Jackie Gingrich Cushman

So far I have: created my own Web site for the America to Anywhere for Arthritis (A2A4A) marathon training (www.a2a4a.com), created a podcast (also on the site), and sent my brother-in-law a happy birthday video of my children singing.

Score: creative 3, not 0

Last week, I went in for my fourth training session. The first three sessions had been focused on work-related items. This time I decided a little fun was in order. I took in our family’s video camera and my MacBook Air. After I arrived 10 minutes late (delay due to taking the kids to school), we spent 10 minutes looking for the firewire to connect the video camera to the MacBook Air, (I had forgotten it). Sony of course has a proprietary firewire, so we moved to plan B.

Score: creative 3, not 1

Plan B, learning to work more efficiently in Pages, the word-processing software included in iWorks. The program has incredible templates built into the program. These templates make it easy to add pictures, media and create newsletters, brochures, banners, etc.. I learned how to create a newsletter and add pictures with a mask, creating a picture in various shapes (not hard, but cool). I was being creative.

Score: creative 4, not 1

Unfortunately the iWorks software had not been installed correctly on my MacBook Air, so I used the store’s iMac.

Score: creative 4, not 2

I persevere - after all, creativity requires perseverance.

Returning to my office - I attempted to move from the Apple version of Microsoft Outlook (Entourage) to Apple mail. Having read that the Apple logo was making me more creative - I felt compelled to use it to the exclusion of all others. I felt my creativity would be unstoppable. But I was wrong; I give up after an hour and a half.

Score: creative 4, not 3

I either need longer arms, a shorter keyboard, or to quit wearing my watch. The MacBook Air is perfectly proportioned to cut off the circulation in my hands as the edge of the computer hits my watch and bracelet.

I removed my watch and bracelet, and hoped my accuracy would improve as a result.

Score: creative 4, not 4

My difficulties, offered here a bit in jest, show the importance not only of brand – but also of thought patterns. See Apple, think creative, be creative. See Disney Channel, think honest, be honest. None of that will happen unless the viewer has a goal that the brand activates. So pay attention to your goals and what thoughts brands bring to mind.

In the course of writing this article, I have switched documents three times, ended up typing in the incorrect paragraph 12 times, inadvertently changed programs more than two dozen times, and am sure I will have to convert the document before sending it off to be edited and printed. It makes no difference to me. I am using my iMac and am certain that, without it, this column would never have been completed. It’s enough for me to know that, from now on, I will be more creative than I used to be. Now isn’t that worth something?

Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.