December 1, 2021
It’s just over a year since I relaunched this newsletter as a biweekly, curated message focused on working from anywhere, so happy birthday to us! (You can read the very first issue here).
It’s been quite a year. . . a year of adjusting to the pandemic, and coming to grips with the likelihood that COVID will always be with us (though not as deadly as it was initially). . . a year of change for me as we moved our home base. . . a year of winding down in some ways as I stopped taking on new WordPress web design projects. . . another year without travel, although that will change in the New Year (finally!). . .
One of the reasons I love going to new places is that it helps me stay creative. That’s important to me, and I’ve missed that stimulation.
It’s part of what makes me an Anywhereist, and also what helps me as a professional creative.
Notice I did not say “creative professional.”
What’s the difference?
A creative professional . . . is a person who is employed for the extraction of skills in creative endeavors. Creative professions include writing, art, design, theater, television, radio, motion pictures, related crafts, as well as marketing, strategy, scientific research and development, product development, engineering, some types of teaching and curriculum design, and more.
So what do I mean by professional creative?
If you’re a writer, artist, designer, marketer, and so on, who not only masters your craft, but also takes care of the business side of the profession, you’re a professional creative.
It’s the difference between an interior designer who works for an architectural firm, vs the same interior designer who strikes out on their own and takes on their own clients.
A copywriter in an ad agency is certainly a creative professional, where a freelance copywriter is a professional creative. The freelancer has to master the craft of copywriting, while also marketing their services, developing new clients, setting rates, invoicing and getting paid, and all the other business minutiae.
If you run a successful blog, you not only create content, you also find and implement ways to monetize it. You’re a professional creative.
Many of us became — or want to become — professional creatives because we don’t like the restrictions of being an employee. We want to call the shots, decide when and where we want to work, and not have to ask permission to live our best lives.
And while we may already be masters of our craft, there’s a whole lot to learn about running the business that supports that craft. That’s the professional side of being a professional creative. That’s where I come in.
If you want to improve your craft, you won’t find that information here.
In that first newsletter last year, I promised we would talk about
- project planning
- productivity tools
- self care
- home office design
- and more
We’ll continue talking about those things.
If you think of other topics that would be helpful to us professional creatives, please hit reply and let me know!
Note: If you signed up to get the Flying Start mini-course, it will be available in mid-December, so stay tuned. . .
If you missed the mini-course announcement, you can sign up for it here. I’m calling it Are You Ready to Work From Anywhere? All the Information You Need to Get Off to a Flying Start. And there’s no charge.
Tips & Tools
We’ve just celebrated Thanksgiving in the US, so this seems a good time to talk about gratitude.
It’s pretty well established by now that feeling gratitude improves your mental health. A regular gratitude practice, either by writing letters (whether or not you send them), daily journaling about what you’re grateful for, and other techniques are beneficial.
One reason is that expressing gratitude helps you release toxic emotions. Gratitude can also improve your relationships.
And it actually changes your brain. Study participants’ brain activity was measured while they were expressing or feeling gratitude, and they showed increased activity in the prefrontal cortex.
The prefrontal cortex is responsible for focusing your attention, future planning, impulse control, and predicting the results of your actions. When it works better, so do you.
Here’s a country with a digital nomad visa you might not be aware of — Mauritius.
Don’t know it? I had to look it up, too.
Mauritius is a small island nation located in the Indian Ocean, to the east of the large island nation of Madagascar. Both are off the coast of Africa, east of Mozambique and Malawi.
Mark Twain loved Mauritius, and wrote that “Heaven was copied after Mauritius.”
There’s no fee for the visa, but you have to prove you have travel/health insurance.
We know that colors are an important part of your brand. Different colors elicit different types of responses in viewers.
Dark blue is trustworthy, yellow represents happiness, and red symbolizes passion, or danger.
That’s why most banks use dark blue in their logos, why Netflix and Coke use red, and why McDonald’s has its golden arches.
A recent study has come up with the color that’s most likely to engage people online — in other words, a color you should consider using when you want people to interact with your website.
I was surprised, are you surprised?
Shutterstock.AI analyzed thousands of data points and concluded:
“This year’s data shows that shades of green dominated in click-through rates and conversions,” says Shutterstock. “So if you want your projects to perform like a pro, consider adding a touch of emerald, jade, lime, mint, and beyond.”
The article also highlights the top three colors for 2022.
Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. That means, if you click and purchase, you pay exactly the same amount and I’ll earn a small commission. These fees help me to keep the free information flowing.
In Case You Missed It. . .
Since we’re talking about professional creatives, here’s my review of a tool designed specifically for us.
If you’re a professional creative, here’s a planning and productivity tool designed with you in mind. Milanote bills itself as “the tool for organizing creative projects.”
At its most basic, it’s a note-taking app, but where something like Evernote or OneNote is designed to be read, Milanote is designed to be seen.
It’s the difference between viewing a list of ingredients (eggs, butter, flour) and a picture of the mouthwatering finished product.
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