Posted by: Liz Massey | November 16, 2008

Surf’s Up: Creativity Links for November 16, 2008


Photo courtesy SXC.

Motivating creative people in the workplace, another be-creative-every-day challenge, the rise of online book reviews, and a couple of photo related links are this week’s harvest from the creative blog-o-sphere!

1. Mark over at Wishful Thinking blog started a fascinating series this month on how to motivate creative people in the workplace. It’s a very solidly grounded, common-sense type series, but it will get you thinking in some fresh directions.

In his introduction to the series, he writes about why a focus on motivation is so useful:

“There’s often a sense that ‘things are a little different’ in the creative department. Even in companies where the whole operation is seen as creative, they often see themselves as different to more ‘corporate’ companies.

“This is part of a long tradition of seeing creative people as somehow different, deviant, slightly off the wall and incomprehensible to normal people. And let’s be honest, we do like to play up to the image. Psychologists have devoted enormous efforts to trying to analyze, define and measure the ‘creative personality’ — but it may interest you to know that they have not had much success. Where they have succeeded however, is in demonstrating the importance of motivation in creative performance.”

Additional posts in the series cover intrinsic, extrinsic, personal and peer-influenced motivation. Since motivation is a huge factor in maintaining creative momentum, reading this series can be highly helpful.

2. It seems month-long artistic challenges, such as NaNoWriMo for novelists or NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) are all the rage these days. And visual artists have at least one challenge of their very own—Art Every Day Month!

Sponsored by Leah Piken Kolidas of the Creative Every Day blog, Art Every Day Month challenges artists to create a work for each day of the month in November. One of my favorite artists, Tammy Vitale of Women, Art, Life: Weaving It All Together is participating, and sharing her output with readers. And, heck, the month isn’t over yet—why not join this happy community of creators for the rest of November?

Also, if one month of daily creating isn’t enough, Leah has been sponsoring a year-long creativity challenge, so you can also join in on her fiesta of creative facilitation until the ball drops on New Year’s Eve!

3. Many in traditional offline media have routinely moaned about the Internet’s supposedly all-negative impact on the sales of newspapers, magazines, books, etc., but Anne Edwards, guest posting at The Book Connection blog, recently pointed out how online book review sites can actually help book authors get the word out about their work.

Anne, co-author of The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing, says:

“If you are among the readers who like to know what a book is about and whether it is worth reading, you probably look to reviews for that information. You may also have noticed that your favorite newspaper has cut back on reviews or deleted them altogether.”

But fear not, because the proliferation of online book review sites, with their varying levels of professionalism and objectivity, have actually helped more people get interested in the books being reviewed, she says.

“It is quite likely that more readers are visiting review sites online than ever read reviews in the newspaper. Reasons for this may be the reviews are written in less formal language that does not condescend to the reader, they can be accessed any time as always available online, and the reviews are shorter which is something a time conscious reader will consider.”

She also mentions a number of places to check out good reviews. If you’d like to expand into writing book reviews, or find more good books worth reading, this post might be a great place to start.

Bonus Links!

The 25 Best News Photographs
Vanity Fair picked 25 of the most resonant news photos of the last century and is having readers vote on which one they think is the all-time best.

Six Tips for Taking Better Camera Phone Photos at Night
From the My GPS Camera Phone blog.


  1. Hi – thanks for the shout out! Much appreciated. Leah deserves much credit for corraling us artists yearly (like herding cats, a friend once said to me) and giving us a place where we can push ourselves to new heights. I look forward to this every year!

  2. thanks so much for the mention! i love the idea of herding cats too. 🙂

  3. Thanks, much appreciated.

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