Marketing Monday: The Creative Hack That Led to the Creation of ControlTrends

If you don’t want to be replaced by an AI Bot, it is time to up your creative game!

Marketing Professions know the importance of creativity. They know what happens when you get a Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, or Elon Musk hitting on their creative cylinders. They know that if they create creative content, they can dramatically increase sales. They know the frustrations of getting stuck and being uninspired and unoriginal. In this post I will give you a powerful creativity hack that changed my life and led to the creation of ControlTrends.


Creativity is not just for CEO’s and marketing professionals

Whether you’re a technician in the field, a coder, and accountant or in sales – boosting your creativeness positions you for success

 While we are all born inherently creative, this can easily be lost as we conform to societal and business norms. Thankfully, we can relearn and sharpen our creative skills through practice and shifts in attitudes!

The hack that kickstart my creative juices was by utilizing the Morning Pages exercise developed by Julia Cameron.

Being creative doesn’t mean you never get stuck, you just know how to get unstuck quicker everyone else!

Back in the day when famous artists, movie producers, business executives, and writers found themselves in a creative funk, they called Julia to get them unstuck and reinspired.

So when the likes of Steven Spielberg, Steve Jobs, or her husband at the time, James Cameron, would get stuck, they would go see Julia and pay her lots of money to get them unstuck.

 She was the creativity coach for the rich and famous, the  movers and shakers in the arts, business.  politics, and even sports. I wonder if she was responsible for Kareem Abdul- Jabber’s famous hook shot?

Fortunately for us she wrote down the creative exercises she would give her famous clients.  You can get the same creative advice today for $14.99, if you buy her book The Artist Way
that her clients paid big bucks for.

One of the first recommendations she gives her clients is to start every morning with an exercise called “the morning pages”.

What Are Morning Pages?

Morning Pages are three pages of long-hand writing done first thing in the morning. It can be anything from free writing, rants, musings or any kind of stream of consciousness, jotting down. This exercise helps clear out all the mental clutter that may prevent you from really accessing your unique voice. In her book The Artist’s Way; A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity, Cameron writes “I like to think of Morning Pages as an emotional pressure cooker—they take psychic steam off so I don’t blow up…They are a clearing house—a place where I can put my conflicts, my worries, my anger at others…and myself….When I am stuck creatively or emotionally…the issue that has stopped me will often surface while I’m writing Morning Pages.”

Cameron highly encourages people to do their Morning Pages first thing when they wake up so this practice becomes part of your daily routine. When starting out with this exercise it is important not to become discouraged if you don’t see results right away; consistency is key! Dedicate yourself for at least a month before considering stopping because actual results come after consistent effort over time. Another tip would be make sure you write your entries longhand instead of typing them on a computer or smartphone as the act of writing itself is therapeutic and very conducive for creativity.

 How I do morning pages

Sometimes my morning pages will be 2 1/2 pages of “this is stupid, I hate this….”. Then a breakthrough happens and a fully formed poem will show up, or a great idea, or a solution to a problem.

It is hard to explain, how it works, it just does, like magic.

The morning pages are just for you, so you can destroy them or tear them up when you are done. 90% of what you write will be redundant and useless, but the other 10% is pure gold.

I have been doing the morning pages off and on for over 25 years.

Three days after staring for the first time, a fully formed poem showed up on my paper, I had never read, written, or been interested in poetry until that morning.

Over the next year, poems would show up from time to time. I noticed I became more creative an innovative, the morning pages worked.

Writing poetry led to painting which led to photography, which led to videography, which led to……ControlTrends.

Bonus: Two ways to turbo charge your morning pages

1) Write one page with your non-dominant hand

2) Use at least three different color pens as you write, color helps activate different parts of your brain

These bonus hacks create new neural pathways and turbocharge your creative juices.

Originality is your edge.

As far as I know AI can generate all kinds of content based on other peoples information, I am not sue that AI can ever be taught to be original. 

Sharpen your edge every day with the morning pages.

Please share your creativity hacks in comments and let me know if this was useful.

Buy the ticket…Take the ride.


Suggested Reading:

The Artist Way -Julia Cameron

Steal Like an Artist: Ten Things Nobody told you about being creative -Austin Kleon


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