What helps you be a better creative writer?

Written by Verne on August 8th, 2007

On any given day, I write a lot. From well-crafted emails to strategic creative briefs to catchy marketing copy and taglines, writing happens to be a big part of my life, and thankfully, one aspect that I also thoroughly enjoy. However, authoring creativebriefing.com is really my first attempt at free-form creative writing.

What I’ve learned throughout this process is that writing for yourself and writing for an audience is very different. What’s more, I’ve learned that writing for email recipients, designers, consumers, and blog readers are all very distinctly unique arts as well.

So my question to everyone is this: what helps you be a better creative writer? I’d really be interested in reading about the things that have helped you craft the written masterpieces that continue to entertain and inspire your readers (whether it be for your blog or some other medium).

I’ve come across a handful of exceptional writing and I’ve been fortunate enough to even know a few exceptional writers (to name a few: Gizelle Lau, Satish Kanwar, Andrew Peek). It’s time to share your secrets!

My prescription? Read. A lot.

What’s yours? 

If I get enough responses I’ll consolidate everything into a nice and friendly list, so comment away!

35 days later

Written by Verne on August 5th, 2007

35 days have passed since the launch of this blog, and in that time, I am happy to have written 17 marketing, design, and entrepreneur-focused articles. There is still a long way to go in building up my readerbase and subscriberbase to a healthy number, but I was pleased to see that over the course of this maiden month, traffic did indeed steadily increase.

Naturally, like all things, creativebriefing.com is about growth and improvement. I hope to continue developing my abilities to entertain readers through my writing and insight, while in return, I hope to hear some feedback on how I can do that more effectively.

In the mean time, here’s a recap of this first month’s best posts:

Project: Home Office
I received a lot of great recommendations from different people on what to include in my creative haven (aka my soon-to-be home office). I’ll soon be writing a follow-up to this post to consolidate my shopping list and to once again call for more feedback. Feel free to keep adding to the list!

Branded Comments
I carried on a great discussion with graphic designer David Airey on the topic of branding your comments and avatars on blogs. Is it spam? Does it work? Does it deteriorate the concept of personal interaction that is the premise of blogging and today’s online social tools? You be the judge.

Non-traditional marketing
An interesting case of non-traditional marketing using a high-reach marketing medium. Too bad nobody knows what they’re selling.

5 ways to improve your agency relationship
The one that started it all! A quick and dirty list of 5 things anybody working with a creative agency should know. Don’t be labelled as a ‘delinquent’ client! Brighten your agency’s day with these 5 simple tips.

Return on Entrepreneurship
This is a recent post that hasn’t quite made it to the top 5 list, but it’s a personal favourite. It takes a lot to leap into an entrepreneurial career, but man does it feel great. This post is a reflection of my celebration of entrepreneurship. If you’re an entrepreneur or a freelancer, then I want to hear about your ROE!

Thanks to all those who have contributed to the growth of creativebriefing.com in this first month! I hope you’ll continue to support this blog by subscribing to its RSS and by leaving your comments!

Moments of brilliance

Written by Verne on August 3rd, 2007

In my periodic search for musical inspiration, I came upon this clip of John Mayer performing in a music store somewhere for a small crowd. John combines two of my favourite songs in this clip, and whether you’re a music/John Mayer fan or not, I guarantee you this will leave you in awe.

It takes some time before it starts, but he gets into things around 5:00 (counting down). The real magic begins at around 1:15.

Besides showcasing what a phenomenal musician John is, this video truly was an inspiration to watch. When he gets to the solo, you can really tell John leaves the music store for about 20 seconds and hits musical euphoria. Caught in his own moment of glory, doing only what he does best – create music.

These moments are pure, rich, and rare. They are moments that define exactly what you’re made of. These are moments you should strive for, whether you’re a designer, a writer, a strategist, or in this case, a musician. These are your moments of brilliance.

Have you ever experienced one of these moments?

Return on Entrepreneurship

Written by Verne on July 31st, 2007

Every now and then, my dad still likes to ask me whether I’d like to be a doctor or a lawyer, despite the fact that I’m one month away from finishing my undergrad in business. I’ve done a few things to journey away from what he would considere a ‘sound decision’ in his time – the first in studying for a non-professional career, and the second and most recent in opting to not pursue a desk job, but an entrepreneurial life instead. One more ambitious surprise and I just might give him an ulcer.

Over dinner tonight, he told me that in his day, the best opportunities for young adults like me would have been in either finding a secure job with the government (which you would work for your entire life), or in investing in further education. Along with an earlier conversation over the possible future return on my $40,000 university investment with my close friend and business partner Satish, I was intrigued to consider exactly what I have gained by taking ‘the road less traveled’.

I call it ROE: Return on Entrepreneurship. It is the sum of benefits, tangible or not, that have resulted in one’s dedication and commitment to an entrepreneurial way of life. (this includes the freelancers!)

Here’s some of my ROE after 3 years and 9 months:

  • I have learned the value of proper client relationship management and more importantly, how to do it
  • I have met and worked with some of the most innovative and talented individuals in the realm of marketing and design
  • I have seen the world from the little guy’s perspective so that I can appreciate the hard work it takes to be the bigger guy (a perspective I’ve yet to attain)
  • I have grown respect for people with an eye for design and the business sense to apply it effectively in the context of marketing
  • I have realized that managing people is an art, not a science
  • I have learned how to run a business with nothing more than a website and some love
  • I have given myself the opportunity to do something I am passionate about everyday

What’s your Return on Entrepreneurship?

How to brand your website’s URL, Part 3: custom file extensions

Written by Verne on July 27th, 2007

When you see a .doc, you know exactly what kind of file it is, and you probably know what company is behind it. Why shouldn’t this form of brand recognition transcend into the online realm? Why should we be constrained to the .html’s and .php’s of today’s web world?

This third installment of How to brand your website’s URL continues to show you how you can and should be customizing even the slightest details of your website’s URL by using your own cutomized file extensions.

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