Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My class

Remember the class I'm teaching this summer? Well here's a link to sign up:


The copy got chopped a bit on their web site but I'm creating posters on
my own and I'm going to put them up in libraries, coffee shops, etc.

Fun stuff!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Harmonic Wealth

Well I'm sure you've read my other posts about my Harmonic Wealth Weekend experiences with James Ray (check here and here if you haven't).

When you'd like a taste of it for yourself, pick up James Ray's new book "Harmonic Wealth".

James discusses his book in this short video. Enjoy! :)

Monday, April 14, 2008

I Rock

It is a rare day when I pat myself on the back (mental note: give myself more praise, more often) but Friday was one of those days.

A few weeks ago while browsing the web site for Longmont Free University (a local community "college"...they offer classes to enrich the community but very few are for credit in the traditional college sense), I checked out their writing classes. They currently offer a few of the more creative type like how to write a villain & hero/heroine for your novel, etc.

What I didn't see was a course offering how to actually make some money as a writer. The proverbial light bulb went off in my head. :)

I decided there may be a few other people who enjoy writing and enjoy getting paid. I thought they would be interested in learning how to do just that: write and make some $$. Then I had the very bold idea that I should teach them. Well it seemed like a bold idea to me anyway. ;)

And then I took what felt like an even bigger, bolder step and put together my ideas and crafted some copy for the course.

Then I sat on it for a few days. Rewrote it, tweaked it and put together a rough course outline.

After some consultations with friends (including Mary and Rev. Keith...both of whom I ADORE), I submitted my idea to Longmont Free University.

A few hours later a very nice lady from their offices called me to discuss the class.

Naturally being me, I was worried she would have a trillion questions about my qualifications, my background and just what I expected to be teaching.

With some hesitation, I called her back and set up an appointment for the next day when we would go over the class details.

Friday morning we met and guess what? She loved the idea!

All she wanted to talk about where specific dates, prices, how I get paid, when the course is listed and what rooms I can teach in.

It was so easy! I was beside myself with giddiness after I left. Woo hoo for me! It will be so fun.

The real lesson I've already taught myself is to act on ideas as I get them, pounce on opportunities as they arise and go forward despite my ego-driven knee-quaking fear. ;) It really was a very cool experience and I'm excited to have a few more soon!

As soon as there is an online listing, I'll post it here.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

What Do Gardeners and Potters Have in Common with Copywriters?

Most artistic expressions have similar correlations that can be drawn between them (or so I believe).

For the last few weeks, I've been gardening: I'm growing sprouts for lavender, basil, oregano, tomatoes and peppers.

And this past Tuesday I began a pottery class.

I've uncovered lessons in both practices as I believe both gardening and pottery-making are true art forms...as is copywriting.

So what are the commonalities? How are these 3 things like the other? (I can't help it a song just popped in my head- the Sesame Street song "One of these things is not like the other"!). Are these 3 things alike or not?

They are in several ways including learning to be present, tapping into patience and accepting and believing that something new will be transformed from the current state we are working with.

Allow me to explain...

When gardening you must present so that you are conscious of where you are planting your seeds (not too close and not too far apart - which is another beautiful metaphor for relationships but I digress), when you are planting them and how they are planted.

When throwing your pot (I have yet to call myself a potter), you must be very present with the material you are working with.

I found that when I was centering my clay (the part where you make sure the clay is centered and attached properly to the wheel), I had to stop thinking about what I was doing...and just do it! The more I learned to let go of what I thought I should do, the easier it was to actually do it.

Cool huh?!

And as I formed the clay into my bowl, allowing the present moment and the movement of the clay with the gentle touch from my hands, the clay simply transformed itself. It became the pot.

There's a very significant lesson in that. All new things come to form and fruition with simple and gentle guidance. It's the difference between power and force. Some may say that's just semantics but it's not.

Power is found inside of us, it is innate, it is our direct line from the Divine. Power simply allows something to come forth into the world.

Force is what we make happen.

I see the difference between the two as being a difference of faith. When we have faith that all things happen in due time and in due course (with appropriate levels of action), then we have tapped into the force within us, the God potential inside of ourselves.

Power is what we do when there is a lack of belief. When we think we have to steer our own ships with no outside assistance.

Force requires patience, unyielding belief and faith.

To me force is the most beautiful of the two because of that extra unseen factor, that mystical quality that faith requires.

I've taken a bit of tangent to explain how gardening, potting and copywriting are all linked! But I think they are all similar in the respect that they require faith, patience, persistence, belief in an unseen force and a willingness to tap into that force and let a new development unfurl from its current state.

There's a transformation that takes place when you plant a sprout, when you take a piece of clay and you take some words. They all start as being in one state and eventually grow and become another state (the sprout becomes a seedling which becomes plant, the piece of clay becomes a bowl, a vase, etc and words become a power within someone compelling them to act in a certain way).

And that's the beauty of art: showing us how things change states and evolve...and the life that flows through each of those changes to create a new being in the world. Fascinating!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Where's Your Gunk Coming From?

This is an interesting article by Michael Fortin. He discusses his path to copywriting (beginning as an insurance salesman and eventually hanging his own proverbial shingle as an independent freelancer and eventual business owner).

In the comments section someone asked Michael about his opinion on college education vs. real-world experience.

He makes interesting points for both sides and I've always been of the belief that college was an important part of a person's education but it is definitely not the last step...nor is an MBA or a PhD or any other advanced degree. Learning is a lifelong process.

To be a true student of your craft (whether that's copywriting or another craft), studying is a necessary part of your growth and development.

All great leaders in this world are great readers. What you fill your mind with through books, music, audio programs, movies, etc...all of those things contribute to your development (or lack thereof). It's definitely true in copywriting because it is an art. And art is an expression of your internal state or it comes from your internal state so it reflects whatever is going on inside of you. If you've got gunk in there, there'll be gunk in your copy.

I take this to heart in all areas of my life. I'm particular about what I read, what I watch on TV (the few hours I watch), what movies I see and even the people I spend time with. I've battled through enough gunk in my life which accumulated before I was old enough to fend it off. So I've decided to monitor the incoming gunk and keep it to a minimum!

What can you do to ward off the gunk? Turn off the heavy metal music and turn on a personal development audio CD instead? Maybe you can turn off the TV, skip the nightly news and read a book instead.

Try it for a week and see what happens. Notice if there's a difference in the way you feel and the way you express yourself.

It's had a substantial impact on my life and well-being, perhaps it will do the same for you.