Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Capturing And Creating Your Genius



About every month or so I get asked what's the best way to get a book published? I am a published author sure but I have merely one book and I am the first to admit I was very very lucky in timing, idea, and most importantly getting signed with an awesome agent. That's to say, I'm not a publishing expert by any means. The second book I wrote instead of being published turned into a workshop- but the process I follow for any project I've worked on for the last 15 years or so starts the same way: Index Cards & Sharpies!


Above is what I refer to as my Writer's Kit, it consists of: a pack of 4x6 of index cards, an extra fine point Sharpie, a metallic package envelope from The Container Store, and super simple instructions: write. I give these out anytime I meet with someone who wants to talk about becoming a writer with the directions to just start jotting down any idea you have about your book/project. What stops people from doing anything in life is keeping things in their head and not capturing and working with their ideas. I can't tell you how many times someone has told me they really want to write something and then I see them a year later and they tell me the same thing having not even written one word. First step: get all ideas down in writing. 

The great thing about index cards is that you can write ideas on the front and sketch images on the back, they fit anywhere, are cheap, and you can shuffle and easily rearrange them. And the key is that you don't need to sit down and write everything all at once- just make notes as ideas hit you and eventually, even if it's a decade down the road, you'll have all the raw material you need to write something great (or at least concrete proof you shouldn't be a writer ;) ). 

I keep index cards and Sharpies with me at all times- they are in my purse, my nightstand, my car, etc. And whenever I come across anything that inspires me I write it down. Words, phrases, notes on articles I read, stick figures drawings, maps, all ideas go down on a separate card unless closely related. You'll also need a convenient and fun place to keep them- thus the funky envelope. I use a box but you'll get intimidated to fill a box so start with filling an envelope with ideas and then you'll be really excited when you're ready to expand. 


Next step is sketching out or combining ideas- for this I use a Canson hard cover artist sketchpad. I use the larger version for ME Mapping my life, but for my book and any other projects, including designing my workshops, I use the 9x12 size. I've diagnosed myself as a frustrated artist who really wanted to work with art supplies but didn't have the skills to draw so instead use them in any capacity I can even while I was working in business sales and training capacities. I've come to think of getting our ideas and life down in beautiful sketchpads as itself a form of ART. 

Once you have sketched out your ideas (or as in my workshop: your life) you are ready to use them as a blueprint for action and planning strategic next steps. Capture, sketch, plan, execute.

That's my process and so you can imagine how tickled I was when I saw the above video of Louis C.K. talking about his (@ 4:25). I adore him for many reasons but that he is a fellow i-card & Sharpie lover makes me swoon ;)

So no matter your idea or how it will be executed the small investment of a pack of Index Cards & Sharpies and in the words of Louis: 

LCK to Charlie
Now get going the world needs your GENIUS and all you need is a trip to Target to get started!!!!

Monday, July 1, 2013

OWNing TV Programing

Brene Brown & Oprah on Super Soul Sunday
Super Soul Sunday, Lifeclass, Oprah's Next Chapter, Our America... this is some of the best programming on TV. Oprah's OWN network has created a place where people can nourish their mind and spirits and it is a great space for the conversation of living our best lives. Well, mostly great. I know it is still in its start-up-ish stages and it takes time to build on ideas and there is the pesky issue of turning a profit and all, but I'm concerned.

I pay extra for the cable package that brings me OWN and it is well worth the price just to see the above shows I listed. But that said, as soon as I saw Life With La Toya as a featured program in an ad in this month's O Magazine I was taken aback. Oxygen was suppose to be a women's empowering station and now veering towards trash-tv. What kind of programming is OWN after?

My own OWN idea: Consider broadcasting high quality, well produced, online-originated, best life programming. My perfect example is what Jonathan Fields is doing with Good Life Project videos. In each 40minutes or so offering he interviews a successful author, business leader, or creative about how they're living a successful life. The videos are beautiful quality and really good content. Same thing with Marie TV with Marie Forleo who is helping people create businesses and lives they love. And it is amazing what Chase Jarvis is doing with creativeLIVE which hosts free online educational programming.

How could this work? Well bear with me I'm not a TV producer (but open to offer Sheri Salata :) ) but how about testing, with a profit sharing arrangement, already produced segments edited by OWN for time. Instead of running continuous Dateline six hour blocks try a Tuesday daytime schedule and expand from there. The content providers submit content that is keeping with living our best lives tone and Harpo Studios edits it for commercials and time.

Huffington Post became a huge success because it curated articles from outside sources. Think if OWN could be the go-to place for curating quality lifestyle content. And think of all the amazing conversations and video that is being produced by everyone from TED and the 92nd Street Y to Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee. I'd watch that!

I would be so bold as to suggest that nothing should be on OWN that Oprah herself would not watch. I recall her mentioning she wants to be held responsible for the energy she is bringing into the TV landscape (ala: Jill Bolte Taylor). And although I understand that OWN needs money coming in to keep itself healthy I would suggest that quality best life programming is ultimately the way to do that and keep OWN the place to nourish our minds, hearts, and spirits.