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nelliejacobs

Twitter: http://twitter.com/nelliejacobs

Become a Friend/Follower on:

Building Online Presence: Spilling the Beans2

In the previous post about building online presence, one tip given recommended searching your name or business on Google to find out which and how many websites refer to them.

For some reason, this number can fluctuate wildly. As example, last week searching my name indicated just over 8 million websites; yet, the other day, there were more than ten times that number:

Click image to find out the number of sites today. Search YOUR name.

Here are a few more ways to increase online presence.

1. Post a description of and link to your coming events, products or services online blog, website, calendar, etc.

For instance, asked to speak about my book and personal experiences  to recent immigrants at an event at a local library, I posted the invitation on my website (http://www.ignitingimagination.com/images/MOK_GiftsFlyer.pdf ) and announced the event widely, including on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin with a link to the invitation. A notice of the event was also sent to media and added to some of their online calenders:

Click on image to link to calendar

2. After the event, post an account and/or upload photos:

Speaking in October, 2011 about about how my parents’ immigrant experiences and attitudes led to my new book “Making Opportunity Knock”

In the following photo, I’m posing with recently re-elected Kathleen Wynne (far left,  Provincial Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs), event coordinator Karen Fraser (2nd from right, founder of “Women Like Me” who is featured in Chapter 3,  “Making Opportunity Knock“, which is also the book’s title) and Nawal Ateeq, this event’s co-cordinator.

A few weeks later, I was invited to present books to speakers at a networking event for foreign-trained engineers hosted at the same library:

Presenting a copy of “Making Opportunity Knock” to speaker Mr. Richard B. Jones, Business Counsel at Law

3. Host your own online radio show.

Here’s a link to an article I wrote about researching possible networks through which I’d broadcast my show. Detailed are my considerations and findings before making a decision in 2008: http://nelliejacobs.wordpress.com/2009/01/page/3

Since then, I’ve produced and hosted a series of 35 episodes, all of which are numbered and archived. You can access/download them at your leisure through BlogTalkRadio or iTunes complete playlist.

4. Become a media guest interviewed about your specialty, product or service. Contact media. Send a press release. Ask people in your networks to recommend you.

Here’s one one of  two interviews on the Liquid Lunch online TV show:

Click on image to view interview

For a growing list of interviews I’ve done covering a range of topics, with links to their online television, radio and magazine sites, visit my website page: http://www.ignitingimagination.com/eventsmediasupporters.html

4. Post on YouTube.

Here are two programs/applications I used to create videos. I enjoyed learning how to implement and adapt them to my purposes:

a) Go!Animate> Again experimenting, I created dialogue scripts for the characters  in these three very short animations. Each segment features a point taken from my PowerPoint presentation about boosting creativity. I also learned how to include pop-up call-outs.

Click on image to view the video

Click on image to view video

Click on image to view this video

b) Authorstream> Transfer PowerPoints into movies:

Click on image to watch video

In the next post I will offer free info + links marketing “experts” provided me for big bucks. Really? Really!

For past and future events and their links: go here.

Click here to contact me with questions about any of my products and services, ordering books for yourself, as a gift or bulk discounts for your organization/business, or to book me for interviews or as a speaker for your group.

A portion of all proceeds will be donated for Kidney Transplantation and Research.

You are welcome to share your experiences, viewpoints, and suggestions in the comment section below.

All the best!

Creatively Yours,

Nellie

Next Post: Building Online Presence: Spilling the Beans3

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LINKS:

Website: http://www.ignitingimagination.com

Internet Radio Show: http://blogtalkradio.com/igniting-imaginationll episodes are numbered, archived, and available for your listening enjoyment anytime, anywhere.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nelliejacobs

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nelliejacobs

Twitter: http://twitter.com/nelliejacobs

Become a Friend/Follower on:

Building Online Presence: Spilling the Beans

Part 1

Someone I was helping out in Alberta last month told me he’d researched Nellie Jacobs on Google before calling, and was astonished that more than 11 million sites came up. Since I wasn’t in the habit of checking my own name, I was surprised to hear it, too.

Instead, for years since signing onto Google Alerts, I’ve clicked on links whenever I’m emailed notifications that my name, website and “grading the teacher” were mentioned online.

That’s how I found out that an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teacher working in Thailand has used elements of  the report card in my book Grading the Teacher (published in 1996 by Penguin Books) to  improve his teaching.

To read his September 2011 blog post  “A quest to become a better teacher: A blog challenge PART 1″,  click here.

So, after the call with the Albertan businessman was done, I entered my name on Google-search, and this is what I found:

Click on image to Google-search yourself

Not all the sites are related to me.

Sometimes, the spelling of my name is changed. Other times, my first and last names are separated. Some sites are obituaries for a few dead Nellie Jacobs-oh, my!

There’s an award-winning horse-rider Nellie Jacobs who rounds up cattle.  See her doing just that in this video.

Another is a sometimes reviled character in books about the Civil War written by Harry Turtledove. Read about her in his Southern Victory Series.

There’s even one site that offers gold and silver mining stocks, which I think is an appropriate metaphor for the “Mining Your Resources” series of books I’m writing and publishing:

Click on image to go to site.

And yet, many of the 11,700,000 (as of today) sites are linked to me.

These are the result of years spent in the development and cultivating my name, brand, products and services online. Based on my personal research, experiences, and information paid for to “experts”, in this and next posts I’m happy to stimulate ideas and reveal ways that might help you build your own online presence.

I’ve done it by pursuing my different interests. Here’s a visual depiction of those interests-based on my Twitter posts, followers and following-posted on Mirror.me website:

Click on image to see how you are depicted.

Yes, I twitter and tweet (and twirl and swirl).

I’ve learned a lot through my followers and those I follow. Their links have led me to all kinds of knowledge. I’ve connected with fascinating people around the world. I’ve re-tweeted their postings, and they have mine. I’ve supported and promoted their events and products, and they have mine.

There’s a special challenge to getting new followers, and I refuse to pay for it. My aim? To get to a million followers within a year. Ha!!! Only 999,064 to go, as of today.

What are the chances?

For past and future events and their links: go here.

Click here to contact me with questions about becoming an agent for any of my products and services, ordering books for bulk discounts for your organization/business, or to book me for interviews or as a speaker for your group.

A portion of all proceeds will be donated for Kidney Transplantation and Research.

You are welcome to share your experiences, viewpoints, and suggestions in the comment section below.

All the best!

Creatively Yours,

Nellie

Next Post: Building Online Presence: Spilling the Beans 2

 ________________

LINKS:

Website: http://www.ignitingimagination.com

Internet Radio Show: http://blogtalkradio.com/igniting-imaginationll episodes are numbered, archived, and available for your listening enjoyment anytime, anywhere.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nelliejacobs

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nelliejacobs

Twitter: http://twitter.com/nelliejacobs

Become a Friend/Follower on: