Writing Tools: Approaches

Use these procedures for addressing or accomplishing your creative work.
Click below on "taxonomies" to learn types of mindsets, or scroll and search all 116 tools!

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  • Model
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  • Strategy
  • Structure
  • System
  • Technique
  • Tension
  • Trick
  • Trigger
# 196

I am so inundated with all these noisy messages coming in, and I can’t clear my head to write

Creating positive predicaments for yourself in which only having a few or no outcomes was a forcing function for the better
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# 191

I have this task, project or experience that I know will be stressful, chaotic and emotionally volatile

Maximize the potential for success by putting a greater proportion of the activity at the beginning of the process
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# 184

I work so hard for so long that my body just gives out from exhaustion or stress

Macro Pacing
Giving yourself permission to work at your own healthy tempo, velocity and trajectory
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# 187

I am working a lot more now, and I forget to take care of myself sometimes

Off Buttoning
Deepening your personal recovery to match your professional intensity
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# 166

I want to write more but my brain is overwhelmed or disorganized

Cognitive Unloading
Outsource as many mental tasks as possible to other people, things and processes
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# 169

I am disappointed about the status of my writing life

Creative Pragmatism
Focusing on the concrete, positive difference art making has in your actual experience of life
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# 172

I want to write something that makes people’s lives better

Approaching your creative process through the filter of utility value
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# 179

I know what my problem is, but I don’t know how to solve it, or there are too many options to solve it

The Toolkit
A robust arsenal of solutions custom fit for your unique personality, value system and life situation
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# 175

I want to do this writing project, but I don’t really know how to do it

Minimum Viable Knowledge
The lowest amount of information you need to know about a subject to operate effectively
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# 149

I need to find some new idea inspiration for writing

Stimulating innovative ideas by solving personal problems
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# 142

I want work to stop feeling like crap at work, I want to use my whole self

Energy Signature
Using personal energy as the primary organizing principle of your work
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# 152

I want my team to come up with innovative ideas for clients and each other

Using intentional parcels of time and technology and support to foster innovation
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# 159

I am afraid my audience is going to lose interest in my writing

Audience Bridge
Keeping customers engaged with your work through the power of surprise
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# 153

I need to prepare some ideas for my meeting

Innovation Frame
A system for pursuing invention systematically rather than sporadically
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# 150

I need ways to improve my creative operation, or my team’s process

Dirty Work
Turning one company's trash into another one's treasure
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# 146

I’m not a genius, the competition is stiff, and I need a new job

Exploiting your collection of talents into something of much greater value
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# 141

I’m new to the team and want to connect with people so we can collaborate

Creative Audit
The process of identifying, assessing and leveraging an organization’s knowledge, and the brains behind it
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# 160

I have clients who hired to me to write and I want them to value me

Pairing context and content to show clients your unique way of approaching their business problem
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# 124

I don’t know where I should be spending my time

The single high leverage creative activity that facilitates all the others
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# 139

I want my employees to be more innovative during client meetings

Starting Block
A framework to help teams adopt a more efficient starting posture and preload their creative brains in an enhanced manner
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# 130

I have more ideas than I know what to do with

Creative Closeout
Taking your surplus intellectual inventories and remarketing them as opportunities
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# 127

I want to write, but have no money

Time Constraint
Using a restricted production window to exploit your creative energy in novel ways.
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# 138

I have nothing to do here, they might fire me

Problem Hunting
A framework for flexing your intellectual muscles to add value to your organization
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# 126

I don’t know where to start with the creative process, it’s overwhelming

Thin Airing
Using emotional ingenuity to drive innovation seemingly out of nowhere
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# 108

I wanted to do this writing task, but it just didn’t happen

Convenience Filter
Make it easier to do things by organizing your work in a way that minimizes unnecessary thinking
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# 109

I would love to create art, but I’m broke as a joke

Capital Constraint
Using lack of cash as tension to exploit your intellectual capital and entrepreneurial energy in novel ways.
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# 104

I’m so excited about this project that I work nonstop and burn out

Creative Boundaries
Locating your own sense of healthy creative rhythm to avoid passion burnout
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# 120

I am waiting around for people to finish this project that’s big

Parallel Processing
Getting projects finished with minimal wasted effort by executing simultaneously on different tracks.
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# 115

I don’t know the first thing about this topic I’m writing

Reverse Engineering
Start executing against where you're being evaluated to retrofit a successful recipe for your work
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# 090

I can’t achieve my goals, not matter how many books I read

Motivating yourself by reframing tasks as expressions of your cherished values
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# 089

I can’t get out of bed, much less go write something

Forced Gravity
Creating an existence with more resistance
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# 082

I wish I could just execute my work, but discipline doesn’t come easily to me

Create external structure to match your internal motivational system
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# 084

I am not good enough to be a visionary, I struggle staying focused on my goals

Productively channeling tension to make dreams into realities
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# 096

I’m so annoyed and angry about this one part of my work

Frustration Monetization
Take the worst parts about your job and turn them into money
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# 097

I want to be remarkable and not copy other people’s writing

The idiosyncratic process of making your work unique
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# 091

I don’t want to do this boring task right now or ever

Future Self
Treat things you do as a compassionate investment in yourself that you recoup later on
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# 063

I have a big idea and I want to share it with my team effectively

Idea Theater
Prime and frame people’s brains so they’re more receptive and willing to accept your reality
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# 062

I don’t have a fanbase to give me credibility and grow my dream

Accessing the heat and energy by which your creative dream gets sparked and sustained
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# 061

I don’t know what to do with all these ideas

Execution Ranking
A framework for determining the relative priority of your ideas
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# 072

I can’t get in the mood to do my work if I don’t have my special things

Domestic Oil
Reducing your dependency on optimal and external creative circumstances to thrive
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# 066

I get bad review of my work and it demotivates and depresses me

One Starring
Using negative reviews of work you love to gain perspective, humility and inspiration
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# 079

I don’t know how, don’t want or don’t like organizing my thinking

Using basic knowledge management to overcome inspirational and executional blocks
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# 067

I recieved negative criticism about my work and it makes me sad

Negative Inspiration
Using the exposure of what we don't want as a powerful energy source
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# 080

I get derailed by other people’s feedback

Reins & Blinders
Using restraint as the quiet backbone of your creative habit
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# 047

I have a brainstorming meeting and I want come prepared

A system for cultivating innovative ideas systematically rather than sporadically
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# 045

I don’t feel like doing this boring work

A small collection of intrinsic triggers that stoke your creative fire regardless of circumstance
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# 055

I don’t want to exhaust myself promoting, I just like making things

Getting the maximum level of fulfillment from the minimum viable execution of your ideas
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# 044

I don’t know when I’ve stumbled across something good

Natural Collaboration
Creating a more visceral and spontaneous contact with your work by designing systems and structures that invite nature as your collaborator.
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# 046

I don’t know how to communicate my ideas memorably

Combining the concrete, abstract and absolute to have greater impact with your ideas
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# 053

I want my audience to take action on my message

Information architecture that makes your message more actionable for audiences
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