I’ve got some bad news

Let’s say someone you know walks over to you sombrely and says:

“I’ve got some bad news”

No doubt you’ll get a sudden knot in your stomach and a hankering to know just what the news could be.

What’s the cause of that sudden anxiety?

Well, lets face it…

Your first thought is naturally; “how will this affect me?”

Can’t help it. Can’t fight it. It’s human nature. Even if the news will only affect you by proxy that’s the first question your mind and body asks.

That’s why WIIFM is so important when trying to sell something.

‘What’s in it for me?’. WIIFM.

That’s the most important question to answer – way before anything else, way before you even try to engage in a sale.

If you haven’t answered that in your sales call/article/advert/email then any conversions will be due to blind luck.

Ashley Brown

(image credit: The Telegraph)

Does your writing crackle?

I’ve been trying to do some screenwriting recently.

It was actually the first kind of creative writing I ever really did.

Because, as a kid (and as an adult), I’m the kind of person who couldn’t just watch a movie and enjoy it, I’d want to do my own version.

Anyway, I re-watched the movie ‘When Harry Met Sally’ the other day.

Why?

A) Because it’s a successful film that I really like

and

B) because it’s a very dialogue heavy film, and the dialogue is great.

After watching it I found a copy of the script online and, man, even when written down that dialogue is still incredible.

It crackles and sparkles. The screenwriter, Nora Ephron does an amazing job.

hazsall.png

You can see why Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan agreed to star in it.

As someone with more than a passing interest in acting I’d bite my agent’s hand off to be in it if I was sent the script.

(Although, I’d probably be kind of shocked as I don’t have an agent…)

Is your writing alive? Does it jump off the page and grab hold of the reader? Is it compelling?

If you answered no to any of those questions maybe you should try and turn that no into a yes.

Here’s the screenplay if you’re interested…

(image credit: Columbia Pictures)

Seeing the big picture – the creativity hack you often overlook…

Growing up, I lived in the countryside – which meant I was used to country roads and the pace that life moved at.

So, when I started driving, I was a little nervous about motorways and dual carriageways.

“Why?” asked my driving instructor, “if anything it’s easier. The more you can see of the road ahead, the more you can be ready for”.

And he’s right.

It’s like that with creativity.

The more you can see of the big picture, the easier it is to plan.

But I go one step further than this, I take it literally.

So I bought an A3 drawing pad. A nice big space for me to draft out and plan what I do.

It works.

Too often I see people writing on their phones.

Sure that’s okay for a Tinder message or a Whatsapp. But if you’re crafting sentences, writing paragraphs it’s better to see the whole page.

The bigger picture. It’s good.

A GDPR musing

Unless you’ve been living under a rock on the farthest corner of Venus, you’ve probably heard about GDPR.

And, like me, your inbox has no doubt been flooded by companies you’ve forgotten about – asking you to remember them and let them into your life.

It’s perhaps the one time that everyone in marketing is sending the same email!

What it does provide though, is a good chance to see just how creative your favourite brands can be when tackling the same thing.

I know there are some subject lines I’ve seen that have stuck out in the battlefield of my inbox!

If we can apply creativity here, we can well and truly apply it anywhere…

What if love is like a credit card?

what if love is like a credit card?

a mysterious one

where you can’t see the limit

time is the currency

oodles of precious time

as each moment passes, does it send us closer and closer to the limit?

to the edge

where we can’t go any further

do we hope to one day find a gold card?

one where too much is never enough

and what about those times when things last too long? when we spend too much?

do we bite into some horrible overdraft?

that we pay off in sleepless nights once things are over

head under the pillow

trying to drown out the soundtrack of happier times

the one that rings in your head

over and over

An entry into a diary I kept when I was 13

Dear diary, the last time I wrote in you I was a boy,
now I’m a man

I remember when you’d meet a 27 year old,
you’d think they were so big and scary

Big, scary, prepared,
with all their shit together

But, now I’m here, I can tell you that
deep down
I’m still you

Still a little bit lost,
still a little bit ready for adventure
still wide-eyed when exciting things happen

You know those things you worried about?

Zits and bullies and not being as clever as everyone
else?

Well, I’ve got good news,
in the end nothing you’re worrying about right now matters

But, what does matter is the lessons you learnt from them,
they made you feel inadequate yet also resilient

And that feeling of inadequacy will cheer you on to do
better things than you ever thought possible

And that resilience will mean you can roll with the punches,
while others find it hard to get back to their feet

I’m still you, you’re still me,
and wherever we go there we’ll be

The last time I wrote in you I was a boy,
this time I’m a man

Perhaps next time I write I’ll be an old man

With more stories to tell.

‘WHAT IF’ will be the most powerful words in your life so far.

They’ll keep you up many nights, wondering, thinking, planning and creating.

If I can offer you one bit of advice
when it does pay off,
drink in those moments – enjoy them, don’t move right onto the next
thing, and make the most of the people who understand you while they’re there.

That’s all I have to say.

I’m still you, you’re still me.
and wherever we go there we will be

Even though I look at the world with slightly older eyes, I’m still that
boy deep down.
I’m still you.