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If you want to develop your ability to enter the creative zone at will, you should know that there are three conditions for a really effective hypnotic trigger:

Uniqueness — it should be something (or a combination of things) you don’t associate with other activities, otherwise the effect will be diluted.

Emotional intensity — the kind you experience when you’re really immersed in creative work.

Repetition — the more times you experience the unique trigger in association with the emotions, the stronger the association becomes.

So to fine-tune your daily routine for maximum creative magic, make sure the key triggers have these qualities. For example, you might want to save a particular album for listening to while you work, or be careful not to use the same notepad for sketching ideas as for your to-do list. And when you have a particularly good day, make a note of something in your routine for that day, that you can associate with the emotional state—and use the same trigger the rest of the week.

And next time you’re waiting in line for your morning coffee, next to people facing a day of mundane toil, think yourself lucky that your daily routine is a springboard to inspiration.

Mark McGuinness is a Coach for Artists, Creatives and Entrepreneurs ( For a FREE 26-part guide to forging a remarkable career, sign up for Mark’s creative careers course The Creative Pathfinder. (

This post first appeared on The 99 Percent blog ( It is reprinted with the permission of the author.

The Next Page

[Editor’s note: Unforeseen circumstances prevented The Next Page feature on the NINC website from being updated. Listed below are books written by members of Novelists, Inc. that are available now or will be shortly. Most of the titles are in stores a few weeks prior to their publication month.]

Honest Betrayal by Dara Girard (Ilori Press Books LLC) June 2012 ISBN 9781476421667

Would she betray her heart for the sake of convenience?

After a disastrous love affair, career-driven Brenna Garrett decides to marry the wealthy Hunter Randolph for security and a life of luxury.

However, her marriage of convenience takes a dark turn when her first love re-enters her life and she discovers there are secrets in her husband’s past that could destroy their future.

One Good Friend Deserves Another by Lisa Verge Higgins (Grand Central Publishing) June 2012 ISBN 978-1455500307

Dhara, Kelly, Marta, and Wendy have been close friends since college. So close, that after a series of romantic disasters, they bond together to create rules of relationships meant to keep their hearts safe. Those rules seemed to have worked, until Marta discovers that her hot boyfriend is married, Kelly begins a risky affair, Wendy inches closer to a premarital infidelity, and, most shocking of all, Indian-American Dhara agrees to an arranged marriage.

As old relationships crumble and dangerous new ones emerge, each women must decide how much she’d risk—for love, happiness, and most importantly, for each another.   

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