Have you ever been ahead of the curve? I know one of you can nod your head and say yes, that’s been me. And some of you may sigh, because you’re the one who sat at your sewing machine making all of your long-sleeved T’s three-quarter length before they hit the market or you’re the homemaker who bought gallons of white paint, transformed your walls and hand-me-down furniture, tossing in some pink florals before Rachel Ashwell was even on the scene. You were the mom who played soft piano music to your infant before Julie Aigner-Clark created Baby Einstein, a brand that went way beyond homemade videos.
A writer I know was in the middle of a novel about a kidnapping imploding on a family when The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard rose to stardom as the first Oprah Book Club pick. What to do? Either work fast and ride that wave or wait until readers are ready for the topic to be reborn. Tough choices.
Missy Chase Lapine sued Jessica Seinfeld when both published books in 2007 advocating hiding vegetables in children’s food. Seinfeld’s book went on to sell more copies and Lapine lost the suit. Maybe Seinfeld’s book was better, but she also had a ready-made “brand”—her husband.
Celebrity is hard to beat in the idea market today, but then your idea might just rise to the top of Google. Even so, be wary. Your maybe-it-will-make-me-famous idea should be carefully vetted; don’t’ jump on the first idea that pops into your head. I’ve seen people try to wear stripes and checks and never thought they were on to something—like this spring’s mixed prints look. And to run with that, some of what appears on the catwalks is purposefully done for shock and awe and we can’t all be Lady Gaga. But we can find that creative spark and build a fire, even a blaze. Cupcakes!!! There are probably thousands of moms paying bills with their cupcake businesses not to mention candles, jewelry, makeup, body lotions, art works and stationery. Cottage industries are everywhere with the help of the net. It’s staggering. It’s wonderful.
So keep at it. Insights, intuition and inspiration spring from some deep passion inside us. That’s creativity at its best and it often is ahead-of-the-curve. Pay attention: listen, look, seek it out. Revelations are circling around you, telling you something and possibly leading you somewhere. The insight might be as big as you reinventing yourself for a new career or as small as you finding that you like to force bulbs in the spring to brighten your home and have gifts for friends. Either one of these inspirations, big or small, just might ground you in a creative endeavor that will bring you rewards and joy the rest of your life.
So examine the things you use everyday. Can you improve on any of them? What about that melody you worked up on the piano? Is there an idea here, a flash of the new there, a concept that no one has produced, developed, written down yet? Your need sparks the idea; you create the model or write the song or start the business and off you go. Can you sell big on the net? You need money, maybe even investors to start. So grab an audience at a craft fair or country fair. That could be the start or the end you are seeking—to do creative work and have a box of gifts to give to friends and family. Whatever you decide and to what length you go, I’m believing in you. You are ahead of the curve, on fire with the fresh and innovative. That’s why I’m revising a 3rd version of that kidnapping novel. Yes, it was me.
And back to Oprah, who certainly is a brand and often offers help—check out this link for books that just might get that muse to sit on your shoulder. You never know when you’ll be either ahead of the curve or there at just the right moment, adding another name and item to the burgeoning list of household words! Good luck.
Thanks to Willem van Bergen photostream and tcpix photostream