What I learned from going on a writing retreat

writing retreat

I have wanted to go on a writing retreat for ages. Not with other people, but on my own. Simply lock me up in a house somewhere and write.

When my friend Mariakaisa asked me if I wanted to tend to her farm while she and her family were on holiday, I immediately said yes. It was a chance to write more on a book I am working on, and research a lot on it as well. But it had some good surprises coming to me as well, apart from concentrated book writing.

It was so dark at night

To begin with, it felt like a huge challenge to be all alone on a farm where there’s 500 m to the nearest neighbor.  But after some time where I had a chance to calm myself it was wonderful. I’m used to having light, houses and noise around me at most times, so the “pitch-black-ness” of the nights out there made me quite anxious. It also made me look at why I was anxious around darkness, and I healed some stuff around it, that I think I’ve been carrying with me for ages. Another great thing was that I started tracking the daily cyclus of day and nighttime, something I haven’t been that aware of, before.

I didn’t speak many words

I loved to move around in silence. Writing in silence. For the first days, music was playing in the background at all times, but I eventually turned it off. I did the same with my phone. It felt like I was centering myself. It felt like I was finally able to get a distance to everything that has happened in the last year.

I got away from my every day, alone, which was lovely

It was great being alone in the world again, just tending myself and my creativity. It was amazing, and the focus made some things clear around the book. Like there are parts of it that I can’t write yet. There are subjects I need to research more on before I put my take on it down on paper. The focus made parts of the book process easy peasy.

There was a ton of other benefits. Taking my art serious and taking my time to nurture it on my own. Giving myself permission and space to “birth” it. I felt like some of the literary giants sitting in this house in the countryside, surrounded by animals.

Somewhere in this process, it became a book. Maybe a shit draft right now but it’s still a book that I am writing, and not just some thoughts coming together. It has a structure now, and it’s finding its voice.

So writing retreats are highly recommendable. Especially in places where there is peace and silence and darkness at night.

rock on

3 workbooks / planners for deep planning

Some people don’t get enough ideas. Or can’t get the right ones.

I, au contraire, am different. As I touched on the other day,  I have started to do some idea mapping around my gazillion ideas and jot them down and let them expand through notebooks and files.

But I have gotten some fantastic planners this year as well, Some people say planning is needed to keep my curls in order. I believe I need planning to let my freak flag fly higher. I have three that I think you rockers would love!

One is my desire map day planner by Danielle LaPorte. The other is a christmas gift from a dear friend – a passion planner  – for all my thoughts.

The third one – is the crowdfunding notebook  that I got in the mail last week from Mr. Danish crowdfunding himself Michael Eis. Michael and his crowdfunding platform Booomerang.dk has been a con amore project for me for a couple of years. So I was so psyched when I saw this in the mail:

crowdfunding notebook crowdfundingnotebook2 crowdfundingnotebook3 crowdfundingnotebook4
The design of the notebook has a Marilyn Manson/braille feel toward it.  But when you open it up, there’s nothing braille about it (the Marilyn Manson-esqueness is a matter of preference I guess). When I am launching my next crowdfunding project, this is going to be our main source of collaboration.

It’s an interesting tendency; you can get deep planners for all creative things these days – such as a crowdfunding project, or get a bit more perspective  to your desire and passion.

Write It all out I say.

 

 

Write to maintain the frequency of your writing

frequency fosters creativity and productivity

One of the coolest things, I have done over the past couple of months is to take my writing and my art much more seriously and look at my frequency of putting pen to paper.  It was much needed.

I could find myself sitting around and waiting for the writing motivation to come to me. Just becoming inspired and start writing. It just didn’t happen that much. So I decided to change a part of the game and leave motivation out and simply write for the sake of writing. Giving myself permission to write for the sake of writing and not because it would turn into a book someday, which the goal of my writing has been before.
In that process, I stumbled across the 99u book “manage your day to day” and in there, there was a short article by Gretchen Rubin about how frequency fosters creativity and productivity.

It just makes so much sense to me that instead of focusing on writing because you’re motivated, then you write to maintain the frequency of your writing. Which need to be as high as possible.

Same same but different right? Made a world of difference to me. Hope it makes a world of difference for you too.

 

Using a notebook as first step in idea mapping

notebook-for-idea-mapping

The inspiration for this blog post came last night where I was attending a short seminar on kickstarting 2015 with Mark Anthony. It was a great night (Mark is one of the finest motivational speakers in Denmark).  Kickstarting 2015 is one of the first things I am doing to put myself first. However – as I suspected I left with more questions than I came with.

