Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Bill Gates Retreat

Say what you want about Bill Gates and his company's mediocre software, but there is at least one brilliant idea the former Microsoft CEO was known for.

Twice a year, Gates would schedule a "Think Week." He would disappear to a remote location, surround himself with reading material (and, reportedly, a huge stash of Diet Orange Crush), and he would spend an entire week alone, reading and thinking, without interruption.

You don't need to be a nerdy billionaire to do this. Just spend one week away from the distractions of life, surround yourself with thought-provoking reading material, and spend every day of that week voraciously inhaling as much of it as you can. These are the kinds of conditions that will lead you to cross-fertilize and generate valuable new concepts and ideas for your readers.

Can't get an entire week alone? Then schedule a Think Weekend, or even a Think Day.

The real currency we have as writers is our ideas. Hold an annual or twice-annual Think Week, and I promise you'll come up with some exceptional ones.