97 STASHED IDEAS
The first book to be banned in the United States was The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn back in 1885, as it had references to smoking, swearing and running away from home. This highlighted the fact that books, no matter what genre, have the power to educate and influence.
A good, powerful book may also be dangerous, as it has the capability to change minds.
New research suggests that reading science fiction and fantasy helps young people cope with the stress and anxiety of thier complicated existence.
To be ghosted by your professional contacts, like a Linkedin connection, your prospective client, or your office colleague can feel confusing, with a sense of rejection that can shatter your confidence.
We try to retrace our steps and figure out what went wrong, and also try to follow up for the sake of closure.
We all hate it when someone ghosts us, both professionally and personally because of the Zeigarnik Effect. This is a phenomenon that makes our brain linger on to something that is unresolved, unfinished or demands closure.
There is a cognitive tension inside our minds that makes us want to seek out a satisfactory resolution instead of being stuck in limbo.
Ghosting can happen anywhere:
Many employees suddenly quit a bad job, never showing up the next day. This can also be due to their getting a better offer with immediate joining.
Professional networking is prone to ghosting, with Linkedin messages suddenly not being responded to, or a client that is being pitched for a prospective sale suddenly losing interest and blocking contact.
Successful pitchers tend to be categorised by catchers as one of three types.
The showrunner involves the audience in the creative process by deliberately levelling the power differential, the artist inverts the differential, and the neophytes exploit it. They all get the catchers to view themselves as creative collaborators.
They display passion and enthusiasm about their ideas but are less conformist in their dress and mannerisms and tend to be socially awkward. The artist appears to have little or no knowledge or interest in the details of implementation.
They completely command the catcher's imagination by drawing the audience into imaginary worlds. "Picture what happens when..." They lead catchers through exciting, detailed narratives.
Generating creative ideas is easy. Selling them to strangers is hard. The ability to sell an idea has as much to do with the seller's traits as the idea's inherent quality.
Judgments about the pitcher's ability to come up with workable ideas can interfere with the perception of the idea's worth. That means that when you're preparing to pitch your idea to strangers, your audience will put you in a box. And in less than 150 milliseconds.
A study showed that people on the receiving end of pitches have no objective way to assess creativity - not even the expert ones.
Showrunners combine creative thinking and passion with technical know-how to convince catchers that the ideas can be developed successfully.
They engage the catcher by getting the catcher to respond to a memory they are both familiar with. Then they build on the catcher's knowledge and interest, eventually guiding the catcher to the core idea.
There is nothing more dangerous than a good pitcher with no real talent. Catchers too often let themselves be wooed by positive stereotypes, especially that of the showrunner, rather than by the quality of the ideas.
Real creativity is more difficult to classify. Those who buy ideas need to be aware that relying too much on stereotypes can cause them to overlook creative individuals with great ideas.
We believe that creative people possess certain traits. For example, unconventionality, intuitiveness, sensitivity, narcissism, passion, and youth. When a stranger pitches an idea, the catcher subconsciously uses these traits to sort through the pitchers as creative or not. Only 1% of ideas will make it past the initial pitch.
To avoid fast elimination, successful pitchers emit passion for their ideas and find ways to let the catchers shine.
Neophytes plead ignorance. They score points for daring to do the impossible, which is seen as refreshing. They present themselves as eager learners and confidently ask for help.
Catchers are naturally flattered and enjoy sharing their knowledge. They become mentors who want to see the neophytes win. Entrepreneurs are generally natural neophytes. They achieve success by sheer force of personality.
Clichés are a quick way to express familiar concepts. Because your brain heard the phrase many times, it knows the meaning without thinking about the writer's intention.
But the danger is that one cliché makes the rest of the writing seem lazy or low-quality and cause you to skim through the words. Nothing stands out because there is no way to differentiate the time you read the cliché from all the other times you've read it.
Matt took the first sip, volunteering to be our guinea pig.
Matt took the first sip, volunteering to be our laboratory mouse.
In the first sentence, we don't visualise the guinea pig. It is only in the second sentence that we 'see' the scientist, the white coat, and the mouse. This is because we associate animal testing with rats and mice, not guinea pigs.
With so much content on the internet, few get noticed. When you do get noticed, it's another accomplishment to have your words read. But you only really build a career as a writer when your audience remembers you.
Clichés seldom create memorable writing. One cliché won't ruin your writing but ensure you are using them sparingly and with intention.