Luckily I always carry a notebook around with me.  It has always been one of my favorite things to find (and maybe even purchase?) everywhere I went. My attraction to notebooks comes from the same place as attraction to blogs: creative potential to do anything really.  Lately, my notebooks have transformed from having doodles inside of them that I never look at, to being first step in my idea mapping process.

When I get home from an event like yesterday – the first thing is to file things from my notebooks in my filing system. I use Evernote for all my digital scribbling. But there are in particular three files in Evernote I use these days. They are all spark files – idea mapping tools that I use to make ideas bigger.

One is my business spark file for my work where all my inspiration and what becomes to-do’s end up (you can read more about have a spark file here)

I have my big writing spark file – where every big question that needs answers reigns. Also, this is where all my stuff from yesterday’s workshop is going to end up, and written about in the next week.

The third file is my woo-woo spark file – where I stock things on my health, spirituality and self-development.

And in those files I write about the ideas I get and let them linger and put them somewhere where I can take action on them – when time is due.

By the way, if you want to read more about the spark file – a “system” developed by Stephen Johnson you should go here.

And there’s even a video shot of “where good ideas come from” that’s also worth a view or ten:

Return on Involvement made it to the mashable.com 2013 buzzword list

return on involvement quote 1

 

 

 

 

 

Go Return on involvement! I’m so happy writing this! I hope you feel energized and ready to get going for 2013 – I sure do.

During my christmas + new year break I suddenly saw that the traffic to henrietteweber.com started to skyrocket – something that always gets an business avantgardist happy. It was because the term “return on involvement” had made it to Mashable’s buzzword list of 2013! – wowza! I have been writing and preaching return on involvement since 2008, so even though I can’t say I have directly influenced them to put “return on involvement” on their buzzword list. However I feel like it’s somewhat of an approval of my work and my danish book (entitled return on involvement). At least I pretend that it’s directly influenced by my work, and it inspires me like mad to keep going. The first thing that sprung to mind was that I have to finish the 2nd edition (and first english edition) of Return on Involvement.

So what is all this Return on Involvement fuzz about?

Return on Involvement, in it’s original danish form is a book that I decided to self-publish about social media, old structures, being epic, branding, rockbandism, “sorry I don’t do mainstream” – ness.
Written by yours truely in 2009 and now on it’s way to be published in english for it’s second version. I can safely say I am channeling my inner Naomi Klein, Eric Sclosser, Kalle Lasn and Banksy in the english version of the book.

It both has a positive business outlook for the future, but it also pinpoints some huge issues that the business world as we know today has – and it gives suggestions on how to deal with this as a CEO or a business owner.

Can’t wait to show it to you!

ps. you can read more about my process in “the Zen of Return on Involvement”

Screw Epic! I’m going for easy

I talked to a friend on the phone today and I told her that when the week began I had decided to make this a book writing week – my daughter is at my in-laws for a winter holiday so things are pretty quiet around here, which is awesome for writing. Anyway now it’s wednesday evening and  I had done a ton of restructuring, a ton of client work and business planning this week, but no book writing.  And then she said something:

” how about doing something that’s easy?” and I went

“what do you mean ?” then she said

“well everytime you do something you want it to be worldchanging in your perspective, just so you can look back at it in 2 years time, when everybody has come to terms with it and said “I told you so. If you wrote something that came easy to you it would be mindblowing in the present and you could do that in no time”…

I think she struck a very large chord within me, Im so obsessed going after the next megatrend so I can say “I told you so”… I don’t believe in writing stuff that’s not worldchanging, but I think my problem is that I don’t see how far ahead I am… So I chose to supply my worldchanging epic book that’s due in the fall with something easy for the spring. And I found out that easy for me, has a pretty good shot at being mindblowing, practical and current for a lot of people on the internet.

And I became humbled by her insights. Especially when she added “im in communication and marketing, and I just can’t keep up with you.. you are such a geek”…

Free rock your identity e-book

I love my work – but somethings more than others. Today I feel so lucky because I get to launch my brand new e-book entitled “rock your identity”. Here. Together with the best rockers in the world.  Seriously I love launching stuff and just see how things build up.

rock your identity ebook cover

Rock your identity with the social media value chain!

It’s core ingredient is a social media value chain I posted on this blog a while back , and now I’ve been working around it with my clients in Toothless Tiger. So of course the next natural step was to write a free e-book around it and give it to you. So this is for you rockers! This is how you can rock your identity on social media, Henriette Weber style.

