We creatives can’t sidestep the importance of “knowing our stuff.” I’ll include some info related to the fundamentals of certain fields – whether it’s writing, design, entrepreneurship, blogging, or whatever field might be of interest to you.

Embracing Challenges for Growth

Image: Unsplash.com

Image: Unsplash.com

There are problems, there are challenges, and there are obstacles. They’re not the same.

Harrison Ford got sick on the set of Steven Spielberg’s film Raiders of the Lost Ark.

One morning, scheduled for an intense sword fight scene with a formidable foe, Ford didn’t feel up to the task. So, he asked Spielberg to make a change. Spielberg agreed. Out of sheer necessity, Ford made a creative choice, a choice that would make for arguably the film’s most memorable scene.

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A Ripe Time for Introverted Creatives & Entrepreneurs

Image: Unsplash.com

Image: Unsplash.com

There’s never been a better time for you to share your message and creative brilliance with the world.

Imagine if Jonas Salk discovered the polio vaccine, but cowered at the prospect of receiving publicity or criticism or of appearing vain by drawing attention to himself so he decided to keep the discovery to himself, that would be irresponsible, wouldn’t it?

And yet a few of us creatives somehow think it’s okay if we keep what we create to ourselves or that the world has conspired against us if it’s not showing up at our studio or shed doors begging to see and buy the antidotes to their suffering that we’ve created. Read more

Where Creatives Find Know-How, Community, & Affirmation

Image: Creative Commons

Image: Creative Commons

In this Age of Convenient Information Access and ready-made persona formation, why invest time and money in any training?

It was a warm sunny morning in Taos, New Mexico when I guided fifteen writers through a meditative yoga flow. When I asked them to check in with questions such as, “What am I here for?” and “What am I writing for?” a couple of them got watery eyes. Read more

Expanding Visibility – Sharing Your Ideas

Tracking Wonder - Sharing your ideas

Waiting for a challenge-free life before we expand our work’s visibility and sharing our ideas is a fool’s errand.

Thought leadership demands that  you own your authority in order to create impact.

Karen had a big art exhibit approaching in two weeks.

Large finished canvases lay stretched in two rooms of her studio in upstate New York, where she and her husband had moved seven years earlier.

While she prepared one of her final canvases, their three-year-old boy wandered off into another room. By the time she had come out of her artistic flow to search for him, she found the gleeful boy in the next room covered in paint and sprawled across one of her canvases. Two others were ruined.

How she responded and the perspective she has gained in the past several years reflects the wisdom I am seeing and hearing among numerous business artists.  Read more

6 Books on Thought Leadership You Should Read

Tracking Wonder - Books on Thought Leadership

To lead means you expose yourself on the front lines. No hiding.

Launching a trade nonfiction book is one of the most powerful ways to lead. And one of the most nerve-wracking. And one of the most rewarding for you and your audience.

I devour and break down some 40 or so trade nonfiction books a year in business, creativity, innovation, design, psychology, writing, publishing, and science. Another dozen books or so of fiction. A handful of books of essays and poetry a year.

I do so to keep myself nimble and to aid our clients in shaping the best books, brands, and offers possible.

By request, I’m reviewing here 6 of the top thought leadership books I’ve read recently that have come across my desk. These are 6 books I think give Tracking Wonder’s audience the most value to do what we help you do. They can help you master your work flow & creative cycle and own your place in the world as a thought leader, conversation leader, and business artist.  Read more

Impostor’s Syndrome & Other Limiting Beliefs Holding You Back

tracking wonder - imposters syndrome

Even being at the height of your career is no guarantee you’ll feel comfortable in your own professional skin. Afflictions like impostor’s syndrome and other limiting beliefs could be holding you back from experiencing deeper fulfillment and creating greater impact.

I’m well acquainted with all of these afflictions because I’ve had my version of each of them at different stages. Read more

When to Take a Break From Blogging

Image: Unsplash.com

Image: Unsplash.com

If something meaningful is driving you to write a blog – something more than racking up big numbers – then maybe, and I do mean the tentative “maybe,” it would be wise to break from blogging and the audience you’ve been building.

Now I’m not suggesting you get lax. I’m adamant about self-discipline, creative persistence, and organic systems to sustain creative momentum.

There’s a well known commandment in the blogger morality zone:

Don’t take breaks in blogging, or your readers will leave you.”

Read more

Navigating the Challenges of Writing Your Book

Tracking Wonder - Challenges of Writing Your Book

 

Here is what I cannot stop asking myself: How do people get through the inevitable challenge of writing and create their best work? What drives them?

Really, that question has driven me for years to experiment with, research, and create.

It’s driven me to track wonder.

It’s one thing to fall in love with a fantasy. It’s another thing to stand in love with a dream.

Members in the Tracking Wonder community and ecosystem are creating their best work. Like, every week. It’s a pretty astonishing to witness. They’re launching workshops, websites, writing books, poetry & building businesses.

But none of them are without challenges. Read more

Guidelines for Crafting Story

Image: Unsplash

Image: Unsplash

So who’s your Story about?

I generally feel a wee bit disoriented right after shaping a book proposal.

What’s it worth? I wondered. What if my agent rejects it? What if this is all a fool’s errand? What have I done with my life? Okay, I don’t go quite that far.

Last time this happened, my six-year-old peeked in my study. She wanted to show me her outfit – a summer skirt and a short-sleever atop a long-sleever.

“I just couldn’t wait any longer to wear summer clothes,” she said as she twirled around the study. And at that moment, I remembered again why I’m writing this book, why I’m building Tracking Wonder, why I utterly adore engaging readers. Read more

How Many Drafts Does it Take to Write a Book?

Image: Unsplash

Image: Unsplash

Writing drafts is a process of discovery

You know, Michael Bungay Stanier didn’t write his elegant book The Coaching Habit in one draft. Or two. Or three. He wrote multiple drafts. In fact, he presented the book with multiple angles and in multiple structures to Workman Publishing, who had published his previous book Do More Great Work (that sold hundreds of thousands of copies) but to no avail.

Finally, after many attempts at getting his book published, Michael took matters into his own hands, hired his own publishing team, and published The Coaching Habit with his own Box of Crayons Press. Read more