The Sherlock Spark: How the World’s Greatest Detective’s Habits Can Fuel Your Creativity

The Sherlock Spark: How the World’s Greatest Detective’s Habits Can Fuel Your Creativity

Monday was the creator of Sherlock Holmes,  Arthur Conan Doyle’s  birthday, which got me thinking about Sherlock, one of my favorite literary characters. When you hear the name Sherlock Holmes, what comes to mind? The pipe, the deerstalker hat, and the exhilarating chases through Victorian-era London? Or maybe it’s Sherlock’s uncanny ability to uncover truth from the tiniest scraps of evidence?

My name is Sherlock Holmes. It is my business to know what other people don’t know.

The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

The traits that make this legendary detective so fascinating are also secret ingredients you can use to boost your creativity.

1. Sharp observation. When Holmes steps into a crime scene, nothing goes unnoticed. From a speck of ash to a half-erased footprint, every detail matters. Sherlock sees beyond the obvious. To feed your creativity, practice observation. The world around you is teeming with inspiration, waiting to be seen.

You see, but you do not observe.

A Scandal in Bohemia

Seeing is passive, requiring no action. On the other hand, observing needs an active mind, constantly questioning and noticing. It’s about looking beyond what’s visible and finding connections that others miss. This kind of keen observation fuels groundbreaking creative ideas.

There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.

The Boscombe Valley Mystery

2. Sherlock makes connections between seemingly unrelated details. He doesn’t merely observe; he interprets, deduces, and connects. Developing a habit of making connections can help you find new angles, perspectives, and ideas.

When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

The Blanched Soldier

3. Think outside the box. Sherlock Holmes is open-minded, with a remarkable capacity for unconventional thinking. He entertains the wildest hypotheses if they explain the facts. His methods, although often perplexing to onlookers, always have a profound logic to them. And isn’t creativity about breaking from convention? By challenging the status quo and daring to think differently, you can find the most amazing, unique ideas that resonate and inspire.

The game is afoot.

The Adventure of the Abbey Grange

4. Sherlock isn’t just brainy; he’s also passionate about his craft. His love for his work shows in his enthusiasm when he embarks on a new case, and his unwavering dedication to solve each mystery. When you’re truly passionate about what you do, every challenge becomes a game, every setback a puzzle to be solved.

5. Sherlock practices resilience. The detective frequently faces dead ends, red herrings, and misinformation, yet he persists in his pursuit of the truth. Similarly, as creatives, we encounter obstacles – writer’s block, lack of inspiration, failure, and criticism. Like Holmes, they should not deter us. Instead, try viewing setbacks as opportunities to adapt and grow, uncovering new ideas.

6. Sherlock practices the art of  creative procrastination  – letting the subconscious mind work on the problem while the conscious mind rests. Remember the languid afternoons he spends playing his violin?

7. Collaboration. Dr. Watson, Sherlock’s faithful friend and collaborator, gives him an advantage in solving strange mysteries. The interchange of ideas, the melding of different perspectives, and the challenge of debate sparks creativity. Seeking feedback, embracing collaboration, and being open to new ideas – all these Watson-inspired habits can significantly enhance your creative projects.

To wrap up, Sherlock Holmes is not just an icon of detective fiction; he’s also a powerful muse for creatives. With a Sherlock-inspired mindset, who knows what improbable, brilliant truths you’ll uncover in your creative journey?

Until next time, keep sleuthing, and keep creating!

Keep your Commitments to Yourself to Grow Your Self-Confidence

Keep your Commitments to Yourself to Grow Your Self-Confidence

This is the 52nd edition of the Pitch Master blog! I have been writing weekly for a year. This was my goal, and I am thrilled to have made it! Thank you for joining me on my creator journey.

My Story

For years I knew that I needed to write a newsletter as part of my coaching practice. Despite all the bells and whistles of social media, newsletters are the only way to regularly deliver content to your audience and interact with them. They are personal and algorithm proof. But I dragged my feet. I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough to say and that no one would be interested in what I had to say.

To get my courage up, I subscribed to every newsletter that I could find about newsletters and the creator economy.

One of those was  Growth Currency  by Dylan Redekop. He started in 2021 and was booming. The fact that he was a newbie and his quote “write a newsletter every week for a year and it will change your life,” inspired me to start.

To my surprise, I found that I loved it. Writing every week fueled my creativity, improved my self-esteem, and boosted my confidence.

Keep your Commitments to Yourself to Grow Your Self-Confidence

The simplest way to get more confidence is to keep the commitments you make to yourself. When you tell yourself you’re going to do something, whether it’s something simple like take out the trash or something more involved like write an article, and you don’t do it, you feel bad. And if you keep not doing what you say you want to do, you can start to feel not just bad about yourself, but depressed.

If you’re struggling in any part of your life, I feel you. It can get better. Think of all the things you’ve been telling yourself you’re going to do or you need to do, but not doing them. Pick one easy thing and give yourself a numerical goal like I did.

For instance, if you want to write, say I’m going to write for 10 minutes every day for 30 days. Over those 30 days as you keep that commitment, you will notice that you are feeling better. Better about yourself, excited about your writing and more confident.

The key to this recovery is to start small and simple. Don’t try to keep a huge promise to yourself like writing a book or saving enough money to go to Paris.

Secondly, give yourself a numerical goal that is easy to track.

Once you hit that deadline and you’ve kept that promise, you will feel amazing and ready to take on the next challenge.

