Discover more from Unsnooze Your Inbox
A creativity tip stolen from James Cameron
👉 I'm pretty sure he won't mind, but just in case, don't tell him
There’s a wonderful quote from James Cameron that appears in his Masterclass Course on filmmaking and storytelling.
“Before you radiate, you need to absorb”.
His take on creativity is that your ideas come from a mashup of all the inputs you've had. “All the films you've ever watched. All the books you've ever read. All the dreams you've ever had”.
When I speak to people who are struggling to create great content to market their business through newsletters or other content, a good number of them simply aren't getting enough quality input.
Not all, of course. But a lot.
If the only things you're reading are the blog posts and emails of your competitors, missives from marketing gurus on Twitter or what happens to scroll up on your Linkedin feed then there's no way you're absorbing enough quality material to radiate quality yourself.
In Steven Johnson's book Where Good Ideas Come From he highlights that innovations most often happen in what's known as the “adjacent possible”.
Something outside your current field – but not so far outside that no one can make the link yet.
If all you read is stuff inside your field your ideas will be so similar to all your competitors they'll be barely distinguishable.
But if you dip into adjacent fields your brain will pick up things you can apply. Perhaps not immediately: Tim Berners-Lee's ideas for the World Wide Web were inspired by the format of a Victorian “how to” book he read as a child.
But they'll come.
If you're in marketing that might mean a detour into psychology or anthropology. If you're in leadership then perhaps history or even animal behaviour.
And, of course, fiction works too. Our great writers understood human behaviour long before the scientists did.
(By the way, Stephen Johnson writes a newsletter on Substack that’s well worth following called, surprisingly enough, The Adjacent Possible. It’s full of material that will stretch your thinking in good ways).
And if you know someone who might benefit from this newsletter, please do share it with them. We even have a special bonus system if you refer 3 or more new subscribers.