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What Would You Like Me to Write About in 2008?

Make a wish...

Photo by ButterflySha

Happy New Year! I hope 2008 will be a creative and fulfilling year for you.

The holiday has given me a little time to reflect on this blog and what I want to do with it this year. I’ve got plenty of ideas lined up – but as the blog is designed to help you realise your creative ambitions, I’d like to hear what you would like me to write about in 2008…

So it would be really helpful if you would leave a comment or send an e-mail with your answers to any or all of the following questions:

1. What were your favourite posts on Wishful Thinking in 2007? Why?

If you’re new to the blog have a look at the Best of Wishful Thinking 2007 to get an idea of the topics I write about.

2. What topics would you like me to write about in 2008?

I mostly write about creativity, managing creativity, emotional intelligence and the challenges faced by creative professionals. I also touch on specific creative industries and issues relevant to them. Have a look at the categories list in the right sidebar to get a sense of the topics I cover.

So if you would like more posts about particular topics, now’s a good time to speak up!

3. Are there any specific issues you’d like me to address?

I try to address the creative and work-related challenges faced by creative professionals, and to get a reasonable balance between the needs of freelancers and agency/company workers.

Are there any creative challenges, problems or situations you face in your work that you’d like me to address?

Comments

  1. Hi Mark,

    I’d love to see you write more about business expansion: what steps does the creative professional need to take when lifting their business to the next level?

    Of course that’s all relative to your current position, but perhaps a series of posts is possible, catering to differing levels of progress.

    I for one am looking to expand, and I have a few ideas, but I’m sure you’re just the person to help me focus.

    Keep up the great blogging.

  2. Thanks David, excellent idea! I’ll get the little grey cells working on it…

  3. Hi Mark,
    I’d love to hear you talk about how to stay organized as a creative person. In particular, I’m interested in suggestions about logging ideas and tasks that pop into one’s head at random times.

    I currently have about four notebooks – some huge, some tiny – plus my computer. I need to cut down the number of entry points, but find that this variety is stimulating to my creativity, and that at different times, I need different formats for writing about my ideas. Getting them all into one place so that they are actionable is an overwhelming task. How much information am I losing for instance by summarizing my beautiful journal entry into a line of text in an outlook task?

    I know that some research on designer’s logbooks (http://caneelian.blogspot.com/2007/04/lora-oehlberg-on-logbooks-journals.html) has been done, but I don’t feel much closer to an answer. Can you let us know what you have found that works?

  4. Hi Caneel,

    Good questions – organisation and creativity are hot topics on this blog. Did you see my e-book about Time Management for Creative People? It was originally a series for Business of Design Online.

    The following posts in particular might answer some of your questions:

    Why you need to be organised to be creative

    Get things off your mind – looks at where you store ideas

    Review your commitments – what to do once you’ve captured your ideas

    You can also download the e-book which contains all the posts from the series.

    Does that help? Are there any aspects of the topic you’d like me to look at in more depth?

    And thanks for reminding me of your notebooks post – excellent piece!

  5. Mark,

    I just read your e-book, and found it very useful. I’d like to see you talk about how to stay motivated and productive. I find that I am able to for weeks at a time, feeling great at the end of the day, but then it seems like I have a need for unstructured time. It’s like I resist continuing and I give in to all the guilty pleasures of TV, not planning my time at all, and just doing what I want when I want. I don’t overdo it when I am planning, so it isn’t burnout. This would be OK if it only went on for a couple of days but sometimes it goes on for weeks. Thankfully I don’t “need” to bring in income from my business yet as my husband has been able to support us and I because I do have a part-time job. But this tendency worries me. I’d hate to think it’s immaturity or worse, that it means I’ll never really sustain any type of discipline long enough to accomplish a successful business and making good money.

  6. Hi Mark,

    a very happy new year to you too. I’d like you to get involved with the “content manifesto” which you can find here:

    http://www.thekaiser-edition.com/the-content-manifesto/

    Yes, I’d like that very much.

    Warm regards as always,

    Marcus/Sacrum/The Kaiser.

  7. C.M. – thanks for the request. I’ll be writing some posts about how to keep New Year’s Resolutions this week. Can you let me know whether they are helpful re your motivation and productivity goals?

    The Kaiser – thanks for the invitation. I noticed the Content Manifesto – it looks like the kind of thing I instinctively agree with. I’ll give it a proper read (over a cup of tea and cake) and get back to you.

  8. Good man, good man.

  9. Hi Mark,

    Something that I have been pondering myself is how the nature of advertising is changing. Previously we have been hired by brands to create ads to be placed over a variety of platforms. As times are changing, we are having to create much more engaging content to offer consumers experiences through brands. This is starting to lead to creatives being expected to know new skill sets for example writing short films or comedy sketches etc. What support can we offer creatives to manage this change and what new skill sets do you think agencies will need to employ?

    Thanks Mark

    Jamie

  10. Hi Jamie,

    Yes you’re definitely right that creatives are having to learn new skills – the days of the isolated creative department/silo are numbered. So I’ll be happy to write something about that.

    Would you agree that as well as having to learn new ‘creative’ skills such as working in different media, they are having to learn more collaborative skills, as they have to interact more closely with other disciplines and departments, as well as with clients? That was the impression I got from Tina when I interviewed her, she said that at Profero you are very much committed to integrating creatives with other disciplines within the agency.

  11. Hi Mark,

    Yes I would completely agree with that. For example, an automotive account we have requires us to work with 8 other agencies. We are fortunate to be in the position whereby the client recognises a good idea as a good idea no matter what the medium. This means that once the strategy is agreed we are required to work with these partners to implement that strategy within our own individual specialism.

    To your point, maybe we are heading towards a need whereby these interaction skills will also be required?

    Jamie

  12. Good example Jamie, it must be great to work with a client like that. Yes interaction and collaboration skills are critical to making it all happen. One of my mantras is that creativity happens between people as much as between the ears.

    Something I find useful in this respect is David Armano’s concept of t-shaped creativity, which is a nice resolution of the creative specialist v generalist debate. i.e. you need to have a deep knowledge of your own creative discipline (the long stroke of the ‘T’), but you also need to have some grasp of related and connected disciplines (the top of the ‘T’) in order to work effectively within a project network.

    So in your example each of the agencies needs to be ‘t-shaped’ in working on their core specialism with an awareness of the works in other media that are all expressions of the same strategy.

    Or to change the metaphor, traditionally creatives have been very good at focusing on their own specialism – now they are also required to develop their peripheral vision.