The Social Media Value Chain is a model that helps you define your own process around social media, content marketing and branding. The different activities in the social media value chain are done as implementable as possible. But it is in the combination of the activities that the real magic exist. I know you’re probably not going to be as excited as I am, for launching a free ebook. But I really think you should give it a shot. I promise you, it will be worth your time.

The e-book is out in Danish here and in English here.

oh, btw – the danish pressrelease is here

The story of Henriette Webers involvement manifesto

Yesterday I launched the involvement manifesto – again. I’ve launched it already once – but I don’t believe that my homemade design skills did it justice. Therefore I let Amelie from Krawatt.se play around with it and here’s what she came up with :

The involvement manifestoI absolutely adore it.

 

How to get your version of the involvement manifesto

You can go ahead and download the involvement manifesto over on Toothless Tiger press – my publishing house.

Anyway I decided to put it up here on the blog as well.

I want to touch upon how important it is to take large pieces of content and break it up and make it digestable.

The involvement manifesto is a digestible way of reading a part of danish book “return on involvement”, it’s a mini teaser for the english one as well. There are so many ways to break down large pieces of content – and it’s one of the things I love to do the most because it makes you feel so creative.

Have you done something huge?

And have you thought about breaking it down into small pieces of involvement content and spread it out like little snippets of you and your messages? It’s truely important to not only work around your business plans with HUGE books and all these things that makes your brand – because you need small snippets of freebies and information that travels fast. Like fragments of epic shit building the empire of me.

One of the things that I would actually love, was if just one person in the world thought that this was an utterly amazing manifesto, and put it up on the wall in the office and start using it. Believing so much in my thoughts about business unusual that the person would print it out and read through it occasionally. That’s my ambition for this manifesto. However I must say – I will print on canvas and put it up in the Toothless Tiger office. Because to me that poster is a stunner – the essence of the book.

thoughts on the upcoming english digital book “return on involvement” and stuff.

I am in the process of turning my Danish “handheld” book (entitled “return on involvement – how to use social web to create business unusual”) into a digital book in English – it’s so much fun and a very creative process for me. Also it’s frightening me a bit that I won’t only have to be completely open in Danish – but in English as well. That means that my book will be available to every english speaking person around the world (and that, my friend, is a huge deal to me – even though I know I  have blogged here since 2005 in english) – then I see the digital book as a huge thing and one I am really excited to do.

So while I have been reading the book through in Danish, a lot of new ideas came up that I will add to the english version – it’s ok. I can. I have published the book on my own “press” because I hate when people tell me what I can and cannot do, so the world is open for everything and who says that the english version has to be the same as the Danish.

I have moved a lot personally in the last year and the english digital book will reflect that as well. I want to make it really concrete and really Henriette (because that’s how I roll and what excites me =). So in addition to the Danish book “just” being translated I am working on a workbook to accompany it and some interviews. Thanks to the magically wonderful Danielle LaPorte for making me realize that I could do this. That the world really needs more of me =) (and I have to love myself and all that jazz – well you know.. )

Also I can announce that for the 1st birthday of my book – I will make it available as a Danish e-book and as an audiobook =)

One of the things that I am really coming back to is the “abundance of stuff”. I did a talk about this at the amazing #ton40 un-conference in Enschede a couple of weeks ago. That in this world we can get everything we want. That we for example are so plastic abundant that we have it drifting around in a large part of our ocean. That we keep getting new. Luckily it seems like upcycling and adding value is becoming a bigger and bigger way of looking at products and life cycles. To me its super weird that we keep talking about abundant life, and getting the things we want – when we have so much already and we throw it away again and again..

Books: In defense of food

I just finished the last pages of Michael Pollans “in defense of food” and I was awestruck. It was an amazing book and an informative one that argues why we should “eat food not too much and mostly plants” which is the concept of the book where it argues what the western diet has done to the people living in the western world – our soil, our plants and our eating habits in general. It’s was a frightening experience reading through the book – figuring out why an apple from the 1940s had 3 times more goodness in it, than an apple today.
The book has a lot of concrete advise and I will continue my reading about the food culture of today and acting on it…
Basically what I took away from it, is that even though things are edible doesn’t necessarily mean it’s food. Like this Happy Meal that has just turned one year old.. Amazing what we have come to live by and amazing how little energy and vitamins there is in things we stuff ourselves with.

So today I decided to take better care of myself – and start defending my food – By working my way to become a flexitarian (heck I was vegetarian for 5 years without any problems…) I will limit my meat intake to a level that is satisfactory to me and my family as well=)

ps. found a podcast where Michael is interviewed about “in defense of food” – am going to listen to it now while I go for a jog =)