The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is under way in Las Vegas, but it was the CES I went to 30 years ago that cemented my decision to start my career in the computer industry.
I had just started at EnTech, a Commodore 64 software company in Sun Valley, but I was still going to Cal State Northridge and working as a teacher’s assistant at Mackay Junior High School in Pacoima. EnTech decided to send me to CES as part of my job as a public relations representative. That was the first time I had ever been on a business trip.
My posts will get shorter because I’m in the thick of making edits to The Ghosts of Reseda High. I can still give you brief creative tips like this one: Pick the low-hanging fruit. That means that when you have a big or complicated project to do, start with the easiest tasks. That will give you momentum to tackle the more difficult ones.
I’ve heard people advise the opposite: Do the hardest task first. This works when you’re dealing with something emotionally difficult, such as confronting someone about a problem. It’s better to take care of those hard discussions first before other problems come up that can hinder your conversation. Once you’ve let those emotional dark clouds dissipate, you can clear your mind to do other things (instead of letting those clouds hover over you all day.)
When it comes to creative projects, getting the easiest tasks done first makes the harder tasks easier. You clear away little tasks so you can get a better view of the major tasks you need to do. You may even find the solution to your big problems while fixing the little ones. You’ll also feel motivated because you’re making progress. You may feel stuck if you tackle a large task that requires a long time to fix. Taking care of the little tasks will give you a sense of accomplishment so that you can tackle that long task.
So, pick the low-hanging fruit first. It will make it easier for you to pick the ones further up on the tree.
“What if I’m not good at being an artist?”
This question has plagued many artists and caused a number of promising ones to give up. That’s because it’s not so much a question, but an accusation. It’s a question not about your work or even your ability, but whether or not you’re worthy of being an artist.
I went through all of the comments I received in the beta review of The Ghosts of Reseda High and put together a revision list. I use Evernote for checklists like this. It helps me keep track of things I need to do, and I can search my records to make sure I didn’t miss anything.
If you want to see the list I’ve put together, click the link below but only if you’ve read the book. There are big-time spoilers in there.
And if you have anything to add, or have any input on the changes I’ve listed, please use the form below to submit it. Thanks again for all your help.
The spirit of Fun a Day can be best summarized by this sign that popped up on the corner of Reseda Boulevard and Sherman Way. How can you be in a bad mood after seeing a sign like that? You may be driving to work or going to the dentist for a root canal, but seeing a cheerful red heart like that can instantly lift your spirits.
That’s what creativity can do. It can boost our spirits. Even though creating stuff takes work, it doesn’t feel like it. Even though it takes time, the hours seem to go by quickly. I can get wrapped up in my writing and not realize until I look at my watch that it’s past midnight — and I’m not even tired.
So, what is the magic of creativity? Why does it make us happy?