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Old 12-17-2013, 09:50 AM   #1
Steven Forbes
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B&N Week 156: Top 10 Habits Of Successful Creators


It’s another wonderful Tuesday, and we’re still doing countdowns! This week, I wanted to count the ten habits that successful creators have.

These will not be in any particular order. So, with that said, let’s get to it!

10. Successful Creators Are Free With Ideas and Information. Now, of course, there are different types of freedoms and different types of ideas. Here’s what I’m talking about: you’re having a problem with a story, and you bring it to your creative friends. Your friends have a choice: they can either help you, or they can keep their ideas for themselves. Usually, they’ll help you out of your spot, and it isn’t out of a sense of being reciprocal in the future; the real reason is much simpler.

Ideas are cheap. Ideas are something that you get in a flash—they don’t become useful until you start to explore them. You will have more ideas than you will ever be able to follow through on, so giving them away means you aren’t hording them for yourself. You’re spreading ideas, and spreading yourself. Believe me when I say that it will come back around for you.

Successful creators are willing to help you become successful as well—especially today. Just 20 years ago, there were few places to go to get published, and jobs were scarce. Now, with more publishers publishing a variety of things, there are more opportunities to become successful doing your own thing, and successful creators are freely sharing information to help you reach whatever level you can. You can find information all over the internet, on message boards, books, interviews, columns, and more. The information is there, if you’re willing to look for it.

Click here to read more.
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Old 12-20-2013, 07:12 AM   #2
Alyssa
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"Successful Creators Are Accessible"

I think this is hugely important. I can't count the number of freelance jobs I've landed because the client knew they could approach me with a question. I'm sure you're the same way. And when it comes to the Kickstarter projects I back, the people I voluntarily promote...they were all accessible. I liked them before I supported them.

A lot of folks have said to me that they'd prefer to be lurkers rather than putting themselves out there. They're worried that they just won't be likeable enough. But the way I figure, if you just act like yourself (as long as "yourself" isn't "douchiest person on the planet"), then you will attract all those folk who like you for who you are. And those are exactly the kind of people who are more likely to become loyal fans and supporters.

My two cents to your awesome article. ;D
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Old 12-21-2013, 12:07 PM   #3
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reason #2, scheduling your workload + money

"Some creators will accept money upfront, and then spend that money [because it’s right now money] and then be on the hook for getting that work done. Then, they’ll need more money, so they’ll book more work, get paid for it, and be on the hook for that work, too—even though they haven’t finished the first set of work. Then it just spirals out of control. It happens very easily."

That happened to me a couple of times. It sucks ending up with a commitment to about 40 - 80 hours of illustration having been paid for it on the front end. Now you have to do the work to complete the project on time!

Now when I take on a new project I ask for a deposit that's only enough to keep the writer honest. In other words, enough money where they'd feel bad to part with it -but just enough. I'm talking like one or two page's worth. That way I'm not in this huge time crunch.

Great article! Looking forward to the next one.
-Tim
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