Book Review: A Technique for Producing Ideas by James W. Young

The perks of graduating as an English major is that, unlike many of my engineering friends, I actually want to keep the books I bought for my classes. One of those books is A Technique for Producing Ideas by James W. Young. It’s smaller than most PDFs, totaling to about 28 pages.

While it felt silly at the time to spend money on it, I found the information it contained to be quite useful. It’s aimed primarily at those in advertising, but since I’m not the greatest generator of creative ideas, I thought it could help me a bit. Here are the steps it provides for trying to come up with brilliant ideas, whether they’re needed for a new campaign or your next novel:

  1. Gather Information: Learn as much as you can about the topic you’re working on, be it your target audience or the concept that’s intrigued you. Learn everything you can—from the menial to the exciting. Don’t forget to keep track of your information! The author suggests writing down each fact on a 3×5″ index card.

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Burnout: How to Recharge

Merry Christmas! I pray that whatever holiday you celebrate is a time of rest and joy for you.

My apologies for the hiatus of writing—it’s been a rather wonky month. I graduated from college last week, and I’m afraid I’ve felt more than a little tired. I know it’s not just me—whether you just finished another semester of school or are chugging through another season filled with the daily grind, fatigue is a familiar feeling for all of us. And regardless of your occupation, this fatigue can easily lead to burnout.

For example, I love to write, but after majoring in it, the charm of writing has been lost in a swamp of essays and reports. However, not all of us have the luxury of a long break after a difficult season, so what do you do when you feel burned out and can’t take a long vacation? Here are some of the tips that I’ve been trying to implement in my life to recharge a bit:

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Ad Spotlight: “Share a Coke”

You’ve probably seen these new coke cans all over the place, ranging from “Share a Coke with Mike” to “Share a Coke with Your Bestie.” While the campaign got its start in Australia, “Share a Coke” has swept through the United States and other countries too. I first encountered this campaign at a fair where there were two kiosks Coca-Cola had set up to custom-print mini cans for free. My boyfriend and I then stood in line for 20 minutes to get a pair. Needless to say, this was one of the best souvenirs I’ve ever gotten.

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