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MacArthur Genius Creativity Secrets - For Copywriters

Published by: David Garfinkel on 01-17-2022

Every year, between 20 and 30 lucky people get a phone call that goes something like this:

"Congratulations! The MacArthur Foundation has determined that you are a GENIUS, and we'd like to send you some Mo-NAY!

Unlike my parody of the actual phone call, the money is serious — these days, $625,000, paid over five years. To use however they want.

Now that's great for them, but so what? How does this have anything to do with copywriting?

It's simple. These people get the award because the foundation gives it to them explicitly because of their creativity and originality.

Something every good copywriter wants to get better at, too.

Now… stay with me here… What if you could travel around the country interviewing these people and coaxing from them their creativity secrets?

Well, maybe you could.

But someone already did. And she wrote a great book about it.

Denise Shekerjian interviewed 40 MacArthur fellows, as they are officially called. The book she wrote is titled "Uncommon Genius: How Great Ideas Are Born."

I cherry-picked some of the best revelations. Especially those thought would help us copywriters increase our own personal creativity.

So, here's what we're gonna do. I selected three categories that all of us can relate to: intuition vs. judgment… luck… and staying power. The last one being, what motivates you to stick with a problem or a project that is giving you a hard time?

And for each of the three categories, I shared insights from three MacArthur geniuses. Nine in all.

There's no one answer that the author got from every genius on every topic. Which makes sense, since these people are unusual individuals. They range from movie directors to composers to anthropologists to professors. And who knew that professors could be so creative? But some of them really are.

We'll take a tip from each genius and then look at how some of their ideas could prove to be a boon for a copywriter or other creative entrepreneur.

link to the book:

Uncommon Genius: How Great Ideas Are Born, by Denise Shekerjian

Keywords: creativity copywriting

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