Keep your word to yourself. Do what you say you are going to do and your life will change.

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LitRPG:  Level Up with a New Genre

LitRPG: Level Up with a New Genre

One of my favorite things about story is that it is always the same and yet always changing. There are new genres evolving all the time. Recently I found out about a young genre called LitRPG.

LitRPG 101

As some of you might know, RPG stands for role-playing game. RPG games are video and tabletop games like Dungeons and Dragons.  This genre is part fantasy, part science fiction, and all video game mechanics. It’s like your favorite game jumped out of the screen and into your bookshelf.  These books have characters in a game-like world, where they level up, earn experience points, and complete quests.  

The first LitRPG book was published in Russia in 2010, but the genre really took off in the English-speaking world around 2014. Since then, LitRPG has become a staple of the self-publishing scene, with hundreds of new titles released each year.

Reading is a Game!

Just like in video games, the sense of progression in LitRPG is designed to be addictive as you watch your characters grow and develop over time.  Characters start out weak and inexperienced.  As they gain levels and experience points, they become stronger and more capable. By incorporating video game mechanics into the story, authors create a world that feels like a game.

Balancing Story, World Building, and Gaming

One of the challenges of writing LitRPG is balancing the game mechanics with the story. If the mechanics are too complex or too prominent, they can overwhelm the story. On the other hand, if the mechanics are too simple, they will annoy the reader.

Writers must create a world that feels like a real game, but also has enough depth and complexity to support a compelling story. It’s not enough to simply describe a bunch of game mechanics and call it a day. The world needs to feel alive and dynamic, with a sense of history and culture.


LitRPG is a unique and compelling genre that combines the best elements of video games, role-playing games, and traditional storytelling. It is fascinating to see one form of storytelling influence another.

Grab a book and get ready to level up!

For more insight into LitRPG, check out  this interview  with bestselling author Dakota Krout.

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How Han Solo’s Swagger Can Help You at Work

How Han Solo’s Swagger Can Help You at Work

May the Fourth be with you!  Happy Star Wars Day!

Han Solo is one of the most beloved characters in Star Wars. He is a skilled pilot, a brave fighter, and a loyal friend. Over the course of the franchise, Han faces numerous challenges and makes difficult decisions as he fights with the Rebel Alliance.  Here are three ways Han’s adventurous attitude can help you in your career.

1. Take Calculated Risks

Han Solo is a risk-taker who is not afraid to put himself in danger. He is also strategic, calculating the risks of each situation. In your career, taking calculated risks is an important factor in success. Whether it’s launching a new business, pursuing a promotion, or making a career change, taking risks pays off. 

In Return of the Jedi during the Battle of Endor, Han and his team need to take out the shield generator that is protecting the second Death Star.  This is a bold plan and he decides that the risk is necessary to defeat the Empire.

2. Think on Your Feet

Han thinks on his feet and comes up with creative solutions to problems. In your career, being resourceful is a valuable skill. Finding ways to work around obstacles and thinking outside the box help you excel.

In The Empire Strikes Back when Han and Leia are being pursued by Imperial forces, he flies the Millennium Falcon through an asteroid field for cover.

Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, and C3PO on the bridge of the Millennium Falcon

3. Stay Cool Under Pressure

Han is often faced with high-pressure situations, but he remains calm. Nothing phases him.  In our careers, staying cool under pressure is a valuable skill. Being able to manage stress and maintain composure in challenging situations helps you make better decisions and stand out.

In The Empire Strikes Back when the Millennium Falcon‘s hyperdrive fails, Han hides the Falcon on the back of a Star Destroyer, allowing our heroes to escape undetected.

These three mindsets, taking calculated risks, thinking on your feet, and staying cool under pressure are all interconnected.  They add up to being confident and knowing you can handle any situation.  You can build your confidence by practicing these attitudes.

On this day, and every day, let Han Solo inspire you.  May the Force be with you.

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Three Silly Things to Get Your Confidence Up

Three Silly Things to Get Your Confidence Up

If you have to make a presentation, network, or pitch here’s three silly things to get your energy and confidence up.

These exercises are super silly so be sure to do them when you are alone. Despite their silliness, they also work.  I have used them throughout my career, and they have never failed me. I often don’t feel very energetic and doing one or all of these before a meeting increases my energy level, which increase increases my confidence, and helps me own the room.   

So next time you have a meeting, either in person or on Zoom, and you’re not feeling at your best, try it. You’ll be surprised by how much better you feel.

1. Get 10 times more excited.

Go into the bathroom and smile at yourself in the mirror. Then act 10 times more excited.  Keep increasing your excitement times 10 until you feel full of energy and positivity.

2. Do the superhero power pose.

Stand like a superhero with your feet a bit apart, your hands on your hips, and your chest out. There’s a reason super Superman stands this way.  You feel immediately powerful. Hold the pose for 40 to 60 seconds. I usually have a big grin on my face too.  Here’s my alter ego in the superhero power pose.

3. Rock out to your theme song.

Music is powerful because it evokes emotion. Pick a song to have as your pump up theme song. A song that makes you happy and revved as you sing along. It’s great to blast in your car on your way to a meeting or dance around your apartment before a Zoom call. You can even make a whole pump up playlist. My favorite theme song is Eye of the Tiger. You can’t hear that and not feel like you can take on the world.

Just like my toast tongs, these tips seem simple, but they work.   Which ones have you’ve tried? Which is your favorite?

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